I felt trapped.  Do You?

I felt trapped. Do You?

There are plenty of times when I am going a million miles a minute.   There are days and weeks – months even – when I don’t think beyond what’s on the agenda today, what absolutely MUST get done, what I would like to get done if I have extra time (whatever that is), and who needs to be where and when and how we are going to get them there.

Perhaps it’s an early midlife crisis, or perhaps it’s because I’ve seen people die suddenly without any forewarning, or perhaps it’s because I am not going to have any more children so I’m closing the door on my baby bearing years.   Regardless of the reason, I’m realizing that I’ve spent a good portion of my life and energy just managing to make it from one day to another.

I am fairly conservative when it comes to finances and planning.  I am a good girl in that I do what I’m supposed to do – pay my bills on time, save for retirement and college, go to work each day regardless of whether it is fulfilling or frustrating, and meet my responsibilities as a mom, a wife and an employee.

However, there are days I feel that I am missing the point of life.  Is life really about being responsible to everyone else at the expense of myself?  I am fairly sure we only have one chance at this (regardless of how much I like the idea of reincarnation), so am I really using my one shot the best way possible?

From the outside, it probably looks like I am.  After all, I graduated from college, got a good job with great benefits, fell in love, got married, had 3 kids and 2 fabulous stepsons,  and quickly advanced up the career ladder.

From the inside? It’s not quite that simple.

I would never give up my children, not a minute with my stepsons or our three.  Whenever my thoughts drift to questioning my life, the one and only spot I am sure of is my kids.   However, I was also never the woman dreaming of the day I was a soccer mom driving a minivan.  I never once dreamed of my wedding or having a family and living in the suburbs.  It just wasn’t on my radar.

What I’ve realized in the past few years?  My life doesn’t fit with my vision of myself.  At times I feel like I”m living someone else’s life rather than being true to myself.

Am I delusional?  I always had this feeling that I was destined for greatness.  Whether that meant a famous actress, the scientist that found the cure for cancer, the first woman President of the United States, a long lost princess of some hitherto unknown country – I don’t know.  But having 5 kids, a 9 to 5 job, a mortgage, and playing on the company softball team really wasn’t what I ever aspired to be.

Thankfully, I was very fortunate to have  recently lost my job.  I know that’s a weird thing to say, but I feel deep in my bones that this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

Why?

I feel free.

The real world will knock on my door here sometime soon and I’ll have to figure out how I’ll pay the mortgage and child support and bus fees and preschool tuition.  But for right now?  I’m taking a deep breath and enjoying the idea of the unknown and the possibilities.

What about you?  Have you been trapped by golden handcuffs?  Are you in a seemingly perfect scenario from the outside that is chafing and wearing you down on the inside?

*photo credit here

21 Responses to I felt trapped. Do You?

  1. I am new to your blog, and That was a very beautiful, heartfelt post. If the husband wasnt bugging me and the dog wasn’t staring at me, I may have really got into it and could have possible dropped a tear.. I do not have any children yet, so I can only truly relate to a portion of your post.

    But, I completely understand. Is my life really a 9-5, do I routinely come home and cook dinner every night and then hit sheets at 11:30? The days fly by so fast that I don’t even see the time to truly understand or try to be what I am capable of.

    Looking forward to following your blog and thank you for this post!

    Elizabeth

    • Thanks Elizabeth. Sometimes it’s pretty personal what comes out when I just let my fingers do the walking… :) , but I’ve also found that the things I worry about and stress over are common and are shared by many more women than I’d ever imagine. Life is short and we need to learn to revel in every minute. I am very fortunate and yes, there have been unforeseen curves here and there, but ultimately my family is healthy and the world is my oyster. Any obstacles in my way are ones I’ve put there, so time to suck it up and move them and find the life I’ve dreamt of…

  2. I know exactly what you mean. I don’t know if it’s a mid-life crisis. I’m 38 and am beginning to feel as though I’m not living life to the fullest, enjoying my kiddos the best I can, or doing what my dreams have been made of – or were made of. Writing, is a start for me. I think it’s just timing…it’s your turn. That’s all. Start moving in YOUR direction!

    • SO glad to be in such great company Gina! :) Blogging has really been an eye opener for me. For a couple of reasons, one, I am stopping to think about things because then I write about them. 2) I am meeting new people and doing things that are just for me. It’s been an eye opener and in a very good way. I never thought I’d be happy to have my future uncertain, but it is thrilling! :) I hope it lives up to my dreams.

