Because I’m a total glutton for punishment, and am just absorbing information like a freaking sponge lately, I signed up for yet another content challenge, this time for a whopping 30 days. I’m going through it on a daily basis, and doing the stuff that is expected of me, but am finding it difficult to write up all the awesomeness on the same day as I’m supposed to do it.
Wait. That made no sense.
Okay. Today’s blog post was actually written on Day 2 of the challenge….which was on Friday. I’m taking advantage of the fabulous scheduling feature of WP and it’s saving so much stress, it’s unreal.
So today, I want to talk to you about expectations. Societal, familial, whatever….we all have them. We all have this stuff we are “supposed” to do, whether we want to or not. For me, I was “supposed” to go to school and finish high school with amazing results after year 12. Umm…oops. I made it to year 11 and I’d had enough.
I was “supposed” to go to university. I was “supposed” to meet some lovely man and get married and have children and have a house and a lovely car and a lovely holiday every year and blah blah blah…..
That’s not exactly what happened.
I left school. I bummed around a bit not really knowing what I wanted to do. I got pregnant at 18 after being with my boyfriend for 2 months, and left the country to come to Australia a month after that. I was a single mum for two years, then I met my ex, who was anything but the “lovely man” I had envisioned. I was a walking punch bag for 6 years instead. I had two more kids with him, kids who I adore, and will never, ever regret having, but who have had a few hard lessons into family and love and relationships. I was expected to just get out of that relationship. Just like that. The cops told me to move interstate. Funny.
Then I went to uni. I got a bachelor in psychology, followed by an honours degree. I got married to a lovely man (who flew half way around the world to be with me even though all our family and friends said we were insane…again, there’s those familial and societal expectations!). I had two more kids, then returned to uni for the third time to get a graduate diploma in education because, well, society says I have to work for other people, and to do that I have to have lots of pieces of paper to prove that I can sit in a classroom and behave myself and write a fairly good academic paper.
Truth is, I’m not the best counsellor on the planet, but I worked my arse off for my clients. I’m a brand new teacher who wasn’t excelling and left my last school swearing I’d never teach again…..but I adored my students and worked 17 hours a day every day to make sure I could say I at least tried….at the expense of time with my own kids and husband.
Because society says so.
Society says I have to be this and do that, and have this, and get that….but it has to be done by going to work for people who don’t give a shit about me, or my kids, or my family in general. I have to go to work with tears streaming down my face because I know in my gut that I’m not living MY way, or MY truth.
They don’t care that I don’t want to work 17 hour days, wolfing down whatever snack food I can get my hands on and getting fatter and more miserable by the second.
They don’t care that I’d much rather work in my pyjamas, or be able to say “Nah. Not today. Today is for my kids.”
They certainly don’t care that the only person I want as my employer is me.
I’m actually thinking of going back to uni but this time to do something in marketing or something similar so that I can put ALL of my time and energy into my own business. I have LOADS of ideas floating around in my head for both SOHJ and other more business like type stuff. But there’s bills to pay and mouths to feed, and society says I can’t stay like this forever….
I hate being told by society that I’m wrong. I hate being judged by society because I am actively choosing to stay at home with my son while he’s little; he’ll be in transition next year and I’ll never get this time with him back. I love being at home for my beautiful teen daughters who I am teaching to do what they love! I don’t care if they never finish school. They’re not academic and school just isn’t for everyone. Miss 15 wants to be a photographer; Miss 14 wants to dance….and good on them, too! I’m tired of being made to fit in a box that I’ll just never fit in. My kids will never fit into those boxes either.
Why should we? Why should we repeatedly go to jobs we’re qualified for but aren’t enjoying? Why are we forced to only dream about a life that we’ll never really be able to have because 6 weeks annual leave just isn’t enough for all the exploring we want to do? Who the hell made it this way?
This is my why. This is why I stretch myself as an artist and why I’m absorbing business information like a sponge. It’s why I’m doing LIVE videos even though they scare the living daylights out of me. I can go to bed at night knowing that I spent the day doing something that might not mean a whole lot to the world at large but truly makes me a happier, more content person, and a much better mum than I was before.
Release yourself from these bloody societal “norms” and do what makes you happy. Choose to do what makes your soul soar!
With all my love,
Photo credit: Marco / Zak via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND