"What do you really want to do with your life?" - Anstia Vesperman

Anstia is our first resident guest blogger, who is helping me keep on top of the website as my own workload continues to grow. I'm really pleased to have her onboard! In this piece and a selection of other pieces, she's going to be revisiting some of the questions I've answered, and answering them from her perspective.


This is a big question – fortunately, I think that you often get the chance to answer this question more than once in a lifetime.

When I was 10 years old, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life: I wanted to become a doctor, and have a husband and a wife (I’d look after them both with my amazing income).

When I was 20 years old, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Mostly, I wanted to be able to hide from my life. Stay at home, read fantasy books, and pretend that my anxiety and my depression didn’t exist. Suffice it to say that I did not study medicine at university.

When I was about 30 years old, I started wanting to make a difference to other people’s lives. While far from stable in mental health, I was desperate to change other people’s futures, to be a counsellor (or some other type of talking-therapy person), to blog about my experiences, whatever. I wanted to reach out to people, to help them. But at that stage I was unable – I couldn’t focus enough to complete any studies, or to write effectively.

Now I’m 40 years old. My condition is stable (meaning that I routinely experience depression, mania, and anxiety, but not psychosis, in the main), and I’m able to write blog posts, and come up with ideas for projects that I can see through to completion. That ‘want’ from my 30s has finally been realised, in some way. However, I also have more desires for myself, too. I want to perform more self-care, to cultivate friendships, to make more jewellery and improve my skills there.

I don’t expect it all to end there. My parents, as excellent examples of people in their 70s, have changed tack many times in their lives, and are still doing so. Primarily, they teach in areas they are interested in themselves: astronomy, jewellery-making, gold detecting, geology.

What do I really want to do with my life? Help. Teach. Make people smile. The rest is all details.