  3. I see nothing wrong with reevaluating where you are at and take step to change direction a to where you feel in your heart your should be. I’m all for living the life that you feel you were meant for. Congratulations on having the possibility of lots of different possibilities open up for you.

    • Thanks Catherine! I was just offered a part time job at lunch today with the possibility of moving into full time in the fall once the kids are in school. I think it’s the best of both worlds because then I have all the rest of the time to explore other things. PLus it’s working from home!

  4. Hey Daria! What fun to have found this site! For your readers, I’m an ex-coworker from where Daria used to work, and I’m so glad to have read your last two blogs! Your positive perspective on a much-less-than-positive situation and enthusiasm for the possibilities are inspirational. I hope they are also influential. If enough of us responded this way to the bumps in our respective life roads, imagine what the world would become!

    Glad to hear opportunities are already knocking! Everyone was really shaken up by your leaving. I directed Jim to your blog – he will be so glad to read this. Thanks for being such a beacon!

    ~Kelly

    • Thanks Kelly! I miss the people, because you guys are fabulous! But am very excited about having the summer with my kids and looking into the possibilities that are out there. It’s fun!

  5. I could have written that post! When I get into my personal pity party, I am certain that I am the only one in the world who feels the way I do. It’s wonderful to be reminded that I am not the only one. I don’t work 9-5, but I find it hard to know my purpose, outside of mom and wife. I’m new here and am so happy to have found you!

  6. Great post, Daria. Although the feelings that come up for you may not always be comfortable, I think it’s great that you are paying attention to how you feel and being reflective about your life. So many people go through life without ever asking the hard questions. There’s a great quote by Joseph Campbell that goes, “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” And this one is great too: “The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”

  7. Curious since you wrote this a while ago if you still feel the same?
    I totally get it. I have left the corporate world twice, both times were unexpected but beyond beautiful and as you said it, freeing. As of right now, I have no plans to go back to a corporate environment, but sometimes plans change. It is how we adapt & what we do with our choices & decisions that matter. To me anyway.

    • I’m glad you asked this Laura because it made me stop and think. No, I don’t feel the same as I did when I wrote this post. I no longer feel like I’m just making it from day to day because my life is so hectic. Granted I’m not in a 9 to 5 job anymore and I feel a lot of freedom (and anxiety) to make my life what I want it to be. But at the same time I feel like there is still something missing, some big “aha” moment when I’m going to figure out what it is I want to do with my life and until that moment comes I’m kind of coasting. Then again, unless I actively do something about finding that “aha” my entire life will be gone without ever getting there. So… long answer to a short question is – I don’t know.

      I miss the meetings and pressure of a corporate environment. I am weird in that I LIKE pressure and crisis (not actual crisis, but solving problems, meeting deadlines, creating miracles, etc.), so I’m feeling very calm these days and I’m not sure that I like it. Granted when I was under pressure I felt stressed. Again a paradox. Any tips are appreciated! :)

  8. You ARE destined for greatness! I think it just takes some time getting used to these roles as parents and having life turn upside down and revolve around them. When you’re younger and you have the dreams of having it all, no one can really prepare you for actually having it all, right? My thing is learning how to really enjoy all these moments I’ve been given and not try to move on to the next thing (which I tend to think is going to be the bigger better deal). Working on it each and every moment… So thanks for the reminder!

    • That is absolutely an issue for me Jenny – I am rarely “present” in the moment, but rather am looking at the horizon at the next project, next job, next learning moment, next, next, next…. I really envy my husband who is very content in the now (to the point it drives me crazy that he doesn’t plan ahead – but then again, I look too far ahead).

  9. “Whenever my thoughts drift to questioning my life, the one and only spot I am sure of is my kids. However, I was also never the woman dreaming of the day I was a soccer mom driving a minivan.”

    Me, exactly (well, without a minivan).

    I use to think that greatness meant BIG and KNOWN and APPLAUDED. As I move more into myself, though, I believe now that greatness may simply mean moving fully into oneself.

    Love this: “But for right now? I’m taking a deep breath and enjoying the idea of the unknown and the possibilities.”

    • Do you know who that person is? That’s the part I struggle with is finding my passion – the thing (or things) that I get so excited about that I can’t sleep. What is that for you?

  10. I can identify, I feel like I am having an out of body experience some days, especially when my kids’ are acting like animals. I never really planned to have kids (not that I would trade them, I was told that I couldn’t when I was young actually,) so it is so weird to be at home all day homeschooling them while they punch each other in the face and scream at each other.

    A break will be nice, I am sure, at least for a little while!

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