Fast forward several years and here I was clocking in up to 16 hours a day as a junior doctor, conscientiously writing up research projects, enthusiastically speaking at conferences and feverishly juggling dance gigs and music-writing on the side. I was exhausted a lot of the time but, I was passionate about everything I did.
It was a beautiful blue-skied day, the first day of the summer holidays and my 7 year old self savoured the thought of spending the day playing in the long grass, dreaming the day away. One minute I was a ballerina dancing, twirling in front of an enraptured audience. The next, a doctor making sick people better, a scientist researching a breakthrough, a teacher helping people to learn some really important stuff, a concert pianist delivering a fiercely rapid Concerto.
How it all began
I was on track to the life of my dreams…or so I thought.
Life on the fast-track continued apace for a few more years. I worked myself to the bone to become a specialist physician in the shortest time possible while continuing to balance as much as possible of my other activities on the side.
The truth is, despite my achievements, I didn’t feel truly fulfilled, or happy. I was pursuing things I was interested in, but I was driven by fear.
The fear of never being good enough, of making mistakes, of not making a meaningful contribution, and of not fulfilling my potential. And for a long time, I resisted changing my approach because I somehow felt that if I let go of the fear, I’d lose my motivation. Then, things began to unravel. In a relatively short period of time I was faced with a dash of health issues, a dollop of misfortune, and some incredibly sad and testing events in my personal life. Suddenly, life looked and felt very different to what I’d imagined for myself as a 7 year old. Here I was, a sleep-deprived new mother, juggling career and family commitments, house renovations and a move literally halfway across the world. I had no time to sleep let alone pursue my passions for music and dance. Life had become more a matter of daily survival.
I was burnt out big time, and it was time to change.