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Being Stuck In The Mud Isn’t Fun

black car stuck on mud
Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in the mud? Like you’ve stumbled into some quicksand, and you know that even if you could be bothered to struggle you’d only end up more stuck? So you resign yourself to the fact that you are going nowhere anytime soon? I think we have all felt like that at some point in our lives.

There have been a few times in my life where I have felt stuck, and right now I feel that oh so familiar feeling has returned with a vengeance. I have just finished university for the final time, I have no job lined up, and I have no true sense of direction in my life. I feel stuck again, but this time there is an added element. I don’t simply feel stuck because I am not, or cannot move forward, my feet aren’t simply stuck in the mud. This time, I am stuck because I am being pulled in multiple directions.

The first pull is based on the seven years of university under my belt. I have completed two degrees in psychology and mental health, and yet I have no actual useful mental health or psychological qualifications. To follow the path that my degrees have put me on, I have to work for close to the minimum wage for long, difficult hours, feeling like I am perpetually at the start of my career journey despite having studied for almost a decade. All the while I have the debt of two student loans hanging over my head and other goals I want to reach.

The second pull comes in the form of my reignited passion for writing (as evidenced in my articles for this website) in the past eighteen months and has rediscovered my childhood dream of being paid to write. Unfortunately, this discovery came too late to obtain any meaningful, recognised university qualifications to create the perfect CV package to become a professional mental health writer/columnist/anything. 

I can start from scratch, building up a portfolio, and creating a name for myself (which I currently fully intend to do!), but that does not garner financial reward in a hurry, and I am in no way equipped to navigate this path with knowledge and connections. This road to written success has a strong pull, but is incredibly long, with no guarantee of a happy ending instead of a sudden cliff.

The final pull is that of my innate desire to make money. It sounds shallow, perhaps even selfish, but I have come to realise that one of my biggest goals in life is to make enough money to be comfortable. Both in my lifestyle and in the event that anything like this pandemic comes along again in my lifetime. 

I have discovered a career path that could help me achieve this goal, but it leaves me feeling that my studies and all the things that I have learned about myself and how I can help others were a total waste of time and money. This feeling makes me hesitate to follow this path and leaves me back at square one entirely.

While I figure out what my next move in life is, it would be remiss of me to not share the things I have learned about feeling stuck with you lovely readers. I guess the first thing to say is, if you’ve felt this feeling before, you know that it passes.  While knowing that something passes don’t necessarily make it any easier to endure, it can provide a little bit of hope that things will get better in time, that things will fall into place. 

That leads me to my next point, my personal brand of dealing with undesirable situations is to simply convince myself that everything will work out for the best in the end.  I can’t say whether this is the most effective tactic, but it seems to have worked for me so far, I think. Give it a try! Maybe call it manifesting instead if it makes you feel better about it.

Ultimately, I think that feeling stuck is a natural part of life, we need to feel frustrated with the way our life has turned out until this point in order to make impactful, meaningful changes and end up in a position or situation that makes us much happier and feel a lot more accomplished. I hope that if you are feeling stuck, at the very least you feel less alone after reading this, and maybe you can find a little peace with where you find yourself currently before taking that next big step.

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