I feel sometimes like I have failed at life.
When I was younger I had a set idea of the woman I was going to become. I would go to university, have a successful professional career as an accountant or a lawyer or something similarly prestigious, meet a wonderful man, get married and maybe have a couple of kids plus the obligatory dog.
By the age of 31, I thought I would have at least reached the getting married part of this plan but with one thing and another, it’s not quite worked out that way.
I have a career, albeit one I’m not really sure I want. I am an exam qualified accountant, all that stands between me and the three letters that signify six years of hard work is a mountain of paperwork and whilst it seems ridiculous to let so much hard work go to waste, I do wonder whether accountancy is the right career for me. Whilst part of me loves the rules and structure that it has, the lack of freedom and creativity is a bit stifling. After all, creativity within accounting tends to be frowned upon…
So a successful career, that’s definitely not a checked box on the list.
As for being married, well having been single for nearly six years, that isn’t looking likely in the near future. And bizarrely this bit doesn’t bother me that much. I have stages where I want a relationship but to be honest, if I live on my own for the rest of my life, I’ll be OK with that. I have my cats and my friends, two adorable nephews who I’ll get to be the crazy aunt with and that’s enough.
So whilst the married box isn’t checked, I’m kind of OK with that. And the kids box we’ll be leaving unchecked as well. It doesn’t make me feel less of a woman but I can’t help but feel that other people are disappointed in me for not settling down and having a family and having a conventional life.
The biggest issue I have had over the past few years though is that I haven’t been happy. I’ve been the opposite of happy for the most part and the fact that I have put so much pressure on myself to find this perfect version of myself hasn’t helped but I have never understood why.
But when I saw this quote by George Bernard Shaw I started to realize exactly why I keep failing at these expectations I have set. I set these ideals according to my parents’ expectations of me when I scarcely knew who I was, let alone who I would become. I’m never going to find this “perfect version of myself because she doesn’t exist; she never has.
My life is mine to create and whilst I admit there have been some twists and turns I didn’t anticipate and would rather have been skipped, they have helped create the woman I am today.
We all come into this life as a blank canvas. Nature and nurture help determine what the picture looks like but eventually the only person who determines whether the picture is a true work of art is ourselves.
A little too much of my life has been this:
I guess we will have to see what the final artwork looks like…
If your life was a picture, which picture would it be?
Average Josephine x