I'm happy to admit to quite often feeling lost. I don't think I'm alone in this, nor do I think only widowed people feel this way. Perhaps it is a result of our modern society with all it's myriad choices. Or perhaps being a single parent has something to do with it.
The thing is, it's self perpetuating. You may start off in life quite sure of your choices, or you may not. But every time you change your mind or find a new interest or fail at something and lose a little confidence - it adds to the inner confusion about just what exactly it is you should be doing with your life. Even if you don't fail, things can get dull and repetitive.
Since I was about 6 I wanted to be a writer. But I didn't think I could do that as a career because it seemed to difficult to make a living out of. So I started turning to other interests, and as I am a person with many interests the pile of things I enjoyed grew and I found I could build enthusiasm, at least temporarily, for most things. I went through years of wanting to be a vet because of watching All Creatures Great and Small. I came to choose options and listened to a careers officer who though economics would be good for me! It wasn't. I was choosing a degree course and followed the advice - do something you really love; and so I chose a degree in Geology and Cartography. After all I was doing Geology A level and had loved maps for years.
That degree did get me quite far. I did OK, got a couple of related jobs and set up my own Cartographic freelance business. I still do this and I still have some enthusiasm for it too. However, my real passion, I think, is still in books and writing. I have started writing a couple of novels, but something always stops me. Is it simply life getting in the way, or is it something bigger?
Well of course there is a lot of fear of failure. In writing this blog I bare my soul to the world and that is pretty scary. I have only had very positive feedback - thank you - but this is a mini project, not a business or money maker. What happens when I try to sell my work?
This is one side of my issue; the lack of purpose. The other side is: who am I doing this for? I have to make a living to bring up my daughter and have a few treats. I can't rely on others for help all the time and I want to be financially independent. But I can't help but feel: what is it all for? Make money just to spend it? Have nice things? Go on holidays? Feel fulfilled? Accomplished?
The point is, without a partner there to spur me on, encourage me and generally make things worth working for, it all feels a little empty. I know it should be enough to do it for myself and for my daughter, but I can't help but still feel there is still this other great hole in our lives. Another reason to work hard, to aspire for a better life and to make it all worthwhile.
Yes I want to be successful. I want to sell novels or just write copy and make a living. But how do I find my mojo? How do I keep up my passion through the long days and difficult times? Without someone there to share it all a firm purpose is a tricky thing to grasp and then keep hold of. For now I do it all for Sophie and me - to try and obtain a little piece of independence and security. I can only hope that at some point in the future I find my missing mojo and the strength to keep on getting up and facing reality - along with the energy that appears to have been sapped by the lack-of-purpose monster.
It's not that things are all bad, it's just they aren't how I would wish. But Life so seldom is and I need to just get on with it. So I'm off in search of my mojo - because it's not going to come and find me - and I will try my best to enjoy the process.