Friday, 4 May 2007

I just read an interesting article about mental health at different stages of life. I have been wondering a bit about my mental health!
One of the points they make is that the 20s are a really hard decade to live through. You are working out how you want your life to be and deciding whether the values you thought you would live by when you grew up, are the values you still want to uphold. I think it is also a decade of navel gazing because you don't have anyone much who is dependent on you so there is plenty of time for thinking about your identity and your life.
This can be a blessing and a curse.

I am finding it scary to now reach an age where I am living out the adult life I used to day dream about, and it is not exactly how I planned it. I know that my teenage and even early 20s ideas of what being this age would be like were pretty unrealistic, but realising that the world is not quite my oyster has been a bit of a shock.

The other thing which I am noticing is that at Uni I felt as if I was very similar to my friends and that we all wanted similar things for our futures. But now the differences are becoming apparent. Not necessarily in the deep things but in the order we choose to do things in life or the different priorities we hold. It feels a bit lonely and scary to making some life decisions which are very different to my friends who I am used to think are the same.

But I am also excited. This is when my true identity begins and I get to write my own story, to work out what makes me and my husband different from the other couples we know. I don't mean it to sound as if I think it is a comparison excercise or competition. Just that you have to start going it alone and knowing you are okay with your choices, even if others don't agree or choose differently.

One thing I am pondering is the sneaky suspision that there is more to me that I had thought. That the identity I have built up so far is not the full picture and that my life could go in directions I had not dreamed were possible even 5 years ago. I like that. I like that my life is not a path to follow but something I am discovering along the way.

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