Ever get that weird, empty feeling in your gut? Where you don’t really feel like you’re connected to anything, you don’t feel like you belong anywhere, you’re antsy yet bored and almost feel stuck? And you just can’t describe what it is that’s making you feel so unusual. It’s a hard feeling to explain, but it’s unmistakable. I haven’t experienced it a whole lot in the course of my almost 3 decades, but every time that silent little creature has crept into my psyche, it’s been a foreboding of serious change.
The first time I can remember feeling that niggling pit in my stomach that refused to be ignored was when I was 13. I had just come home from my first stint in jail. I was only sentenced to two weeks for violating my undertaking (maybe another time I’ll get into the story, but for now let’s just leave it at the fact that I was a bad kid 😳) and came home. As soon as I walked in my house I just didn’t feel right. Something was off. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but I just knew I didn’t belong. It didn’t feel like home and I just wanted to get out. I didn’t know where I wanted to go but I felt very suffocated and stuck. I’d find myself just sitting and staring at the fireplace, or my bedroom walls, or out the window into the street and feeling very desolate and wrong. Just wrong. I know now that I needed to make changes but couldn’t quite see what they needed to be in that moment. In less than a week I landed myself back in jail. This time it was a much longer sentence that wound up being reduced for my upcoming semester at boarding school. And for some reason, boarding school felt more comfortable than the first release to my house. It gave me purpose.It was one of my major turning points in life. If I hadn’t made bad decisions that wound me back in a cell when I had that nasty empty feeling, I’m not sure if I would have learned my lesson. I think it took me hitting that rock bottom HARD to get my shit together and make changes. My mother and I never got along growing up -maybe because I was a juvenile delinquent 🤔- yet she wrote me letters faithfully every day while I was in there. I still have each one and on my strong days I take them out and reread them. She poured a lot of her hopes for me into them and also addressed a lot of things that I needed to work on to get good and get past the self destruction.
I went to boarding school for a year, learned lots, made some awesome friends from all over the world, got kicked out and most importantly, saw the school psychologist by court order once a week. Those sessions shaped the rest of my adolescence in so many ways and I will always be grateful for that guidance. It started off really tough, but I was forced to face myself head on and I finally saw what I was missing. I began to forgive myself and forgive the things that broke my heart, and I became a better version of me. Lighter. More hopeful and less burdened by crosses I wasn’t meant to bear.
I began to think about where I wanted my life to head when I was in boarding school. Back then I wanted to be a psychologist. Kinda funny considering the stink I put up about my Monday meetings each week in the beginning haha. But I started to actually see worth in myself and wanted to plan a life that would fulfill me. I wanted to grow into my full potential and it took me that long to start seeing that I actually did have potential. I received some bursaries from the school for academics; I placed in the top 12th percentile for math and science and top 10th percentile for English. They didn’t cover my tuition by any means but they helped Mama cover some expenses and they showed me I actually had some brains rattling around in that thick skull. I discovered a passion for sports, music and helping people. Passion presents purpose which breeds success. (That’s my new motto, can you tell?) I got on the right track mostly after that.
It wasn’t until 3 years out of high school that I got reacquainted with that nasty little empty creature creeping back into my head. I’d applied for the diesel repair course at the college 3 years in a row, saved my seat and then decided to take another year off each time. Wanted to be sure that was the path I wanted to follow. It was a toss up between that course or aviation mechanical engineering. The difference was about $18 000 a year for tuition and a one year course vs two. I finally got sick of feeling restless and empty and I went for the cheaper and shorter course lol. And honestly I loved every minute of it. As soon as I moved to a new town, settled in and got a job and went to school full time, that little monster went away. I’d found another passion in ripping apart old Diesel engines. I worked my ass off in that course, graduated with honours and the “Unbreakable Spirit Award”. My instructor chose me for it because I went through some growing pains that year, went through a little family medical issue, learned to be alone (really, truly alone) for the first time in my life which was terrifying, yet I continued to work two jobs and go to school full time and stay on top of it. I got back into running that year, and learned a ton of life lessons. That passion and need for change triumphed again.
