Figuring out what your want from life, in all its many aspects, is not a simple process. You often need to take a punt and usually experience a lot of things you don’t want before you finally know what it is you do want. I think this is true of work, relationships, travel and probably everything.
One of the most positive ways of looking at a ‘failing’ or a ‘sadness’ in your life is to see what you’ve learned about yourself. Every new experience is a lesson, you’re learning who you are and what works for you. Don’t in something (job, whatever) that isn’t working because you’re afraid of having wasted time. You haven’t. It’s all valuable information.
I think about the Etsy business I stopped pursuing and I sometimes feel guilty, stopping just when it was on the rise. But I had chosen to go back to uni and to put my writing first. Everything I learnt from that business will be valuable to future jobs and the way I go about a writing career. Those years and hundreds of pieces of jewellery were no wasted just because I didn’t hit the big time.
I recently had a wonderful couple of days of sex that ultimately left me feeling unhappy and alone. Why was this? It took me days to figure out that in this relationship I was lacking something I want in a sexual partner. It wasn’t romantic love or an exclusive commitment. What I now know I need from my sex partners, is companionship (which may be more easily achieved in an exclusive loving relationship). Sex, for me, is with a friend not a stranger (or worse, a friend who then acts like a stranger) and that’s just something new I’ve learnt about myself.
Don’t beat yourself up, that’s wasted energy. Just know you’ve learnt and grown.