I'm at one of those pivotal moments in life where the status quo has gone and I have to create whatever comes next. I've never had, or at least never felt I had, these kinds of choices before. I was restricted when I was younger by money (or lack thereof), time (too much time spent on work in retrospect), negative self-talk (I'm only human) and when it came to going to drama school, complete and utter parental disapproval.
Now that I am an adult orphan and am due to inherit a modest sum of money, I have active choices to make about my life and how I live it. I don't have to stay put. I am not trapped. I can do whatever I like. Well, you know, except for the pesky pandemic, but you get my drift.
Obviously the world has changed dramatically since whilst I was caring for my mother. We're living through a pandemic and that has changed us all in some shape or form. The world of work I knew a few years ago has changed, possibly forever. The commute has gone. The in-person events have gone. The after-work drinks are no more. Travelling abroad to speak at a conference or visit an exhibition to network with colleagues and peers - all gone. And I have little sense yet of when or how that will come back. And if it should come back, do I still want to be part of that picture? Can I slot back in having been absent for the last couple of years? These are questions I'm asking myself daily and perhaps they're the wrong questions. After all, that world has gone - at least for another 6 months, possibly longer.
I need to adapt to that change too and be open to new things. And I've changed too. I'm older, wiser and have been through life experiences that would change anyone's outlook on life. But I'm seeing that as a positive and that I have even more experience and knowledge to share than I did before. So maybe the questions can be more around what am I open to? Who do I want to work with? What talents can I bring to the party? What companies or sectors would be a good fit? What are my transferable skills? What am I hoping to get out of the next step(s)? Where do I want to be?
But choice can be paralysing. Too many choices on a menu and you end up going for the same thing you always go for when you visit that same restaurant. What a privilege to have choices available but what a responsibility too.
I'm sure I'm overthinking it here, as is my wont. It's time for me to do something, to take action, to get involved. It's time for me to start engaging again with the outside world and to start contributing to it again. I can't sit at home waiting for something to happen because I'll be waiting a long time. I have to make it happen. So I'm tapping into my creative spirit. I'm writing more - both published posts and lots of journaling. I'm meditating to get some clarity and vision. I'm dreaming too to see which dreams fit best. I'm starting some of those more work-related conversations with work-friends and friend-friends. I'm researching the market to see what's happening and what people seem to be looking for. I'm reminding myself of what I've done in my career and what my strengths are and thinking about CVs and marketing materials and websites and all that stuff. And I'm opening myself to new opportunities and also looking at what courses I might do to refresh my skills or stimulate some different thinking. I want to have those deep, insightful conversations again. I miss that.
So if you have any bright ideas on what or where my next step might be, get in touch!
(As an aside, if it weren't for the slight issues of Brexit and a Pandemic, I would probably be doing all of this from Barcelona for a month or two whilst supping on Cava, eating tapas and hanging out on a roof terrace. But that's out of the question for a good few months yet.)