This past weekend I had a realisation. A pretty harsh one at that. I’ve been travelling to escape my life…
I’d spent about 4 or 5 weeks prior to this weekend doing not much more than sleeping with the exception of a few Christmas celebrations. I stayed indoors the rest of the time and although I didn’t feel particularly sad, I was incredibly unmotivated. I assumed I just needed to rest and didn’t really think much of it.
This weekend, I was having a conversation with my boyfriend about life and our future plans. Out of nowhere I became completely overwhelmed with worry about my future- mostly about my career/job prospects. I realised that I hadn’t just been tired for the last few weeks. Actually, I’d been “tired” for the last year and a half, when I first returned from Canada. That’s when I first started hating work with a passion and started losing my tolerance for meaningless jobs. At that time, I’d just quit a job I hated in Toronto and returned home deflated after a few weeks of unemployment.
Instead of taking steps at that time to sort it out and find what it was that I enjoyed doing, I took a part time office job (that I hated) and saved every penny so that I could travel again ASAP. 6 months later, I quit that job and travelled to Canada again where I got another office job. Shock, I quit that too- to travel. I was travelling to escape having to deal with responsibility and real life. Over the last 18 months I’ve become progressively less productive during my time in Scotland and spent more and more time in bed. But I kept pretending everything was fine, even when my travels started being tainted by depression.
Travelling to escape
Sitting in the car opposite my boyfriend, I started to cry as I suddenly realised that I’ve been avoiding reality all this time. My life had become so stagnant. I’d been running from everything I hated but never replaced those things with things I liked. I just buried my head in the sand hoping some miracle would happen and my dream job would land at my feet. Since 2016 I’ve quit 4 jobs, yet never really made any real, consistent attempt at finding or creating a job that I might actually like. Instead, I’ve found whatever shitty job I could find and saved just enough to allow me to travel.
Travelling meant that I could avoid the shitty jobs for a little while. I could live in this fantasy world where money wasn’t an issue and life was 24/7 fun. At least for a little while. And when the money ran out I’d just rinse and repeat. Don’t get me wrong, I do genuinely love to travel and will continue to go on holidays when I can afford to. But for the last couple of years I’ve been travelling to escape real life. I know that a lot of people do this to an extent with holidays but I took it to a whole new, very unhealthy, level. I realised that if I continue like this I’ll end up living a very miserable existence. I can’t avoid working and keep quitting jobs forever.
Now that I’ve had this realisation and admitted it to myself, I feel like I can start moving forward. My main focus right now is my health. The reason I’ve failed at “finding what I love” in the past is because I put an immense amount of pressure on myself. This caused me to become depressed, disheartened and eventually give up. Once I’m in a better head space, then I can effectively start making small steps towards a career. One that I’ll enjoy.
In the meantime, I have enough money to keep me floating and plenty of time to figure things out. One step at a time.