When I was fourteen years old I had no idea what career I wished to pursue, what I did know was that I wanted independence. As I grew up in a family oriented, conservative community, independence meant getting away. Had I stayed close to my family home I would have been unable to live my life in whatever way I chose because my family would have considered that those choices reflected back on them and would have been distressed that I did not show them the consideration that they deserved.
It took me nearly a decade to achieve my goal. I remember the first time my parents came to visit me in the small flat I had bought in Wiltshire, a few months after I landed my dream job across the Irish Sea. My mother was in tears within a day because I was not cooking as she suggested. I had given my parents the only bedroom to sleep in while I kipped on the sofa, and mother went through my wardrobe commenting critically on my new clothes. It was a tense visit. I love my parents dearly, and know that they love me beyond measure, but I need to be free of the restraints within which they would still try to hold me.
I have now lived with my husband for longer than I lived with my parents. Sometimes I find him trying to steer me in a direction that he sees as right because it is right for him. I feel the same resentments welling up that I felt all those years ago when my parents were urging me to live in a manner that they believed was best for me. I feel myself pushing against the restraints.
Self determination matters to me. For the years when I was raising three young children, they were the focus of everything I did. Now that they are old enough to be making many of their own choices, I find that I am at a junction in my life. I need to ensure that I go forward from here in a direction that suits me. I need to speak up for what I want and am finding it hard to convey this to my loved ones.
For now, my younger son accepts me for what I am. My daughter gets it most of the time. My elder son is more focused on moulding me to fit in with his perceptions of life in much the same way that my parents did.
I am fortunate that my husband is willing to support me, he allows me to be what I want even if he cannot always understand why. I am surrounded by love, but I need to find the words to explain to my family that I still require freedom to live within our nest in whatever manner I choose. I still need my independence.
At fourteen I knew where I wished to go but not the details of how I would achieve my goals, I feel that I am at a similar stage now. I am putting out feelers with my writing but am still finding my way. I am moving between writing sites, between fiction, book blogging and random posts such as this. I am active on social media but flit between building my presence as reader, writer, reviewer, commentator. I have been welcomed by so many on line communities, yet am unsure where best I fit. It is exciting, it is daunting.
Looking back on my life, many of the significant choices were made with no real idea of the impact on my future. My choice of job led me to my husband which led me to this life I lead now. I would not change where I am for the world. I will continue to fight for the detail, for my right to be the person I need to be. I will trust God, as I have always done, that where this leads me will be for the best.
I have no idea if my writing is good enough, if it is worth pursuing as anything more than a hobby. I am unsure if I am ready to devote the time that would be necessary to make it more than this. My family will always come first, but they will need to accept that I am a being in my own right. It is challenging stepping out into the unknown, especially as this time I wish to bring my loved ones with me.