Friday, 10 October 2014

The Mistakes We Make

The Prompt 38 from @mumturnedmom has really set me thinking.  I'm sure this is the point of doing these things but sometimes I get introspective to the point of paralysis!  Several ideas ran amok through my brain but I think I've banished the unhelpful thoughts and come up with something I feel mostly happy with.

Voices. I'm hearing voices.  Don't worry, I've not gone doolally, well no more than usual.  I'm pondering mistakes as a topic and I'm hearing voices from my past.  All the people, well meaning I'm sure, telling me what I should do. 

School days.  Advice on what qualifications to take.  You didn't do well in History so don't do it at A level.  Do Geography instead.  You're not very good at French, try Biology.  I was rubbish at A level Biology - no O level Chemistry so much of it was gobbledygook. I have little interest in Geography but my mates seem to be having fun in A level History.  I should have listened to myself rather than those advisers.

College days.  Leaving after 4 happy years to what?  Deep desire to work in theatre.  All the work seemed to be in London.  Don't move to London; it's too big, too busy, too uncertain.  So I go home, apply for jobs I don't want and end up working for the council.  I should have listened to myself rather than those naysayers.

Teaching.  A job I loved at a school I loved.  One bully ruined my career.  I listened to advice.  If you're unhappy you should leave.  Life is too short to stay where you're unhappy.  So I left.  I've never really settled anywhere since, flitting from job to job trying to find my place.  I regret listening to those advisers so much.  I should have listened to myself.

So what have I learnt?  That I should listen to myself; that I'm the only one that can decide what's best for me; that however well meaning folk are they can't know what's best for me.  Some of the biggest mistakes I've made have been when I've put too much faith in what others have told me I should do. I'm one of those people who worry too much about what others think. I always try to please other people which has led me to agree to things I don't want to do because I'm afraid to say 'No' and risk upsetting them.  It's also led me to make some mistakes in my life that I regret.  They haven't all proved to be disastrous but my life would have taken different paths had I not listened to others and followed my heart.

 Am I too British to be selfish?  Everyone else before me; don't rock the boat; after you Claude, no after you Cecil.

Shame it took me this long to realise it!


  1. Yes, it's taken me until I'm in my 40's to realise that actually I know myself better than anyone else and am eminently capable of making the right choices. If I listed my mistakes along the lines you describe, honestly it would fill a small book! I'm desperately hoping both my children have the self belief to listen to their own voices early on and not take years like me :)

  2. Glad I'm not the only slow learner! It's a difficult thing to really look at yourself and work out what sort of person you are; I found it rather painful but I'm glad that I think I've finally done it.

  3. It's good to have some self belief and I'm glad you've learned to follow your heart. x

  4. ...but now you do realise it! I am terrible for taking on others opinions. Last night my hubby asked if he could read my post, before I published it. I didn't let him as I know just on little grimace on his part and I wouldn't have published. A very honest post. #ThePrompt

  5. Great post!
    I'm 44 and have only recently worked this out for myself.
    "I'm the only one that can decide what's best for me"
    Indeed! :) X

  6. It's taken me a long time to realise the same. You are absolutely right that no one else knows what is best for you. I think sometimes that we have to go through times like these to show us what we really want, and to develop that self belief. Thanks so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  7. Wonderful. Loved the little internal dialogues through this post. The last line is great.