From a young age, we are told there is a path to follow through life. It consists of a number of steps, and completing those steps leads to a “successful” life.
- Get good marks at school
- Attend university
- Find a job with a decent salary using your degree from university
- Find a great partner and marry them
- Have children
- Life a long life and die peacefully
It is drilled into us that following these steps will lead to a successful and happy life, full of security and acceptance. With the exception of #6, so far I have reached step 5 with varying levels of success (in the normative sense). I have a steady job, married to a beautiful woman, and have a lovely daughter.
But that is where the good things end.
The longer I worked in my “successful” career, moving up from a student, to junior, to a senior position, the more I became disillusioned with my career choice. I struggle to get out of bed on days I have work, I procrastinate at work, and I wish I could spend more time at home with Miss 1. I wish I could win the lotto to pay off our debts so that we stop becoming dependent on our incomes and can work reduced hours, enough to cover our living expenses.
Even though following the steps, many people would say that I have been successful, I do not feel like I am successful. I feel like a complete and utter failure. I cannot live up to the expectations I set for myself for work, family and life in general.
Maybe I’m just not cut out for this life any more, maybe I just need to accept defeat, but I cannot continue living my life this way for the next 50 or so years. So what do I do? I need to find a way to move away from the blueprint of life and find happiness in what I do. But I only seem to be able to talk about it and not actually do anything about it.