Today I had a conversation with mum who told me not only was my blog boring but also self indulgent. Nothing like those close to you to stick the knife in!
Of course my blog is self indulgent, I told her, it's meant to be. Afterall it's about me and my travels, it just happens to be posted on a public forum so that my friends and family can follow what is going on in my life, rather than me having to ring or email them individually. Something I won't have the time or the inclination to do once I'm off on my adventure. Admittedly, other people I don't know might come across the blog, and so what? I've read some really interesting blogs of strangers that have both entertained and informed me. I hope that can be the case with my blog.
What hurt me the most was the disapproval of being self indulgent. One of the things that my bout with depression has taught me is that I actually feel guilty for indulging myself. Here I am with a great career, good income, ability to take time off and travel, and I feel so damn guilty!! For god's sake, I've put 10 years of my life into working in Aboriginal Health, I've put up with the physical and emotional hardship of travelling 2 weeks of every month out to remote communities and since I've stopped they are struggling to find anyone who will take up the baton. And I feel guilty!! No wonder I fell into the abyss.
Well I'm not going down that road anymore. I don't actually feel guilty any more for leaving my job. In a way I am angry that they took advantage of me, but I'm probably more angry at myself for letting them. I'm glad that they are at last realising and appreciating all the hard work I've been doing - even if it means clients get less service until they actually sort out the mess. No one person should be relied upon the way I was, something I was trying to communicate for some time before I pulled the pin. C'est la vie.
So now I'm learning to be indulgent. Not in a physical way - I already have lots of toys - but in an emotional way. I'm learning not to hide my feelings behind a wall of wit and sarcasm. I'm actually learning to be vulnerable.
And one way to do that is to write about my life and feelings. It's kind of liberating to just write things down and publish them into the ether. I trust my family and friends to love me for who I am so it isn't a threatening thing to do. And as for disapproval, tough titties!!
For the record, the aim of this blog is to let everyone know about my travels. Starting it early has allowed me to work out the teething problems involved in uploading pictures and writing blogs. But I also wanted to inform people about some of the decisions I am making in regards to travel plans, equipment, pre trip training etc, because if some stranger comes across my blog, some of that information might actually be helpful. Also, a trip always starts with the preparation, which is an exciting time and often something that friends and family enjoy being part of, so I wanted to share that. And finally, if someone out there who is also dealing with depression comes across my blog then maybe something I say can strike a chord with them and encourage them to seek help.
So indulge me!!!
Clem & I wish you every good fortune in this new stage of your life. We always wondered how on earth you coped with so much travel & angst in your old job - but as you say - you were always putting a bright face on everything.
Clem said to tell you not to worry about the knockers - we all always get them - just do what YOU really want to do - I think you've well & truly earned the right to do this.
Love from us both Jill & Clem