Life begins at 40?

Welcome to the next iteration of my ramblings. I rambled my way through my teens, scrawling out my adolescent angst using colourful pencils, plain exercise books, and really bad poetry. I documented the ‘uni-years’ in photographic format, compiling mix-tapes and the odd drunken ramble about my latest unrequited crush. Then came my Australian-based ramblings when I moved here in my early 30s and rode the 2nd wave of my misspent youth. God, it was fun! As much as I hate to admit it, there’s no getting away from the fact this blog will form my middle-aged ramblings. I find myself here, typing on my bay-side Melbournian balcony, five years older, a little bit larger and lonelier, quite a bit single but significantly more qualified. I’ve just finished a psychology degree.

And yet in many ways, I’m no closer to ‘finding myself’ than I was when I lept out of my Dad’s car to move into halls of residence at university at 18 or packed my bags for a new life in Australia at 32. I’m still crippled by opportunities, dissatisfied with my lot and looking for the next bright shiny thing to come around the corner. But over years I’ve made a decent dent in deciding what I DON’T want in life, so that’s progress.

The big questions that require answers in the next few months are as follows:

  • Career direction

Do I jump from my very well-meaning, tough charity gig and get below average pay? Or sell my soul and move back to the corporate world which I’ll hate but can do care-free? Or do I pursue the dream of clinical psychology, eventual flexible working, running my own practice? Or side-step into a dream field using both current skills and my psych?

  • Do I stay or do I go?

Remain or leave? My very own Brexit dilemma (a constant expat quandary). Do I stay here in Aus, living my life of guaranteed summers, good food, and laidbackness (I can’t think of a better word!)? Or do I move back into my south London pad for a couple of years, get to know my niece and nephew, and support my sister in managing our mother with premature Alzheimer’s before we move her into the inevitable care home?

There are easy answers and hard answers. Rational and emotional. Answers which change every time I talk to someone different. I can ask advice but the decision is mine and needs to be a solution I can accept.

And so I’m taking July off work. I don’t know where I’ll go, but I hope you’ll come with me.

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