Which Way Now

Optimistic. It’s such a nice word to say. Op ti mis tic. I am an optimsitic person. Behind every cloud is blue sky. But I seem to have lost my direction.

It is rare that I find myself out in early evening, it’s a time I’m usually at home preparing food, listening to a small person read, doing those other home based parent tasks.

I found myself heading towards the city centre as other people returned home; commuters. It seems like an age ago that I was a commuter. Smartly dressed returning from work. Carrying a work bag, filled with work things and I yearned for that life again.

I want to stretch my brain, have a life beyond home. Feel I am making some kind of contribution beyond the people under this roof.

The commuters walked with purpose heading in a direction opposite to mine and I wondered how I might join them. How do I step into that rhythm.

I’ve never been a planner more a drifter on the sea of life. Accepting the rough with the smooth and optimistic that the universe will provide. Now I need to take more responsibility.

I don’t want to be sitting at the back of the boat wondering when land will appear, I need to be steering. But I’ve lost my compass. I no longer know my direction. I used to work in the voluntary sector, that seems a long time ago, I’m not sure if that port came into view again how well I’d recognise it. I’m not sure they’d accept my passport and have me ashore.

Is that a lack of confidence holding me back?

Yet when I’m thrown into a situation by circumstance; I had an email asking for some advice for an MSC student, social media and charities. I surprise myself with the contribution I can make.

We have been here almost 6 months. That pulled me up a little short. Time has flown. I have steered away from ‘looking for work’. Over the last few months my time and focus has been on selling a house, relocating, settling a child into school once and then twice. Now and the focus swings sharply back.


I’ve tweaked and rebranded my CV. I’ve taken a small step back towards the job-sites and agencies. In the pit of my stomach pessimism lurks. That I don’t fit in anywhere. That I am not good enough.

Then up looms half term a stark reminder the balance that needs to be struck. I’m about to step back again and turn my focus to my son for a week. If I’m honest it’s a relief, a temporary grace period. Job searching is not an experience that lifts the soul.

There is also a fear, of more time lost. That I’ve not really taken the plunge. Half terms gives me another excuse to shelter from reality. That protects me from facing if I am still employable, finding a direction, selling myself. Facing the very real fear of disappointment.

I can’t hide, because our being here, in the place that is right for us, depends on the success of employment. I have to manage creeping doubts and fears. I have to ignore the pessimism and steer the ship optimism. The water is choppy and I feel like a very small and isolated person in a huge ocean.



  1. TheMadHouse

    I too feel the same. I look for something, but am not sure what I have to give. I am much less self confident than I used to be. I have lots of skills, but an never sure where they are best placed. Plus I NEED toi pick the boys up from school and be around for holidays. I am looking for the holy grail

  2. Ally Bean

    Such good & honest thoughts here. My take would be that if you are this able to articulate what is bugging you with your present situation, then when networking and interviewing for your next career move, you’ll be just as able to explain yourself. And the knowledge that you think/communicate clearly will give you confidence, regardless of what you end up doing next. Which will be something cool, no doubt.

  3. Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer

    ‘Over the last few months my time and focus has been on selling a house, relocating, settling a child into school once and then twice….’ Do you realise what you have achieved in the casual flinging of those few words? Enormous amounts! I think it’s been necessary to take time to recover, during which period, what you want / don’t want emerges. I think you could fit in anywhere, but you’re looking for the right fit, for right now. It’ll come, at the right time. You’re amazing 🙂

  4. Older Mum (@Older_Mum)

    I agree with Anya up there…. moving home and relocating to a new town is a very big change, and I think it can take at least six months to a year to adjust before you can really go forth again. Be patient with yourself too. Have you thought about getting paid work for your writing – articles for magazines? Your writing is great – you are readable and relatable. X.

  5. Ruth

    I could have written this too, although nowhere near as well. It’s bloody hard, isn’t it? I hope you find the thing that satisfies you, pays you but also allows you to keep some focus on those people under your own roof – you do have so much to offer. Whoever gets you will be very lucky x

  6. tiddlyompompom

    I was in a similar situation about 10 years ago. The right thing has a habit of coming up and smacking you in the face. You just have to have your face pointing in the right direction to be smacked.
    When you find it it will be obvious. Until then, keep looking, keep smiling, and keep remembering you are brilliant x

  7. mutteringsofafool

    Moving to a completely new city definitely throws you off balance, it takes time to get your bearings again. But if you feel you need to be contributing in some form then try out a few different things, Nothing to lose is there?

  8. An Exeter Mum

    Time does fly so much doesn’t it. In a couple of weeks it will be a year since we relocated and it really doesn’t feel that long at all! You have done loads in the last six months really. Relocating is awesome but does take some getting used to and settling in. Good luck in finding a job that suits you and satisfies. Have faith in yourself. You are a good egg xx

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