Millennial Malaise

I am fairly positive that at this very moment there is someone who is feeling like I am tonight.  Not only do I have my very first toothache (and potentially my very first root canal on the horizon), but I also feel depleted.  Emotionally and spiritually depleted.  Lost in the woods. Aimless, wandering and wondering.  I am sitting at my writing desk contemplating a question which many of my fellow millennials continue to grapple with despite our best efforts:

What the fuck am I doing with my life?

All these feelings may be a dangerous by-product of consuming too much Radiohead and Tori Amos.

Or…

Maybe I am having my own Hannah Horvath moment.  “I think that I may be the voice of my generation.  Or at least a voice.  Of a generation”.

Hannah.gif

 

Unicorn

I’m at the point in my life where I’ve checked off a few things on the collective checklist of (arguably) successful adulting: Educated.  Married.  Homeowner.  3.5 household pets.  Retirement accounts.  Job.

I’m self-sufficient.  Responsible.  I’m paying back my student loans and very rarely make late payments on my other bills. Except Comcast.  Curse you, Comcast. Yes, I drink Polar seltzer’s “Unicorn Kisses” and regularly read children’s literature. But I also have my ish together.

Still, there is something about my life that’s as dull and nagging as the pain in my lower jaw.  It is a common malaise: I’m unfulfilled.  Comfortable.  Too comfortable.  My daily existence = shampoo instructions.  Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I can hear my husband’s voice in my head, nagging me to sit at my desk and write.  At least once a week, if not more, he nags me about writing.  Write anything.  Just write.  He’s right about the writing.  It is the thing that makes my heart pitter patter.  It simultaneously scares and challenges me.  Writing pleads for my attention, and I treat her like a unworthy mistress.

Instead of pursing the thing which fulfills me, I flip through my mental OCD Rolodex:

Card One:  I should go to graduate school.  If I take up a profession, I’ll be able to exercise my intellectual abilities.  This will lead to greater fulfillment.

Nope.  It really won’t.  Graduate school may be intellectually stimulating, but there are plenty of unsatisfied graduates.  MFA. MBA. LCSW.  Doesn’t matter unless you really want it.  Plus, student loans.

Card Two:  It’s time to move.  I’ve lived in South Florida my ENTIRE life.  There’s nothing that moss covered trees and southern hospitality won’t cure.  It’s time to downsize and join the tiny house movement.

While a change of scenery might inspire, it could also be extremely disruptive.  I’m fragile in that way.  Am I really ready to be uprooted to a new state?  And: “Wherever you go, there you are.”  Thanks, Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Card Three: (Disclaimer: This is a deeply personal share.)  Mark and I should have a baby.  I am nurturing and motherly.  I care for my animals as if they emerged from my own uterus.  I love gummy, baby smiles.  A child’s perspective tends to cheer me up on a bad day.  I am 100% certain that we would have a beautiful and sensitive child.

All of the above may be true, but I also don’t function well without sleep.  We both work so much and our family support systems are not intact.  On my side, my child would never know their grandparents and this saddens me deeply.  I don’t have siblings.  I would feel a fierce and unforgiving isolation from the generational happiness which often occurs when one procreates.

Around and around I go. We all have these myths and misconceptions about how our lives would improve if we could only accomplish x, y, or z.

As always, wisdom and shares are welcome.  Also, if anyone can tell me the meaning to “Cornflake Girl”, drop me a line.

 

Worldly Possessions

December is the perfect month to reflect on the material possessions acquired in one’s lifetime.  My husband’s gift to me this year was my Macbook.  For Chanukah, he has given me art supplies each night.  The general idea is,”I support your creativity and I know you can do awesome things”.  And while I could go on about my never-ending wish list and all of the household renovations I lust after, I thought I would look at it from a different perspective.  If I could only keep five possessions, what would I choose?

Rules: all pets are automatically included (they are family members, not chattel); all photos are included, and my engagement ring & wedding band remain on my finger at all times.  Now that the groundwork has been established, here is my top five list of most beloved worldly possessions:

One: My mom’s needlepoint canvases.  When I was about 12 or 13, my mom took up needlepoint.  Before the internet made crafting easily accessible to everyone, my mom took up needlepoint the old-fashioned way: books and seventy year old mentors at the local sewing store.  Mom built up an arsenal of fancy stitchwork, resulting in two of my favorite wall decorations.  Currently displayed in my living room are the pieces I call “Wise Unicorn” and “Hot Air Balloons Take Flight”.  My mom always had a love for all things whimsical, which is reflected in her canvas choice and thread colors, which range from rainbow to metallic.

Two: God Gave Us Mary/3-10-1925.  In the treasure trove which is my china cabinet is a small , 2 inch x 2 inch, gold-framed needlepoint canvas which reads “God Gave Us Mary, 3-10-1925”.  It belonged to my maternal grandmother, Marietta.  It was created by one of her family members (presumably her mom or grandma).  My grandmother was one of the most important people of my lifetime.  For a large portion of my life, she was my caretaker.  The safety and comfort I felt around my grandmother has not been replicated since she passed away.  To me, Marietta was sent by God and that small canvas is a physical reminder of her presence/presents.

Three: My ketubah.  My husband and I just celebrated four years of marriage (and over a decade of togetherness).  We were married on 11-11 underneath a handheld chuppah, surrounded by friends and family.  I spent weeks picking out a ketubah.  I browsed online for hours.  Many were either too trendy, too modern, too abstract, or too traditional.  We finally took a drive over to a friend’s Judaica shop, where we decided on a piece which celebrated the Jewish lifecycle with cute watercolor symbols for special times throughout the year.  Our ketubah is egalitarian and is a constant reminder of the partnership which we have chosen together.  It is irreplaceable.

Four: Pawprints and animal ashes.  In the master bedroom closet is where the remains of our beloved pets, Teddy, Princess, and Tony, can be found.

Teddy was my second poodle, a white miniature adopted when I was four years old.  Teddy lived an insanely long life, was hit by a car twice, and loved eating Golden Grahams every evening.

Princess was my first puppy.  We brought her home at eight weeks old.  She was a cottonball of an animal who loved mischief, snacks, and sprints through the backyard.  In her old age, she developed diabetes.  I stuck myself with an insulin needle twice for that pup.

Our third pet, Tony, passed away this year.  Tony was a stray tabby that wandered into Mark’s life.  He was an instant lover who had a snarl for a smile.  Tony was my first (and best) kitty love.

Five: Eeyores.  Most people are unaware, but I am a lover of all things Winnie the Pooh, especially Eeyore.  Who doesn’t love a sad donkey?  One of the things which I love most about my husband is his indulgence of my silly passions.  Over the course of many years, Mark has built me a beautiful collection of Eeyore figurines.  I display them in my china cabinet and take them out once or twice a year to “rearrange” – ok, so maybe I have a little fun playing with them.  They are a reminder of how loved I am by my lover.

I hope your special belongings are also filled with love and meaning.

Disclaimer: this post was written under the influence of Sufjan Stevens.