Just one thing at a time please!

They say timing is everything…

Victoria Holbrook
4 min readMay 10, 2021
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This has been a bit of a tough week for me. What I am about to say might sound silly and inconsequential (it probably is!), but I feel frustrated with life and with myself.

I’ve experienced a coming together of something great and something not so great in the same week and I’m having trouble reconciling the two things in my head. I am struggling to just let the two sit side-by-side and peacefully co-exist alongside each other in my mind. I know life can be messy and I should just embrace it, but as a person who craves order and simplicity, it’s all just a bit unsettling.

Here’s what’s happened…

I got promoted at the start of last week and let me tell you that I am so pleased. I am genuinely thrilled because when I first started out at the company I was new to consultancy and I spent quite a bit of time wondering if I had what it took to reach a more senior position. The promotion feels like confirmation that I do indeed have what it takes and a ‘pat on the back’ for the hard work that I’ve put in over the last few years.

It’s also the realisation of a goal that I had been working towards. I’ve had my ‘eyes on the prize’ for a while and it’s proof (to me anyway!) that if you want something badly enough, you can get it. If you’re willing to put yourself out there, make some sacrifices, persist and don’t get deterred, you can achieve whatever you want. It’s all possible!

At the same time, my hopes of a relationship with a guy who has been in my life for the last year were dashed. He seemed to be ‘ticking all the boxes’ and I couldn’t really believe my luck. I thought that there might be something between us and I was excited about it. In fairness we hardly had any chance to be together due to the pandemic and work responsibilities, but I was sure that we liked each other and had intentions of getting to know each other better.

But just as the lockdown is ending he has had to move away for work and it has become apparent that he doesn’t want to continue any sort of relationship with me. Whilst I appreciate that circumstances have changed and I respect his decision, I thought there was some potential there and I’ve got to say that I’m very disappointed with the outcome.

In truth, the disappointment has made it hard for me to be really, truly excited about my promotion and I’m upset with myself for feeling this way. I just can’t seem to change my perspective at the moment. Why can’t it be the other way around?! The happy news triumphs the disappointment. Surely that’s the way it ought to be.

I also feel annoyed at life for what I perceive as terrible timing! I know that is such a childish thing to say, but it feels so unfair. Why couldn’t these two events happen a bit further apart so I could enjoy the high separate from the low? Or let the high come after the low to help cheer me up? Is that so much to ask..?!

I feel foolish for even having these thoughts. I worry that I’ll look back on this and consider that I missed an opportunity to properly celebrate. A moment that I won’t be able to get back. All the hard work and when it finally comes to fruition, I can’t seem to really enjoy it.

What is so strange about this is that I usually love putting things in boxes…literally and metaphorically! I love a compartment and ‘pigeon holing’ everything, but I am struggling to compartmentalise my life at the moment. I am finding it difficult to be happy in one area when things aren’t as I would wish in another.

Perhaps it’s that two areas of my life have been bought together in such stark contrast? The success of one against the failure of another in very close proximity! I suppose the message is obvious…while work is important to me, there are other important things in this life that I need to attend to. I have put a lot of effort into my work and career in the last few years. It’s been the priority over a lot of other things in my life…not everything…but certainly over my search for the right guy.

I know what I need to do. I need to try applying the same effort and persistence that I direct at my career to other areas of my life. I appreciate that relationships are a lot more complicated than work, primarily as I don’t have control over other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions (as I do with my own). However, in pursuit of meaningful connection and, dare I say, a better balance to my life I think it is time for a bit of a re-evaluation, a re-balancing of my energies and priorities. Wish me luck! :)



Victoria Holbrook

30-something. Consultant. Coffee and cookie obsessed. In need of a creative outlet.