Do you ever just take a long, harrowing look in the mirror, shake your head, and ask yourself out loud, “What the hell am I doing with my life?”
It could be any hour of the day, any day of the week — mid, quarter, and other life crises don’t discriminate. After a year like 2020, one could argue that the last thing we need is to be kept even higher up on our little toes, but I digress. It turns out that much like facts, pandemics don’t care about your feelings, regardless of the aggressive flip of the calendar page that we all did on January 1, 2021.
Maybe your turn of the calendar was a bit more powerful than most, because it was done in a joyous, purposeful, and rather hopeful way. Not because you naively thought that 2020 would end and life would miraculously return to its normal, (somewhat) carefree manner and general debauchery would ensue, but because you had actually been proactive in making a change that would lead to your own life’s betterment.
Take me, for example. Caroline from Twitter. Just a regular 26-year-old girl (yes, I refer to myself as a “girl” rather than a “woman” because I hardly feel like a grown adult at this point) living at her parents’ house for the past year and a half in the quaint little town that is lovingly known as Bumblefuck, Pennsylvania. Eating, sleeping, and spending nearly all of the rest of her waking hours in the same bedroom that she has called her own since the ripe age of nine years old (minus the Philip Rivers Fathead, that her mother rudely removed during her college years).
Friends? Via the occasional text.
Dating? I forget how to.
Fun? (this one is tough to answer, because I am a very independent person that is easily able to entertain herself, but let’s be real…) Nothing to see here.
The two things I did have were my family and a stable job that was able to keep me afloat through the hell that was last year — which I understand were much, much more than many others did have. So of course, for that I am extremely grateful. But for most of my life, I’d been the go-getter, the overachiever, the try-hard, the teacher’s pet — all of the things that people call you to demean you, and then you grow up and see that you’re now probably more successful than all of them — and for some time, even before Covid, I’d simply been feeling lazy, and just plain stuck.
Sure, I’d made the conscious decision to move home and save money after galavanting around Philly for a few years. No one forced me to go shack it up with my parents and different rotations of my three younger siblings on a farm in central PA. I’d also made the equally-as-conscious decision to take yet another job in a field that I had not enjoyed since I began working in it after school. At the time, these decisions were made with the thought that during my time at home, I’d keep up my active blogging hobby, and figure out how to make that into a career — or at least figure out how to parlay it into one that was similar — likely something related to my sports obsession.
Instead, something else happened — and I don’t entirely know that I can put a finger on what it was. The blogs slowed, and all of a sudden, I just felt like I had nothing else to say. Which, if you follow me on Twitter, you know is typically not the case. What had once felt like a sparkly, new career that dangled out in front of me, that was nearly in my reach, had quickly died with my hopes of finally weaseling my way out of accounting. The motivation was gone, but the problem was that nothing positive had taken its place.
Once 2020 ran its course, I, like just about everyone else, became extremely depressed, which has become somewhat of the norm for me, to be honest. Depression is something I’ve battled back to my college days and has unfortunately become a standard part of my life since then. Miserably lonely and feeling a complete lack of purpose, I decided that moving to a new, fun city and securing a job in the field I was experienced in would be enough to salvage my ever-lessening desire to participate in everyday life. This would be the time I figured it all out.
Which is, of course, a ridiculously silly thought. You can’t just pack up and move to Nashville and expect all of your life’s problems to suddenly turn a corner and start making their way towards being solved. It’s cliche, but happiness is a choice. I’ve denied the notion for awhile, but with each passing day, it becomes more clearly true. And don’t get me wrong, things are certainly looking up.
Am I having way more fun on a daily and weekly basis? For sure.
Did I finally start doing actual difficult workouts for the first time in six years? Painfully yes.
Have I remembered that sometimes it wasn’t a good date, and I was just drunk? Yes, but I’ve gotten better at recognizing it. Around here, we call that progress.
But what about my job? Well, I’d be lying if I said it would be ~totally out of character~ for me to treat something in an extremely impatient manner, but I am self-aware enough that it is without a doubt one of my worst character traits. For the fourth time in just as many years, I have gotten myself into an accounting job at a good company, with nothing “wrong” about it — I just know that this field will never satisfy me. Like the one guy I went on a date with a few weeks ago and promptly ghosted mid-conversation when he asked when he could see me again. Sorry Steven — it’s not you, it’s me.
When it comes to jobs, I get fairly different feedback from my parents. My mother, whose job is the unfortunate one of dealing with me and my three psychotic siblings (and also new puppy, on Wednesday) basically tells me to suck it up. You know the deal — “No one really likes their job… You get paid well and it’s not stressful… Make your money and then go spend it on doing other fun things outside of work.” None of which is bad advice, but is still somewhat depressing and just makes me feel like I’m settling. You only get one life.
My father, who has been an orthopedic surgeon for his entire working life, has also been looking for something new. He’s had ideas — some of which have fizzled out, but he works and researches each day, supporting himself with his current job until he can find stability in where his new passions lie. I like this idea better. The problem is that I don’t really know where to start… which is why I’m writing this more as a journal entry rather than anything I actually hope anyone reads. So if you’re still here, sup? Also, plz send help.
Do I return to blogging and hope that someone plucks me out of obscurity? Throw caution into the wind and start putting myself back out online?
Do I go back to competing in my best sport, school, to get a degree more relevant to my passions?
Do I write a blog complaining about my problems? Nailed it. Powerful conclusion to all of this, I’m aware. But this is where I am at. You don’t get anything done in life by sitting on your hands, but I don’t know what to do with them.
Not that anyone cares, but if you do, or perhaps relate to what I’m going through, feel free to hit me up in the DMs. I may have moved and gotten some new friends, but once and awhile you need the opinion of an outsider to spark some ideas.
So if somehow you’ve managed to read this entire thing, this is where I leave you. Will I start writing more? Who knows. I probably should, right?