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.
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”.
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.