When you just can't decide what to do
There are two tools I use when I'm feeling indecisive: one inspired by CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), another by SQ (spiritual intelligence).
I was 26, recently married and after having spent two years living in Somerset - a year in a village; a year in a town - I was back living in London.
On paper, life was good. I had a lovely husband, we’d spent Christmas in Goa, there was talk of possibly having children in the not-too-distant future.
And we had a flat in Clapton that we’d managed to buy very cheaply, as it was - like all the properties we’ve bought - derelict and dilapidated, and no one else wanted it.
But a big piece of my puzzle was missing: the work piece. I was pitching to write freelance articles and receiving rejection-after-rejection.
Other than the odd bit of copywriting, I couldn’t create the career I wanted.
I sat on the steps leading down to the front door (we had a first-floor flat) and when my dad came in and saw me, I started crying.
I’d been holding in my frustration and sadness at not being able to achieve what I wanted to, career-wise, for some time. Now, it was all coming out.
I just didn’t know what to do.
My dad offered words of encouragement, and I went back to the library to continue pitching article ideas (our flat was a building site and we didn’t have Wifi).
Soon after those tears, someone posted a job ad on Facebook for a full-time copywriting job with a high date rate, writing about films.
I applied and got the job.
At last, I was earning good money, had a clear focus to my days and I got to watch a lot of films.
But that wasn’t my dream job.
I’d trained to be a journalist, and that was what I loved doing.
It wasn’t until I was essentially fired from that copywriting job - for having a baby - that I returned to pitching articles and eventually (a year later, after launching my own digital magazine) I was commissioned by the Guardian to write an article.
If I could go back to 26-year-old me, sat on the stairs, feeling she was trying so hard but nothing much was coming her way and feeling very indecisive about whether this was the ‘right’ path, I’d try two things…
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