I need you to stay with me for a minute, because I know in the past I’ve undoubtedly told you all that juggling a career, a family, and a love of travel (full-time blog?) is TOTALLY POSSIBLE and that anyone can have it all. But, guess what? I’m 30 now. Almost 31.
That thirty-something threshold acted as some kind of bridge to a parallel universe where I found myself shifting my world views and priorities seemingly overnight. I don’t know what exactly it was about entering my 30’s, but I found myself not giving one little sh*t about what people thought of me anymore and truly embracing that old ‘time is short’ mantra.
My rose-tinted glasses were shed and I began to see my life in a different light. I love my family, they are undoubtedly my number one, and I’d give up all the rest if it meant a happier life for them. Thankfully, a happier life in my family’s world is the equivalent of a happy mom – and this mom needs the occasional night off or flight of fancy. I also love my career. I can be unreasonably passionate about social advertising or content marketing strategies, and the science of emojis is real people. Travel, of course, is this entirely separate beast. When I’m stressed or depressed or homesick – a trip is the perfect medication.
Can you really have it all?
Do you know the scene in Sixteen Candles where Molly Ringwald wakes up on her 16th birthday, rushing to the mirror to see if she has finally grown those breasts she was waiting for? I grew the breasts of knowledge when I turned thirty.
This post is becoming my weirdest ever, but I’m almost there. Promise.
I began truly looking at the life I was living. I was working too hard for little reward, I was doing the best I could with my family but always found myself too tired (or grumpy) for fun after a day of work, and I was still travelling but I was much too busy trying to keep the job and family afloat that I totally dropped the ball on The Fly Away American.
I love this blog. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have the same relationship with their little piece of the web – but I’ve met some of my greatest friends, had some of my biggest adventures, and become part of an amazing travel community due to this little hunk of ramblings.
A restructure was in order. 2017 has been a total transformation for my family and I. I quit my job and went back to freelancing. My time, my schedule. We moved to South London, trading penthouse views for grass and squirrels – and foxes. (More on this soon.) We began to make serious plans for our future as a family – how can we make the most of this one little life we’ve been given? And I found myself breathing again.
Who made us believe that we NEED to have it all?
Nobody is superhuman! Nobody has it all! I can guarantee if you know somebody who (from the outside in) has everything flowing in perfect harmony – a blossoming career, happiest of family, and still manages time for a social life – THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY SEEM. If they are a woman, at least one of these things brings crippling guilt, at least on occasion. For me it was always the school trips that are scheduled in mid-morning making it near impossible to attend unless you take a day’s holiday. Sorry working moms and dads, you can’t go play on a pirate ship with your kid today.
It’s not possible to give three separate realms of existence 100% of your time, energy and passion. It’s mathematically not sound. I’ve never focused too much on family travel here, so I honestly have no idea how many parents follow this blog, but I need you to know that it’s OKAY.
I’m 30. Almost 31. I didn’t become an all-seeing grown-up (am I an adult now?) who figured their life out. I simply decided what was most important to me, and made the changes I needed to in order to give those priorities the biggest possible percentage of myself that I could mathematically offer.
I will prioritise my family – which also means prioritising my health and happiness. I will attempt a career, but on my own terms, and without guilt. Your job will never be a regret on your deathbed. I will travel and write, but I won’t beat myself up over either.
In my 20’s I could have it all, but now that I’m in my 30’s I’ve realised I don’t want to.