What do you do when your gut fails you? And I’m not talking about drinking more Actimel…Embed from Getty Images
All my life, my gut has lead me. It’s taken me in directions I didn’t plan, and made huge decisions on my behalf – even when my head (and parents) questioned it. Quit uni after a week? Yup, did it. Try another course two years later and quit again? Uh-huh… Trust me, every fibre of my being cringed doing this, but I never doubted my decision. Even now, with years of hindsight to potentially change my mind, I have no regrets.
I once left a secure job, where I was surrounded by friends, with no new job to go to and a mortgage to pay. This little life choice made my mum trick me into going to a Mexican restaurant, only for her to blurt out what a stupid thing I was doing before I’d taken so much as a sniff of my quesadilla.
And, to prove I’m not just a big fat quitter, I’ve also stuck out jobs that made me completely miserable – all because my gut told me I had to.
What a smug bitch, I’m sure you’re thinking. How wonderful to always make such great choices with ease.
You’ll be glad to hear, however, that my magical gut has gone quiet. Very quiet. And so here I am, the road in front of me forking into a million different directions, and Google Maps is broken.
Here’s the thing…I have a good job, a foot on the property ladder, and a long-term partner my gut tells me is for keeps. (You’re fully permitted to hate me even more now, btw.) But there’s an itch. And I have no idea how to scratch it.
Age definitely plays a part in all this. I was 17 when I quit uni (*cough* the first time), with all the time in the world to fuck up and start again. Now, 12 years on, it’s very different. Various clocks are ticking – biological, metabolical, botanical, clerical…OK, I ran out after metabolical. But I hope you catch my drift.
This is that funny age when half of your Facebook friends are posting BREAST IS BEST memes and half are still off ‘finding themselves’ and being generally wanky in Thailand. This was part of the reason I quit Facebook earlier this year. No-one ever says ‘Well, I had a completely unremarkable day today, and don’t have a fucking clue what I’m doing with my life’. And whether they’re bullshitting or not, they’re still contributing to the unrealistic parameters against which we end up measuring ourselves – even unintentionally.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is – I’m content really. I just don’t want to wake up at 40 wondering why I didn’t try harder, or travel more while I could, or go out on a limb and start a business. Really, though, it’s never too late to do any of those things. Perhaps it’s time I give my gut a break. She’s yet to fail me (she’s definitely a ‘she’), so I suppose I just gotta have a little more faith.