Lost in life at almost 40: The truth about me

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I wrote this blog today because, one, I want to be transparent with my readers and Instagram followers, and two, society sure has a way of tearing people down, hopefully this post may help someone who has felt, or feels the same.

A traveller’s life is frequently very different from a person’s reality. The way I come across is important to me, not for the approval of others but to stay true to myself.

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I started travelling after a series of challenging events in my late 30’s which had caused me to re-evaluate my life at 38 years old, only to find that everything I had been working towards wasn’t really what I had wanted, but fitted rather nicely with the expectations of society. Sure, I had the means to live in a lovely two-bedroom highrise apartment, which I referred to as my penthouse (it wasn’t ๐Ÿคฃ); a nice car; a bachelor’s degree; and a diploma in the healthcare sector, along with a nice title job as “A Clinical Support Worker.” It all sounds really nice, doesn’t it? But what did it matter? Because in spite of accomplishing all of this, it would be diminished within seconds when people learned I was almost 40, childless, not married, and single. as if these were the only things that defined or valued me as a woman or even a human being.

I shouldn’t have cared what other people thought of me, but I was so insecure, unhappy, and completely dissatisfied with my life that I did.

This put me on a path of self-sabotage and I knew I had to take a deep look into my life and re-evaluate it.

Self-evaluation of my career

My self-evaluation of my life came at 38 years old, after being diagnosed with depression. At first, I thought my diagnosis was triggered by my late dad’s transition a few years earlier, though I do think this was just the last straw, but after my self-evaluation, I realised I had been unhappy for several years before this occurred.

The truth is, I hadn’t been living as my true self for several years because I valued what others thought of me far more than what I thought of myself. As a result of this, I made decisions and choices based on what was more acceptable in society, which ultimately resulted in me betraying myself for years.

I hadn’t really wanted to be a healthcare professional but a dancer who travelled the world, but it was a back-up plan more acceptable in society and it didn’t get frowned upon like my dancing desire, so at just 19 years old, I made the decision to choose healthcare as a career.

I started out as a pharmacy counter assistant and later became a qualified pharmacy dispenser, and then, at 22, I decided to study for a health and social care diploma and later gained a bachelor’s degree. From here, I worked in hospitals and did a number of healthcare roles, but was never satisfied for more than a few years in any of them. I suddenly found there was nowhere else to move because I didn’t have the desire to work in the healthcare sector anymore and found myself stuck.

While I was feeling lost and stuck in the face of my true reality, I began to subtract back to a time when I was truly happy and had a full zest for life. I was taken back to around 20, just about the same age I had dropped my desire to dance and travel. It was here that I realised the reason I had been unhappy was because I never followed my dreams.

I wasn’t bothered about the dancing anymore, but the passion to travel never left.

I realised I had to pursue this long awaited dream.

Self-evaluation on having children

I often pretended I didn’t want children. It was better to be judged as selfish or be seen as strange than to have people pressuring me about my biological clock when I would say I wasn’t sure if I wanted children. This would trigger anxiety within me because I felt I was running out of time, and I sure didn’t want it up for open discussion for everyone to have an opinion on, especially since I didn’t ask for their opinion.

The truth here was I didn’t even know if I wanted kids, but during my self-evaluation I realised I didn’t ever think to ask myself why I even wanted children. To be honest, I couldn’t even answer my own question. The only thing that came to mind was that it is simply what society expects of me, and the idea did not originate in me but was embedded as an expectation by adults from being a small child.

I realised I wasn’t really bothered; I could take them or leave them and know I’d be fine either way.

Self-evaluation on being single and Unmarried

Once I realised I wasn’t too concerned with having children, I didn’t need to do much self-evaluation about marriage or being single and rushing to meet someone. Though I did ask myself why I wanted to be married or be with someone, this was easy. I wanted a best friend with whom I could share my life experiences.

However, since I wasn’t too concerned about children, I realised there wasn’t a rush to meet someone. More than this, the years of betraying myself caused me to actually want to figure out who I really am so I can know what I really want, and for this part, it requires me to be single for a little while.

The true version of me

Today I am 41 years old, and for the first time in my adult life, I have started to live in the world as no one other than myself. I have failed trying to be someone other than myself, and I have found I do a pretty damn good job at being me.

