When It Feels Like You’re Treading Water – Getting Stuck in Life’s Inbetweens
This is me, right now. I’m treading water in the middle of the ocean, for some reason I can’t move forwards, but I can’t swim back to shore either. And just as if I was slowly running out of energy moving my limbs about, I feel as though I’m sinking. Sinking into the depths.
It’s not like anything awful has happened. My life isn’t going to badly. But for some reason, I’m stuck. Perhaps I’m having a 30 something crisis, because, when I really think about it, I’m not sure what I want. And I can’t for the life of me figure out what will make me truly happy. I think that’s one of life’s most complex conundrums, happiness. So many of us go in search of it, not really knowing what it is, myself included.
The truth is I’m in transition. I’ve just got married, and it’s like, now what?? We’re about to move, which is unsettling in itself. But after we move, I’m not really sure what happens next. The plan is to save for a deposit so that we can eventually buy a house. It’s what I’ve wanted for a while, to be able to have somewhere I own that I can call home. But now I’m not sure if I want to keep slogging away, to buy a house that I can’t really afford and spend a lifetime paying it off.
But I’m sick of renting. No matter where you live, or house nice your house is, it never feels like home. Why? Because at the end of the day, it’s not yours. You can’t paint the walls your fave colour or add a cheeky little extension. You’ve got a landlord/estate agents breathing down your neck, and it all feels very invasive.
But if I don’t spend my hard earned cash on a house, then how will we live? The other day I watched this wonderfully inspiring documentary on Netflix called Expedition Happiness. I had a bit of an epiphany and was like, hang on second, what do I really want? It’s a documentary about a couple who convert an old American school bus into a home, and go travelling through Canada and America.
But as much as I want to jump on the ‘be yourself, live the life you want’ bandwagon, I’m wondering, how realistic is it to actually do something like this? When you’ve got two dogs, you want kids, and your husband’s got a decent job that you wouldn’t want to throw away. The beauty of what I do is that I can do it anywhere.
I just feel so torn. Torn between wanting to believe that you really can just follow your dreams and go against the grain, and knowing that the reality can be very different. I just don’t want to end my life having gone through the daily grind, kept striving to do better, to earn more, to be better at sport and to obtain life’s luxuries, when deep down maybe that’s not what I really want. It’s exhausting. What if your on death’s door, and you have this creeping feeling that you’ve been following the wrong path all these years?
Maybe it’s these deep thoughts that are causing me to slip into an almighty low at the moment. Perhaps it’s my mind trying to tell me I need to rethink things. It’s a bit of an odd time for me because I’m someone who is usually anxious. Even if I’m having a good month, I’ll still have periods of anxiety. But at the moment, I don’t feel anxious at all. I just feel sad. I wake up in the mornings and feel like life is weighing me down.
I’m not going to panic about how I’m feeling. I’ve got it under control. I’m letting the thoughts flow through my mind and the emotion leave my body whenever it wants to. If I want to cry, I cry. If I need to comfort myself, I do something helpful.
There will be times in your life when you feel stuck. When you’re kind of in limbo waiting for the next major life event to happen. And it can be incredibly frustrating. I’m sure I will be treading water for a little longer, but at some point the tide will change. I’ll be swept off in another direction and face a new challenge. But until then, I have to ride the waves. Whilst I’m treading water I might as well reflect on what’s really going on under the surface….
Main image by Kristida Photography.