Growing up, I had two dads.
My biological father was himself an alcoholic and my mom left him when I was six months old.
My step-father raised me from when I was two years old.
They could not have been more different people.
“Bio-dad” was a fun-loving music fan, and totally weird in the best possible way.
“Step-dad” was a high-achieving conservative business man.
Nothing like me.
My nature flourished despite my nurture, and it wasn’t always something that my nurturers approved of.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that the part of me that was a bit (ok, a lot) “out there” was often met with stifling criticism.
My love for music reminded my mother of her kid brother, who killed himself. And of my bio-dad…the alcoholic.
My creativity and talent in the arts was deemed categorically useless.
Wouldn’t I benefit more from taking an accounting class rather than Spanish? Or was it band that I had to drop?
Throw my desperate need to please people into the mix, and it’s no wonder I finally imploded.
I’m somewhat surprised didn’t happen in accounting class.
For years, my nurture told me my nature was unacceptable. So I tried really hard to be someone I’m not, so that I could be acceptable (I’m not so sure I ever really pulled it off).
Today, the battle rages on: I love blogging and want nothing more than to be a full-time blogger.
But wouldn’t using my writing skills in a marketing position be more financially secure?
Blogging – like music – isnt a real career. Especially not for someone like me.
Someone raised to know better.
Better than what? The very fabric of my DNA that is just screaming to be heard? Screaming to just express Who. I. Am?!
When I originally defined a mid-thirties meltdown, I assumed it was an internal conflict between the inner rebel and the inner responsible adult.
Who I am is actually in conflict with who I was raised to be.
This is still playing out in my mind. It certainly was today.
I berated myself for not looking at jobs (copywriting, marketing <yawn>).
I felt guilty for throwing myself into the podcasting course I’ve paid a small fortune to take part in.
I still feel completely split in two and I need to resolve this pronto.
I don’t think it needs to be either/or. I think I can be financially responsible and pursue the things I love to do.
I just have to figure out how. Soon.
I do not have another meltdown in me.