Isn't that what life is about? Getting what you want?
Well. Kind of yes. But also kind of no.
A lot of the time, what we think we want is not very close to what we actually want, let alone what we need. Being very honest with oneself is hard, so most of the time "what we want" is much more along the lines of "what we think we should want". Going down that path can be very painful and pointless. It's the kind of situation where we study at university for a profession we don't care about, deep in denial and unable to quit. It's the situation where we don't tell the toxic friend that it's no good or where we stay in the relationship because it looks good on paper.
If we are lucky, we wake up from this sooner in life rather than later. In that sense, I believe I had my midlife crisis somewhere in my twenties. After a few painful adjustments, my life is now on what feels like the right track. At least at the moment. I don't think I'll "wake up" twenty years down the line, wondering how I got there. But I know that it happens to a lot of people, especially people with kids. They keep you so busy and you make so many sacrifices that you don't even notice what you want anymore.
Anyway, getting what you want isn't actually that hard. Knowing what you want and finding the courage, though, that's the really tough bit. You'll be amazed at just how much starts working out in your favour when you get clear on what you want and just start going after it. suddenly, you have the salary you want, the job you love, the apartment you've been dreaming of and perhaps even the partner you didn't know you wanted but who is so refreshingly different from all the other people you've been with.
It happens. And fast.
Four years ago, I felt completely stuck. Now, I have everything.
Sure, I sigh about my teenage son and wish he were a bit less teenagery. I roll my eyes and wonder what to do with all the things in the house. I have serious decorating mishaps. I am not a millionaire (yet).
But when it comes right down to it, I have everything I want and more than I would ever have asked for by myself.
And all I did was find out what that was and then keep my eyes open. Stuff happens in the strangest ways. I found this apartment by accident (I was looking for something else on the classifieds at the time). My remote job, apart from Covid, had mostly to do with my mentioning (not even asking) to my boss that my son wasn't doing all that well in school. The job itself I got because I answered a random ad (among quite a few) on the student mailing list. The husband I found in an elevator, sort of. At a conference for something I never thought I'd get into and still am not really into. I actually just wanted to help Simon sort some stuff out.
And the courage and cheerleading - well, those I found on the internet (hi, Cata).
Come to think of it, all of this started because I wanted to help Cata find out how to publish and market books. I looked for a podcast, found one that sounded like the right thing but turned out to be more of a self-help situation, kept listening, listened to a million more, and suddenly started figuring stuff out and putting money into my saving account.
I was dead broke four years ago.
Today, looking at whether to buy a house and talking about the down payment with my husband, I can suddenly say "oh, I have half of the money we'd need down already lying around....that's not nothing, is it?".
I tend to forget about my savings account which is exactly why I have it set up the way I do.
If you do the little bits, big things pile up while you are not looking.