Have you ever sat down for a moment and wondered exactly who you are and where your life is going? I have been having that feeling for a while now. I was not sure if it was my age 47, the pandemic, or the after effects of grief that led me to this self reflection. All I know is that it was a real feeling that I couldn’t shrug off.
My life 45 to my life at 47 were very different. Not good different, bad different. At 45 both my parents were struggling with ill health, my mother with a little known disease called PSP and my father with Myeloma a form of bone cancer. I thought at the time this is awful how am I going to get through this. Well I didn’t. Both my parents lost their battles with their diseases within six weeks of each other. In those six weeks my life changed completely.
I was totally devastated and handled the shock in different ways. I cried, sobbed, cried some more. I locked myself away from my children and my husband so I could cry without them hearing. I cried in the car on my way to work. Tiny reminders would make me break down. I was lost, free falling into emotions I had never experienced before. I tried to keep going this was truly the hardest time in my life.
I tried to return to work but I was not the same person. The loss of both my parents caused a huge void of emptiness an emotional black hole.
It made me reflect on the things that I had been focusing on were they that important. Did my job as the Head of Art in an inner city comprehensive offer me peace and quiet? Everyone was really supportive but I needed to be strong, supportive and resilient at a time when I was most fragile? Yes you guessed it I struggled to cope and could see my mental health deteriorating before my eyes. I did not care anymore about the mundane things that had kept me in teaching for such a long time. I struggled to make sense of the world that I was now in. The world had not changed but I had and I couldn’t go back to it being enough anymore.
After my counselling sessions had ended I decided it was time to make a change. I knew emotionally I was in a hurricane but I could still see I needed to do something. I was not happy in my current role. I gave up leadership responsibilities along with pay and started to figure out what drives me and what I am most passionate about.