Since my self-evaluation, I’ve given up my apartment and car to free up money to do more of the things I like. I’ve given up my health care job because there wasn’t much point in continuing something I wasn’t enjoying. Now I work part-time in hospitality as well as travelling abroad during my holidays and travelling around the UK during my days off.

I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I’m just winging it and making it all up as I go along, but I’d rather be happy, authentic, and live my truth than be fake and pretend I have it all figured out.

If I’m going to last in this world, it has to be by living as my true authentic self because it is painful, exhausting, and completely unfulfilling otherwise. 

One last thing….

My travel journey isn’t just about how many countries or places I visit; it’s about finding out who I really am, what I want, and for inspiration for my next career move. This is largely why I chose to travel solo.

Besides this, I am practising on a daily basis to choose a deliberate life filled with deliberate and satisfying choices that feel good and satisfying to me, instead of considering the options and beliefs of others like I did when I was younger.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today.

Thank you for reading ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

Stay blessed Natalie โค

29 thoughts on “Lost in life at almost 40: The truth about me

  1. It’s amazing how freeing it is when you start living for yourself and not caring about what others think or worrying about society’s expectations of you!! Related quite a bit to this article!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it’s so freeing. I’m the happiest I’ve been in such a long time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It is greatly appreciated ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Natalie, this is so incredibly powerful and resonates so deeply. I’m so glad you gave yourself permission to be true to yourself. I was nearly 60 before I found my courage to change my life. I admire you. Thank you for sharing your inspiring backstory. ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Natalie This means so much to me. I’ve always been able to relate to you since I discovered you on Instagram because I had been going through a huge transition in my life myself. You honestly helped my confidence and greatly inspired me. So thank you. And thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to read it. ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally understand that feeling, Natalie. I’m nearing 40 and still haven’t got any of my life together, and sometimes feel like I never will. Then I’ll go through brief periods of acceptance, and that really does help put things in perspective. But after that, life comes knocking once more, and it all starts over. Anyway, thanks for this!

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    • Hi Stuart, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. It’s funny because since I’ve opened up about all of this, it seems almost everyone can identify and has felt this way at some point in their lives. Thank you for reading and I wish you all the very best.

      Like

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It’s so freeing to be able to do this without any outside pressures. Thanks againย ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

      Like

  4. It is very courageous of you to post this and really take the time to figure out what needs to change to live authentically yourself. I wish people would care less about how others are living so that we don’t feel the unnecessary pressure of society. I wish you the very best in your future travels and journey ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lyssy, thank you for your kind words! I agree. It would be extremely beneficial if people just cared less about what others think. I think it would especially be helpful to the younger generation so they don’t feel so bad for not having their lives figured out by 25. Thank you for your thoughts on this, much appreciated โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, what honesty thanks for sharing, Natalie! The truth is most have us do not have our lives totally figured out and sounds to me like you are taking the steps in the right direction to do just that. I loved that last picture, it speaks volume. All the best ๐Ÿ’•.

    Like

    • Thanks Janice It’s funny you should say that. Since I wrote this blog, I have been unindated with comments and DM’s. Seeing how much they resonated with themselves, I think it pretty much confirms that we are all pretty much just winging it lol. Thank you so much for your thoughts on this. โค๏ธ

      Oh, thank you for your compliment on my photo. It took me ages to get it. My tripod kept fallingย ๐Ÿคฃ

