My Life Is Not Your Life

I need to get it off my chest that I’m really sick of other people. I’m sick of explaining my life to people and being judged by people. And I feel like that has happened a lot recently. And I’m so fucking sick of it.


It happens on so many levels.


People not understanding chronic illness and telling me I do “so much” to support my husband so it’s time he did it for me. Um, do you fucking think I would be able to work full time, commute a long way, study and blog if he didn’t do a shitload of things for me? Really? Take a few fucking seconds to just think about it.


My Life Is Not Your Life


Of course this or that would be easier if this or that was different. But who doesn’t have that? It would be easier to study if I had won lotto and didn’t have to work at the same time, wouldn’t it?


Of course I would like to take a fucking holiday. Yes I want to go visit this or that person. No, I don’t have the cash sitting around to jet off either overseas or around Australia right now. Of course I want a holiday when it has been about 7 years since I had a proper holiday. Do you have any idea how hard it was to support an entire fucking household on a part time income for two years? I’m kind of still digging myself out of that hole in 2016.


I don’t want to explain to you why my degree and what I’m studying has nothing to do with the job I do during the day. Or maybe you’re not smart enough to get why the relate. Did you think of that? Maybe there is a skill that you can’t see that I can apply in any job.


(Side note: I do wonder if I should have taken 2016 off from studying, and just had a year to “be”, but at the same time, after a few years where success was “managed to pay bills and not starve”, well, I wanted something that is more meaningful to me as success.)


My Life Is Not Your Life


I’m sorry for the rant but I feel like people I don’t know and (not in a mean way, but more in an incidental way) who aren’t important to my life are asking me to justify my life to them a lot recently and I’ve really, really had it. Frankly, I’m ranting here so that I don’t snap back at someone else in person. I don’t mind being an open book, because keeping secrets is exhausting, but I also get sick of answering questions.


Guess what: my life doesn’t look normal. But it’s not up to me to explain it to you. It rarely impacts you. Get your head out of your ass and realise not everything is simple and not everything needs to be explained to you.


Here’s the thing, and it goes back to the very reason I rebranded: we’re all normal to ourselves. We all have the capacity to get used to different things.


Finding Something Similar


I think what is making me struggle right now is I feel disconnected from anyone who has multiple interested or adaptable skills. Which is why I started Side Gig Life – a new podcast project. (And jump over here if you want to be on it.) I want to talk to people who have more than work-home-family in their lives. There’s nothing wrong with having those things, but it’s not fulfilling to me. They’re great, but I need more. You don’t have to be doing a side gig in the way that I am – full time job and business, you could be any variation of multiple businesses, a carer first and business on the side… whatever your combination is.


I was listening to The Accidental Creative podcast the other day and they suggested looking at your life like a portfolio – a skill, job, or a “thing” may not be directly related in isolation, but it adds to the skill set that develops what you offer.


And I think this is really, really critical for … well anyone like me. People who don’t feel challenged often. Multipassionates. Multipotenitalites.


I also recently listened to this episode of the Raise Your Hand Say Yes podcast with Emilie Wapnick of Puttylike and it was just so nice to not get the feeling of “jack of all trades, master of none”, which I feel is the predominant attitude I get when looking for jobs, and seeking career advice or business mentors.


The weird little confession I have is that for some bizarre reason I avoided going on the Puttylike website for ages. Or watching the TED talk. I don’t know why. I’ve always known I have more interests than most people, but I think I just didn’t have the mental space to deal with it or find the community.


On a kind of side note, for the first time in what feels like forever, I took a personality test and actually resonated with the results (usually I just mock these tests, but woah when it actually resonates with you). I got INTP…you can read about it here. The reason I took the test is because I am following along with Denise Mooney’s 30 day challenge about reinventing your career. You can find it on her blog. This website says only 3% of people have my personality type, which probably explains why I struggle to find my place. I need to create my own place, because frankly one doesn’t exist for me. And I’m ok with that. Well, kind of. I would be more ok with it if I had any patience.



21 Replies to “My Life Is Not Your Life”

  1. Sometimes only a good rant will do. 🙂

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      They’re very therapeutic!

  2. Some people who really have no idea love commenting on others lives and actually think they are doing you a favour by doing so! I tend to totally ignore those people’s opinions!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I usually can ignore them too, so I must have lost a tolerance or just had too many lately!

  3. It can be really difficult to ignore people when there are so many saying the same negative thing. I tend to think that I have no right to an opinion on someones journey as it’s simply not my business. If only others could think the same. I do hope you are feeling a little better after a good rant x

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I think that’s the thing – there was just too much negative at once recently. Ranting helps 🙂

  4. You’ve been through a lot in the last couple of years and the last thing you need is judgement for what you’re doing to support you and your husband. I hope you feel better for your rant. xx

  5. I think it’s hard for others to know much about our lives from the snippets we share. Even those who share the ins and outs of our lives don’t necessarily know how we feel or what’s in our hearts.

  6. No one else can really understand what your life is like – I hope you feel better after your rant and thank you for mentioning my blog. I’m glad you liked the personality test, it’s a good one!

  7. I find it extraordinary that people even comment to you about your life? I have never had that happen unless it becomes a mutually agreeable conversation. Your life is the only one you have and you are leading it in the best way you know how. More power to you I say. I do, at times, feel i “have to explain” aspects of my life which has not followed a traditional path but that is MY issue with self-confidence not anyone else’s. I am working on it!!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I guess because I don’t hide things, people are more likely to comment.

  8. Only you understand your life and you’re not expecting anyone else to live it. Which means it’s no-one else’s business!

  9. You might be my twin. I go to work. Have a blog. Publish articles. Trying to write a children’s book. Trail run. In a book club. Do yoga. My head is tired. I don’t know where I am going, but I have realised that I need to have many things, not just one thing to make me happy. Some people are happy just going to to work and that is it. I get itchy feet and bored. And I often study things for no reason. Keep going girl, following your curious leads to good things!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I probably could learn to relax more than I do…but I don’t know. I like the stuff I have, you know? I wonder what I’m going to do at the end of this year when uni has finished for the year and my day job goes back into a quiet session… I bet I’ll be restless and come up with a new idea or project!

  10. kit@lifethroughthehaze says: Reply

    Sometimes only a rant will do. I hope that you felt better after getting it all out.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I do! Thanks 🙂

  11. People need to stop judging what everybody else is doing, and concentrate on their own thing or things instead – and the world would be a much happier place! I have a friend, who like you, seems to juggle so many things at once. She’s a wife, mum, business owner, allied health professional, studies part-time, and has a large and ever growing/changing list of interests. I couldn’t live her life. I wouldn’t want to live her life. But I know it makes her happy and that’s all that matters to me. If I wanted to, I could almost feel threatened by her and maybe that’s what the real problem is with your nay-sayers.

    Visiting from #teamIBOT x

  12. I often feel like a jack of all trades and master of none as well. Perhaps I should focus on one thing, but I like them all.

  13. Sorry – posted comment before I meant to! I hope that writing made you feel a bit better. All anyone ever gets to see are the tips of the icebergs we choose to reveal. So much more below the surface that we really don’t need to guess at.

  14. People really don’t understand chronic illness and the long teaching impacts it has. I had an argument with someone recently who said she didn’t understand why people used depression as an excuse not to socialise because it made her happy. I may have ranted a fair bit on that status but a lot of her friends were upset with her lack of understanding.

  15. I’m definitely in Side Gig land as well but I’m enjoying it so I’ll see how it plays out. Unfortunately they sometimes conflict with my main gig so I have to bail which is disappointing.

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