Work and Passion

Hi Steph,
I have a question concerning my personal life, not so much about climbing, rather about the next step in my life. I am 31 years old, I have a 3-year-old son, and a very supportive and loving boyfriend. When I met him I knew deep inside that he is a partner I could imagine doing anything with. I’ve always believed that I know what’s right for me as long as I listen to my gut or my heart. And I haven’t regretted any of the decisions made on this basis. When Gerald and I met we were both studying, he was studying Social Sciences and me English and Spanish for teaching. We went climbing together all around Europe, travelled to Morocco, and fell in love, we both knew deep within that this is the partner we wanted to and could share everything with. It just felt right and good. I could have never imagined feeling so free with someone. And I guess it was because of this feeling we decided to have a child. And I still do feel that way, but now we are so entangled in every day life, in obligations and also fears of whether we are good enough parents, or whether we will reach the same financial level as others, whether we will be able to live in a house once etc. Back then, we wanted our kids to grow up knowing that everything is possible, that we could make everything possible, and we wanted to do it as a family. We didnt want to wait. It was very quickly after we met, like 8 months or so when I got pregnant. And I do not regret this decision at all. It was hard at times, I mean we were both studying, but up until now, we made it work. My boyfriend started working as a arborist after finishing his bachelor’s degree, connecting his passion for climbing and being outside with earning money. He has now also found a master’s degree which he really enjoys. I have continued my studies, I did a Bachelor’s degree just before our son was born, and in March and April I am supposed to write the final exams of my teaching degree. That is, I don’t know. 12 years ago I spent two years in the UK, working, but I knew I wanted to move on from working as a stewardess for easyJet to doing something more natural to me. I got into Yoga and Meditation when I was 18, and since then I have known that I want to be an instructor some time. But I always thought that I had to study before I did that. Or at least do some kind of degree. But I didn’t know what. I just followed the advice of my parents, that I could study English and Spanish because I already knew these languages. And then I could see what I’d do with that. And if I didn’t find anything else I could be a teacher. I didn’t really want it though, and for the past 10 years I have been studying teaching without really being passionate for it, I don’t get that tingly feeling in my chest, I don’t feel happy with it, and I know somehow I just have to leave it, stop it, don’t write the exam and gain heart and just go with my gut, do the yoga instructor and see where it takes me! I have felt like this for a long time now, and I feel it’s time to make a decision. I also feel it’s important for me to drop the teaching degree and start fresh. I feel like only this way will I be connected to myself again, the person who I love, the person who does what she thinks is right, even if it isn’t what other people expect me to do. I don’t know anymore what’s best for me and my family. I just want to do the right thing. Do you have some thoughts? I would really appreciate it. 🙂 take care, franzi

Hi Franzi,
Thanks for writing to me, and I appreciate that you would ask my opinion about the big life questions. It’s never easy making choices about the future, especially when you have a lot of choices. Obviously the biggest and most important choice you’ve made in your life was to have your son, and making sure he’s provided for is always going to be the base line of all your decisions. If all of your proposed choices fit that guideline, then you still have the opportunity to make some more decisions….

Personally, I like feeling like I have as many options as possible. So maybe there’s a way for you to keep teaching on the back burner, even while pursuing something else, and preserving as many options for yourself as possible. It’s always hard to predict how you will feel in a few years, and it’s also hard to predict how you will feel about something without actually trying it. It’s okay to try things and then see if they work for you, and it’s also okay to change course in life–most of us change directions either slightly or dramatically several times over the decades of our adult lives. We all keep evolving, as long as we are here….


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