Give my life a meaning

So my ex-boyfriend’s baby girl arrived on Monday and my cousin gave birth to a son yesterday. That’s the latest round of babies over then. Isn’t it funny how these things always seem to come in waves? The ex’s baby wasn’t due until the beginning of June and my cousin’s baby came around 2 weeks late. Really, they should have been pretty much exactly a month apart, but instead two babies of my acquaintence come along in the same week. I am happy for them of course, especially my cousin. It’s about time there was a new addition on that side of the family – the last one is at school now! But my happiness is tinged with something almost like nostalgia, if you can feel nostalgic for something that isn’t in the past? Every time a pregnancy is announced, a baby is born or someone gets married I am reminded that this is something I’m unlikely ever to have. Meet someone, fall in love, move in together then get married and have a baby (the last two not necessarily in that order) is something for other people. My story ended somewhere around fall in love. Okay, I now live with my boyfriend, but only with a certain amount of reluctance on his part. And now I’m rapidly approaching 30, which means if (and it’s a big  if) anything does happen I’ll already be old (in parenting terms) before my first child comes along, which was the last thing I wanted.
Don’t get me wrong, I can totally understand why nobody would ever want to settle down with me. I’m argumentative, constantly say the wrong thing – or say the right thing in the wrong way (I hear my mother’s voice in my head at this point: “It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it!”), I have next to no social competence and a tendency to see the worst in things. I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with me either, if I had a choice. Which I obviously don’t. And I am aware that I am actually lucky. I should be grateful for what I’ve got – a wonderful boyfriend who loves me (even if he doesn’t know what he wants, which, after 7 years, would suggest that it definitely isn’t me!), a job that I am actually good at, I enjoy and where I have nice colleagues and a fantastic boss, a family who loves me (and who are far enough away not to constantly annoy me 😉 ). I should be happy. And yet… I’m not. Admittedly this  may just be another example of my constant negativity. I’m probably one of those people, who can never be satisfied no matter what. But I can’t help but think my life has no meaning. I’m just wandering around aimlessly with no idea what I want… although I do have a pretty clear idea of what I don’t want. Namely, to be a career woman. Yes, I love my job, but I can’t imagine anything more depressing than dedicating my life to it. Yes, promotions and things are nice, but surely nobody really wants to look back on their life and think “well, I did brilliantly at work anyway”. But if I’m not going to be a mother and I don’t want to be a career woman, what else is there? I need a change… a life makeover and a new direction. If only I knew where to start…

Where do YOU want to be in X years time?

When I was discussing the signing of the new contract with my boss he asked me what my plans are, careerwise, for the next few years. “Well…,” I began, “I would like to stay here for another year at least, maybe two. Definitely finish my Master’s. Try to do increasingly complicated and technical translations and hopefully work on getting into a specialist subject. Beyond that I haven’t really thought about it.””OK,” he replied. “Fair enough. But you should think about it. Two years is not as long as you think, it will soon be here. Ms. K (colleague) has very definite plans for the future. She knows exactly where she wants to be in 2 years, in 5 years…”
My first thought was ‘You mean people actually do that?!’ By that I mean plan every step of their career, actually knowing where they want to be at various points in the future. I certainly don’t. Until about 18 months ago I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life. For a while I thought it might be cool to be a teacher, so I tried being a language assistant and, while it was sometimes enjoyable (especially in Austria where the kids were nice), most of them time I hated it. Plus by the end of the first year I had realised I was no good at it. English conversation and playing games I’m fine with, but actually teaching people stuff that they don’t already know? Hopeless doesn’t even begin to cover it. Translation on the other hand I am good at (finally I found something I can do! Yippee!) And it’s something I really enjoy as well. I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when I read through a translation I’ve done and realise that yes, it actually makes sense. I can definitely imagine being a translator for the rest of my life… well, the professional part of it anyway. But making specific goals?? Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start…