Can I just take a moment to say, HOLY FUCK? Pardon my French, but I am in a bit of disarray. This morning I received an invitation to “like” my ten year high school reunion facebook page. WHAT?! When did that happen? I mean, I knew I was getting older, it’s not like that thought doesn’t cross my mind on a daily basis, but boy oh boy was this a swift kick to the gut.
Okay, breathing deeply, getting over it.
So what does it matter that I am ten years out of high school? Nothing. It means that it has been ten years since I graduated from high school, no biggie. No reason to go out an get a tattoo or by a sports car.
Still, as I sit here at my local coffee shop typing this (yes, I’m a walking writer cliche) I can’t help but look around and question every decision I have made up until this point in those ten years. It says more about me that the two tables that most stick out to me are the group of middle aged business men in sweater-vests typing away on Ipads, and a group of pretty women my age who are chatting as their babies grab for the salt shakers. Is this how I see my options? Corporate or motherhood? I am neither and sometimes wonder if that is why I so often feel like a failure - a self-imposed label that I work hard to remove.
This is the first time in my life where I have really taken the time to decide what I might want to do. After high school I played it safe at University Near Mom, chose a logical major that only sort of related to my true passion, and quickly found a series of corporate jobs, none of which I managed to stick out for more than two years by my own choice. Sometimes it boggles my mind that I have had so many jobs. I am not that girl. I am the girl with the good work ethic, I do my job well and my bosses love me, the “vanilla” girl who makes smart decisions, never does anything rash. Any yet, some part of me must know I am not cut out for the 9-5 world.
As far as being a mom and making that my life…well that is fodder for a whole blog in and of itself, but the gist of it is I am just not ready yet.
So really, I figure there are two ways I can look at my life right now.
1: I can see myself as a loser. I quit a great paying full-time job as a Technical Writer for a reputable corporation only to futilely grasp at a career in writing. My twenties are fading fast, and I’m “running out of time” while EVERY woman I know has had a kid or is soon to pop out another.
2: I can just stop comparing myself to everyone else. Stop worrying if I made the wrong choice and just LIVE. I can be happy and grateful for the life I have created for myself and focus on my dreams. I do work hard, when I believe I can do something. The problem is I have so much self-doubt, as we all do, that it is sometimes easier to float in this post-college haze, delaying the tough decisions.
I think it is clear which option is best, but easier said than done my friend. On a daily basis I flop between feeling like I have my whole life in front of me and then get slammed with reminders that I am no spring chicken.
There is this a fantastic Fleet Foxes song, that yes, I have already quoted a million times but anytime I feel myself struggling I think of it. “What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?” Please take a second to listen to it or at the very least read the lyrics here, because I relate very strongly to them: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/fleetfoxes/helplessnessblues.html
It’s just that there is so much out there I want to do and see and accomplish that it all feels so overwhelming. It’s actually crippling. So then I don’t do anything and then I feel sad and guilty for wasting the time I have. It would be easier to be told what to do, but I know that I wouldn’t be happy either. I do have time. I recently heard this fantastic quote, by Tom Hiddleston of all people, and damn if it didn’t stick with me.
“We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize that we only have one.”
Now that I have gotten all this off my chest, I am returning to editing my MS from NaNoWriMo. Have a great weekend!
Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues” - duh