My first challenge (for myself) actually ended on Saturday, but yesterday was my birthday and I had some celebrating to do. As I hit 29, I realize how different my life is from anything I’ve ever thought it would be as well as anything I’ve once had, I have to reflect in general rather than just on the last 3 months.
I’ve been meaning to go through my photos for ages now and I finally started Sunday night. I fell over some photos that produced a ghost of lives past. To say that it struck a chord is an understatement. But the whole thought of it tweaked a nerve and it made me realize that it wasn’t exactly because of what I had in my life back then, but the expectations attached to that world that bothered me.
I feel like I’ve always had my feet in two worlds. The one that seems more traditional with the marriage, kids, house, car, dog and a random whatever job that pays for it all. And the flip side of breaking all conceived notions of that and achieving a dream job as an animator (childhood dream) or business owner (adulthood dream), marriage possibly, condo on the beach, multiple vacations to various places in the world, a lot less required responsibility and a lot more freedom to play… I find why I always seem to be so torn.
I don’t want to give up either side, but I have no idea how to have both. Well, truth be told I don’t know how to have either. Creating this new world has been my attempt in the last two years, even more so in the last few months, to create a life I actually want.
Initially I keep going back and forth between the two of these, but when I see the first life I see life where I was in NY, and partially here, but not typically here (CA). When I see the other life, there’s no question that it resides in California. And then I get to the thought where I have no idea how I really got to this point and have no idea what to do next and I just confuse myself. Knowing I make progress, and knowing things change, I might be able to calm myself and resist the reel of emotions for a day, but it’s always there.
All of my lives from the last decade seem like a total blur. The life I left was not one I wanted, but I did want it at some point. These photos went back far enough to be the spot that I always typically want to go back to when going back enters my mind. All of that is a fantasy, just as any potential worldwide jetsetting and having a business of my own is right in this moment (except I do actually own my own corporation and I’m working to get it off the ground, it just isn’t exactly anything yet). But I really have no idea where to go from here. Not that I ever really did, but this time is seemingly different. It feels different.
I feel like everything is so in between. I feel like I’ve lived multiple lifetimes in one and still have no idea what I want or what to do next. I feel like the person I see myself as back then looked happy and things were so much easier. But that isn’t entirely the case. I know going back I was a very different person and the life I was living was not meant to last forever. But honestly I don’t think what I have now is better, it just is. I know I’m better than I was. I’m different than I was. But we’re talking about almost 5 years of hurt, pain, and crazy that preempted the last 2 years of change and few months of grabbing onto happiness; because it wasn’t until around Thanksgiving that I really started to feel like I didn’t want to leave here.
About a month into this challenge was when I found some happiness. I kept it until Christmas and then all has been lost. I feel a lot more even and a lot less crazy, but I feel so much more numb to everything and so much more blah. I keep finding more and more cycles within myself. I keep finding that as I reclaim who I want myself to be, things shift. I hid from myself in high school. I just did what I needed and ran for it the first chance I got, I moved to VA. I landed in unknown territory and within a year changed my direction again. I went back to NY but to a completely different city. Finished 2 degrees in 3.5 years, but always had a life to go back to in my hometown. A life that was actually more fun than the one I had in college, but college felt more like me, being me.
After graduating I spent two years trying to make things work and couldn’t. I got into grad school, moved to MA, tried to change my status quo and left a life I liked, but couldn’t handle anymore. I forced my own hand for the better. And as good as it started was as bad as it became. Two worlds clashed again and there I was back in NY. Another 2 years spent trying to regain my footing and off to CA I went. To pursue the original dream and to take life by the balls once again to force myself out of the shit that I no longer wanted to be a part of.
Toying with the idea of going back again, I have no idea if this is a cycle broken and I’m just feeling the backlash or if I’ve just had a handful of weird days emotionally and I’m completely over reacting.
Feeling like I always have one foot in the past and one in the future, the present moment needs my attention; because I’m pretty much stunned. And like the book I was reading last week that I’ve since finished, the power of now is the point. However, I’ve yet to figure out how to be in this moment, when I don’t want to be in this moment. It isn’t that I want to be there, whatever the fuck that means. I just don’t want to be here. Sitting here at work doing nothing trying to pass time, and make the best of my situation. Here with roommates I can’t stand. Here with half a social life and a guilt shelf of spending money and trying to fake it, saying I’m just done caring about holding myself back from life and feeling fucking crazy because I can’t deal with the monotony, but I have no idea what I really want to do next.
I mean that isn’t really entirely true. What I really want to do is play. I want to have fun. Whether alone or with someone. I want to play on the beach. I want to dance everyday. I want to take photos and meditate. I want to create a space I love to be in. I want to feel the freedom I felt last week when everything clicked, but nothing changed. I want to keep building on the progress and I want to keep feeling better not blah-er. I know it’s time to leave this job but I have to hold on until I get another one. I want to plan a real vacation and let loose. I want to not be so fucking stressed out about money.
So bogged down by “have to” and not by “want to” that I achieved one dream only to end up in a worse cycle somewhere else. My life is clearly a work in progress as it always will be, but shit man. I’m asking for the same shit I was last year and that is for something to give. I need a job I like and I need to make enough to thrive. I want to go have fun and eat at restaurants, and sit at the beach. I don’t want to worry that I paid $10 for parking and I know I don’t have it. I keep taking steps to progress and I never feel like I quite make it there. Having been trying to progress for what seems like eternity, I am going to just say fuck it and try to enjoy it.
If this challenge and the last few weeks taught me anything, it’s that what you think in your mind and what you actually have as different as they can be, are very closely related. What you can achieve and sometimes the bright light happens when you least expect it and it is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I feel like I have to surrender to what may come but that is so not in my nature, it’s almost a lost art.
After everything I’ve dealt with in the last couple years, last couple months and last few days, I’m ready to just relax, breathe and succumb to what happens next. I’m so sick of worrying about anything and everything, I need to find a way to not have to.
Still trying to figure out the next steps to this, waiting isn’t the same game anymore. I already took some action and now its time to see what comes from it.
Until next time.