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Firstly, well done for having the strength to write this piece. Not to mention the strength to turn your life around so that you are able to spend more time doing things that make you happy. The 9-5, married with kids, weekends off, a few weeks in the sun every year, slave to the bills life is not for everyone. For many people it’s a satisfactory life, others even flourish within the so-called Rat Race. Personally, I know many people who are miserable playing the game of working in a job they hate in order to keep their heads above water. Much of your piece really resonated with us Natty. My sister is called Natalie and the family calls her Natty. My wife Sladja and I are also into our 40s, don’t want children and have been following our hearts for years in terms of the lifestyle we want. For us, life is also about travel, experiencing different cultures, learning more about the world and our places in it. We thrive on having the time to explore the world, read, watch movies and write about our experiences. As you probably know from reading our blog we work online and live in different countries. In the past three years we’ve lived in Cambodia, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, England and Scotland. A few days ago we arrived in Georgia for an extended spell. So far we’ve decided on two months and we’ll take it from there. This type of life is full of challenges and aspects of it are probably not great for our own anxiety issues. However, at the end of the day, we just know that being our own bosses and having the autonomy to do whatever we want whenever we want is what really works for us. We are actually open to settling somewhere but so far the right opportunity just hasn’t presented itself. So we just roll on with the online travelling roadshow. I’m really happy that self evaluation has helped you, it’s definiely the way forward and something that is perpetually ongoing. Being a bit lost and not knowing precisely what you want is ok I think as long as you keep evaluating and growing. And infinitely better than being stuck in an unhappy life that you won’t allow yourself to get out of. Wishing you all the best moving forward!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Leighton I really had to do something. I was completely miserable in the rat race, and as hard as it was to let go of my chosen career path, I knew it would set me free.

      Ahh, your sister is called Natty too! This made me smile. It was also inspiring to learn that you and your wife, Sladja, have forged your own path and built a life together. A life that is satisfactory, albeit challenging at times, sounds like a great life you have built together. I’m in awe of you both. Congratulations, and I hope everything is going well in Georgia. It is amazing you both do all this even though it causes some anxiety. It is much better than being in a comfort zone I’d say I completely get this. I’m so anxious when I travel, but I still do it. Haha

      Thank you for your kind and supportive words I greatly appreciate it. All the best to you both ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve been following you for about two years (I think?), and I don’t think I really got to know you as a person until this post! I’d only really known you through your travels, but I’m glad to discover more about your life, your background, and how you came to this point of travel and adventures. I’m younger than you, and I’m still figuring out what I want to do in life (especially in my career, although I have a much-better idea than only a few years ago). That said, it’s great you wrote that not everyone figures it out right away, whether in our 20s, 30s, 40s, or beyond…it’s all about the journey, and I hope you continue to thrive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rebecca Firstly, I want to start off by saying thank you for taking an interest and reading my blogs for the length of time you have. I greatly appreciate it. Secondly, yes, it’s quite a challenge to figure out what you want in life. It’s great to hear you have a clearer idea now. I remember you telling us about your job. I hope it is all going well for you. You sound incredibly ambitious and courageous. I wish I had lived more courageously when I was your age. Better late than never, eh? Since writing this post, I have had large volumes of DM’s from people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who find the post highly relatable. Many of them say they felt lost in their twenties and again after their children grew up. I guess we all feel lost at some points in our lives, which I already kind of knew, but just thought it would be beneficial and helpful to someone else.

      I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts and comments. Thank youย  โค๏ธ

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Just stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading this honest piece of real life. Good luck – it sounds like the self-evaluation was well needed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments, and for reading. It is much appreciated. I seriously need the re-evaluation, life has been much better and enjoyable. โค๏ธ

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you for sharing so openly about yourself Natty – it’s nice to get to know you better. I’m really pleased you are in a place where you’ve been able to reflect and acknowledge how you truly feel vs how society pressures you to feel. I think being lost in life is very normal, and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of – and acknowledging it and working through it takes true strength.
    I also don’t have children and am hurtling towards late 30s – this wasn’t a choice for me, but biology after years of failed IVF. My heart longs for a baby to hold in my arms, and a child to nurture and love and grow with. But it won’t happen for me now and I felt lost in life for a while and now say sod it – I’m going travelling, being happy, having fun. All any of us can do is make choices that make us happy in the moment. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hannah, Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your kind and encouraging words. โค๏ธ

      I completely agree with what you said about everything being lost at some point in one’s life. And, since writing this blog, I’ve received numerous responses from readers and followers on Facebook and Instagram saying how much they resonated with the post. I kind of knew this, but it is so easy to feel alone in these moments. And now I have clarity. It helps me to know I can be happy regardless because those were all the things outside of me.

      Oh Hannah I’m so glad to hear your optimism about what must be a difficult situation. I remember reading your post and thinking how courageous you were to share it. I completely admire your strength ,courage, and positive outlook, and I’m so happy to hear you’re doing well. Best wishes to youย โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

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