This week my job was made permanent. As my colleagues and I popped the cork on our celebratory Prosecco, I couldn't help but reflect on the difference a year makes.
Call it 'The Secret', 'Visualisation' or whatever else you want, but I'm a massive advocate of putting 'vibes' out to the universe and then working your ass off until you get the results you want. That said, my actual belief that the things I desire will manifest in my own life is often pretty low, so much so that I had to pinch myself when I was told I would be kept on in this job I never imagined I could even get.
One glass of Prosecco soon turned into three and then a bottle (oh who am I kidding, it was two!) as conversation moved, as it inevitably does, to our love lives. As we giggled through first date stories and worst chat up lines a weird feeling came over me, a sudden sadness. I realised in that moment (a little fuzzy headed I'll admit!) how much my life has changed and that a little part of me was fighting it.
Just over a year ago I was single, working temporary contract roles, living one adventure to the next. It was exciting, it was risky, it was against everything I had been taught someone in their late twenties should be doing. I loved the variety, the freedom to do what I wanted (and that my purse could allow of course!) but I hated the loneliness, the disappointments and the lack of anything permenant or longterm in my life. I was making the most of my life but secretly hoping for some foundations; love and a 'purpose'. Fast forward to 2018 and you wouldn't recognise me. I've not only met the most kind, gorgeous man but we're now living together and spend our weekends cooking, Netflix binging and generally enjoying our cosy new home - a far cry from my singleton days a mere few months before.
So why the knot in my stomach the other night? Perhaps this permanent job is more symbolic than I realised, the last step in erasing my once free-spirited ways. Am I settling down, am I giving up a piece of myself or is this a natural transition into the next phase of my life, a new chapter, a new identity?
Maybe it's my FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or maybe it's even a bit of self-sabotage - that I somehow don't deserve this life I've worked so hard to build? I'm not sure right but what I am sure of is how anxious and afraid I am to 'settle', even though I'm the most content I've been in years.
We all have different values and beliefs and these dictate our choices and the lives we build for ourselves. If your external reality doesn't reflect those values and beliefs, this is when suffering can occur, or in my case, those pangs of anxiety. I value, above everything else: love, adventure and freedom - the three things that don't exactly scream 'permanent job' but perhaps that's my perception, perhaps I'm looking at this all wrong?
A permanent job guarantees money and paid annual leave - ideal for the wanderlust among us! Having a permanent job means getting to know colleagues, building proper relationships, rather than swanning into a company for two months and then onto the next. Yes the experience you gain from working in different companies and industries is priceless but grounding yourself in a company brings the opportunity to grow, learn and progress up the ladder (and pay grade) Perhaps it's possible that this fear of 'permanence' has actually been holding me back from something more meaningful in my life, and that I now have the opportunity to see how far I can go instead running off to the next thing, the next person, or the next place?
Black and white thinking can taint so much in our lives if we allow it to. For me, I must learn to see the opportunity in change and not fear it or try to run from it. What are you holding onto from your past? What challenges are you seeing as obstacles and not opportunities to grow, change and develop? Life, after all, is a series of chapters and plot twists that make up the final story, how do you want to live yours?