I was speaking to a good friend of mine yesterday about Identity. We live in a free society, we can forge out our own roles, our own careers, our own paths. We can pretty much do as we please, but still, we find ourselves increasingly despondent and lacking, down about our options, and increasingly dependent on money. We might be able to do what we want to a certain extent, but we all still have to have money to live, and also, a little bit of money to do the things that make us happy.

I hear the low hum of dissent ‘you don’t need money to take a walk in the countryside’, ‘you don’t need money to sit on a beach’, no – I know all that – I do such things as often as I can. But you do need money to feed yourself, to heat your house, to rent or own a property, so I see such things as going for a nice walk as something you can do after all the other things are done. So for instance. If I want to indulge in my hobbies of singing and composing and writing – I can not do any of that for free. Manuscript paper costs, as do pencils etc. What’s my point? We all have a goal which makes us truly happy – but there are limits, constraints, big compromises you have to make to get there. How does this affect identity? As a woman, I sadly have to concede that in my mid 30’s it affects me a lot.

Call me broody, hormonal, ticking clock – whatever you like, but my identity is difficult to mark. Something’s missing. I do not have the money or luxury to pursue my creative endeavours as much as I want, and more than that, I really feel the gap of no children in my life. I immerse and throw myself into many different tasks to ‘give me a purpose’ and quieten that ticking in the background. But we are all still animals, instinctive beings, as much as civilised society can mitigate such instincts to a certain degree, we have to still acknowledge that huge part of us all. What actually is my identity?

Men – provide, take care of their families, earn money, ‘hunt’ for food, protect. Old fashioned – but how I’ve been feeling for the past year – and I know i’m not the only one… Women – nest, care for their family, take care of the home, worry, cook, clean, I know not the same in all cases, but I know this is how I ‘feel’ and how a lot of my friends of the same age feel. So when we can’t do what we feel we should be doing we feel lost. Lethargic, inertia, trapped. I can’t immerse mysef in the things I love because the day job must come first. It pays the mortgage. It is stressful though, and my hobbies help with that, but… it still doesn’t help with my identity. I’m not a career woman, i’m nothing special at my job, so therefore I just pootle along – another worker on the treadmill.

What’s the answer? I don’t know. Life isn’t easy. We all know that, I feel a change coming, I feel restless and agitated and frustrated. Maybe it’s the looming of the meeting on the 13th? Maybe I’m just not happy with my career choices – I can’t regret what I’ve done because it’s got me a home, and I do participate in many things which make me happy, so it could be SO much worse. Ungrateful? Perhaps I am. But I just can’t ignore my feelings. Ignoring my feelings put me on medication twice this year so I need to face this head on. Just not sure where to start quite yet – maybe it’s time to relax and enjoy the festive season, the new year brings new challenges, I always find a new determination too…