This past month or so I’ve found myself suffering from another visit with that empty little monster. At first I couldn’t quite pinpoint what had triggered it this time. I was sitting on the couch with my boyfriend, staring into the fireplace and must have looked loony. He asked me what was on my mind and I kind of blurted out “I don’t feel right. I don’t feel like I belong here right now. Or anywhere for that matter. I dunno, I just feel really weird and off and disconnected.” I was worried that my verbal diarrhoea had offended him, but his answer was “Babe, I can assure you there is no where else in the world you should be. What do we need to do to make you feel better?” He knows my need for change, whether it’s my hair or the furniture arrangement etc so he asked what changes I feel I need to make. This time I worked it out a little quicker. I am not happy with where I am in my life with my career.
I have been working away for almost 4 years. When I took my first gig in the oil patch I told myself that I would only do it for 5 years. Pay off all my debts, save up enough for a house and that would be that. At first I got genuine pleasure from my job. I was challenged, I learned things, I had a consistent job for the first time in my life. And obviously I LOVED the money. It began to lose its appeal over time though because it stopped being challenging. I stopped learning things. I stopped feeling useful and proud of my job. Then the price of oil tanked, and it’s been feast or famine for work since that gig ended. Now I can find work for a month, maybe two. Then I’m off for months on end. I don’t learn a whole lot at the rare jobs I do get. I haven’t gotten a lot of experience in my trade for the new aspects of the jobs I’m hired for. I don’t feel useful. I feel useless. I’m losing motivation in my trade and beginning to resent it. I need a change. I’ve always lived by my motto:
“If you don’t like it, change it. If you can’t change it, drop it.”
I’m at another major turning point where I don’t like it and I can’t drop it so I need to change it. It’s hard to find work these days, and it’s even harder to find work that I enjoy. It sucks. My college instructor always says that “every day isn’t golden” and that is very true. Regardless of where you are or what you do, inevitably you will have days which make you want to rip out your hair, change your name and move to a beach to sell coconuts to tourists. That being said, you should also always have days that make you proud. Proud of the path you chose to follow. Fulfillment in whatever area you decide to spend your career in. There should be balance. I’ve lost that balance.
Now I’m allowing myself to start actively pursuing another passion. No spoilers yet, I’m semi-superstitious and don’t want to jinx anything. But I can happily say that I’ve finally taken all my notes and scribbles from my journals over the past several years and put them into a legitimate business plan. I’m learning loads and I’m sure I’ll have much more to tweak before anything comes to light. But I’m happy. I’m rekindling my need for fulfillment in my career and I want to take charge of that. I am a very determined individual and when I feel like I’ve found my purpose, I give everything I have. Whether it’s friendships or relationships, schooling, jobs, hobbies. If I’m passionate about it and I enjoy it or it means something to me, there is no stopping me. It’s all or nothing. So I’m going to work hard and put my all into a new venture. I am SO excited to finally be putting the wheels in motion to create a future I will be proud of. And be able to be fully self sufficient as well. I can still put my 14 hour days in, but to make myself happy instead of making some faceless company rich and slowly losing myself in the process.
It’s either going to happen fairly quickly or it’s going to take a while longer and be an uphill battle to get off the ground. But I will persevere and I will dominate it. Because passion presents purpose which breeds success. And I will be successful. Whatever it is that makes your heart pound, makes you excited for the future and allows you to funnel some piece of yourself into whatever your legacy will be, DO IT. No one regrets trying things for the sake of bettering themselves even if it takes a few tries or different routes to get there, but everyone regrets not giving them self a chance. If you find yourself visited by that empty little feeling in the pit of your stomach, that’s just the worlds way of letting you know it’s time for a change. It’s time to follow a new path that will lead you back to full. Be fearless in your pursuit of whatever sets your soul on fire 😉❤️