To Chose, Despite the Unknown
They say that, illness, being a parent, and living in a rural/regional setting can all isolate you from the world. I just happen to tick all three of those boxes. There have been times especially in the past five years since my twins arrived, that I have felt the immense pressure of isolation.
Now that my twin girls are headed off to school, my mind has started seriously considering what am I going to do. I mean I have kept myself relatively busy, being a mum, though now for me I want to do something more. I want to contribute to the household again in a monetary way, and I want to feel the satisfaction I once got out of working. Though the idea of working is now daunting.
The last time I held any formal employment was before having my son, who will be eight in March. It was pre diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the idea of going out into the world and finding employment with my disability is a new mind field that I have never had to face before. Not to mention, I just don’t think I am capable or want to do what I did before. Now living with the unpredictability of my disease, I want it to be something I enjoy, and that fits within the limitations of my condition.
This is not the first time I have asked myself ‘what do I want to do when I grow up?’ or should I say, when my kids grow up! I have bantered with ideas, and I have even attempted to go back and study, as to give myself some form or formal qualification. My study attempts have failed. With fatigue, brain fog and a young family I just couldn’t get my brain to work with me, in the way I needed. Although I am currently studying, very slowly I might add a Diploma of Counselling, I am more doing it, to concrete the life skills I already have, and to have a piece of paper to wave around, so people may take me seriously.
My passion, which I suppose I have known for some time now, is writing and photography. There was a time when I thought they were my hobby, though now I am fast realising that they are something I love. Writing for me is an art, I love to weave words on paper to paint a picture for the reader. I have even become obsessed with writing reviews for places I have been, because it means I can describe my experience using an array of words, thus painting a picture for others. Similarly, with photography, the patience it takes to capture the moment, a single photograph which can tell a thousand stories. The excitement and pride I feel when my photo becomes what I could see in my mind.
I am fortunate that I have a husband who always tells me that no matter what you do I will support you 100%. I think even if I wanted to be a circus clown, he would say ok. Actually he would probably go out and buy my first big red nose and unicycle to get me started! His confidence in my abilities completely outshines my own. Instead I sit here filled with anxiety about my future. With my 40th birthday just past, am I seriously thinking of wiping the slate clean of everything I have known before and following a dream?
Coupled with the unknown of my disability and the anxiety that come with PTSD, my self-esteem dwindling, I have to ask myself what do I have to lose? Everything? Nothing? So what I have Multiple Sclerosis, and PTSD, but do they not just add colour to my palate of words? I know that having these too challenges in my life, just makes me want a more authentic life, where I have no regrets for what I didn’t try! I want to live, a full life, even more so now, because of these two ailments.
So where to from here? My mind filled with questions. I know I want to continue to use my words to advocate, and support others with these conditions, though how do I also make this a job? Not just any job! A job that will help me to break out of my world of isolation and re-join the world, and not just the online world, the world as a whole.