No regrets? Is this a statement that adds yet more pressure?

So I am in my lowest slump yet.

The job search is starting to feel hopeless. I’ve lashed out at my brother and blurted out my hurt feelings after a long time of holding them in. I’m welling up at the drop of the hat but something inside stays strong – only I can get out of this. No-one can attend the interviews for me so giving up is not an option.

Was it a mistake to go to Jamaica for a once in a lifetime opportunity?

Honestly, I think (if you follow the same people on social media as I do) we are never supposed to acknowledge a failure or mistake and instead just take it as a lesson and learn. (I mean how many times do we see from the very wise statements like “I never lose, I either win or learn” )

I won’t argue with one of the wisest, inspiring and influential men of a lifetime (Nelson Mandela if the quote isn’t familiar). But when it comes to someone like, me does this apply?

I am going to be brave and say yes – maybe I made a mistake. But only through one lens.. career wise it was.  I had a niggle and I still went. I left a great job where I was having a a great time and could have progressed. The job and company was horrendous and has put my career back (for now!)

However, Nelson Mandela is wiser than me so what I have learned or what does this cement what I already knew?

Life isn’t just a career for me. At the moment I have lost sight of that. Life is on hold till I can get a  job. I feel in a bubble away from life – I am not making plans for “after work”, I am not buying new clothes as I don’t know when the next pay cheque is in, I can’t plan a holiday and I am stressed in a different way to any stress I have experienced before.

But look forward to when this is over, I don’t want to be defined only as my career. A few years ago, an ex colleague got in touch, just married he asked the dreaded  question of “how’s your love life?” and when I reeled off the same answer “non existent” his comment was – oh you’re too much of a career girl. Being honest, that stung. He knew me from work, he’d seen how much of me it absorbs. But what he saw isn’t how I see myself and my job isn’t the full picture of me.

I am someone who wants to meet someone and have a happy home and family life (that doesn’t mean kids necessarily)

I have great friends and they have to feature in my spare time. Plus wow, friends and family have really come through during this time.

I want a home where I can entertain friends and return the amazing weekends. I love to host, I love to cook.

I am socially conscious and I haven’t really done enough to put this to action yet.

I love to travel

I’d love to do something different in the future but still can’t work out what that is.

I love health and fitness

So, back to my question of did I make a mistake as believe me it’s hard not to be bitter right now.

If I take the career lens off the camera and look ahead, what an amazing chapter to my life story.  How I can I say that 14 months in the Caribbean was a mistake?

What did it teach me?

Well I was scared – I mean really scared. I had to start anew in a new country and company and my biggest worry was being lonely. Within a week I had friends and a great social life.  I am a good person who is liked.  I am capable of more than I think I am.

What else did it give me?

I went on private jets. 13 new countries added to my map, new friends, I got my PADI certification and now I can scuba dive, I actually do like kayaking despite years of thinking I didn’t, I can paddleboard.I had a week sailing with a friend I would later lose and I will never see again.

I learnt that I was right to ignore the advice of those so cautious they felt under threat every day living in a poor country and I went out walking by myself and didn’t get attacked. I gave people the benefit of the doubt and they proved me right – people are generally nice.

I proved to Jamaicans I worked with who were jaded with ex-pats and I let them see that we aren’t all the same. I have great Jamaican friends.

I learnt that Rum hurts your head. There is no mixer to prevent the headache despite what they tell you.

I saw a world where life is hard.

It was grounding and it was an adventure and it will be worth it.

Plus – really if none of the above were true, then what?

We can regret, I think we should be allowed to. If we had time travel perhaps we wouldn’t have hurt that person, lied etc but the truth is,  there is no time machine and we can’t change the past.

So what are the options?

For me, I have to turn this around. And I will. Only I can (and the agencies I am with!)

For the other elements in life, take the lessons and don’t do it again. If you cheated, if you lied, don’t in the future. Work out why you did, if you cheated as you didn’t have the courage to leave the person,  understand how much worse it was to take that route out and be more honest in the future. Apologize where necessary and change re-set your choices.

I will turn this around and you know what – bitterness and regrets are wasted energy. I need to put that into updating my CV, giving a killer interview, networking.

One of the tools I love is Stephen Covey’s circle of influence and control.

Too long in the wrong circle – you’re wasting your time and bringing down the people who can help and support you.

I am going to live life in the circle of influence and pick myself up, wipe away the tears and prep for the  meetings tomorrow.



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