I think in general I have pretty good instincts but I am pretty crap at acting upon them. I’ll give you a few examples:
I thought I should have left my job at the homeless hostel within about 6 months of starting there. But I thought I would be letting people down or that it might not look good on my CV if I was only in a job for 6 months.
After a year with my ex boyfriend I thought that things weren’t working and that I should leave but various things had led me to think I wasn’t strong enough to cope on my own. So I stayed and he made me miserable and I tried to make him happy but couldn’t. I stayed for 2 years and for that whole time he was cheating on me.
The week before I moved here I went to visit my dad and told him that he needed to start looking after himself because I wasn’t coming back for 2 years and I didn’t want this visit to be the last time I saw my dad alive. He thought I was being ridiculous but we still talked about things like wills and getting his important paperwork sorted out. I don’t know why I said that to him in the glow of a summer afternoon’s sunshine but I just knew somehow that I needed to because my instincts told me he wasn’t well. And two weeks later his doctor’s visit told him he had terminal cancer. Four weeks and 3 days later he was dead and that visit had been the last time I saw my dad alive in any real sense. Of course I saw him for the two days before he died in his hospice bed but by that time he was not really recognisable as my father – the person who told me that I should say ‘May I get down from the table?’ rather than ‘Can I get down from the table?’, the person who would push me on the swing and let me push off his tummy with both feet just to get higher, the person who kept a text message from me saying ‘I love penguins I do’ on his phone for 4 years because it made him giggle.
So I think I know somehow when I need to change things but mostly I’m too afraid to do so because I don’t want to let other people down or disappoint anyone. But I’m 29 now. I don’t want to be living to please others and keeping on to see if it will be alright when I know deep down somewhere that it won’t. And so I’ve come to a decision.