"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story."
-Orson WellesSo I've been thinking a lot lately about my life. I recently turned 29 (!!!) and when I think about where I really thought I'd be at this time in my life, never did I think I'd be doing the same thing I was doing at 25. I've had some amazing opportunities in the last 5 years, some character-building, some mildly destructive, but still nonetheless shaping my life as it stands today. But I realize that I'm not exactly a fan of the shape.
I'm blessed, this I (generally) know. I've got my health (with the help of a good neurologist), my family and friends who love me, a decent job that pays me well, and a lovely little kitten who is generally quite happy to have me around. I've loved and lost, which is truly better than never having loved at all. I'm mostly happy with myself. Until I dig a little deeper.
I think most people rounding 30 start to evaluate things a little more closely, wanting to make sure that they fix all the things that didn't work in their 20s, wanting to start anew in a new decade. I look around at all of my friends who are single and I'm glad that I don't have to deal with that anymore. I look around at my friends who are married and wonder if I have what it takes to be successful in that heavy endeavor. I look around at my friends with children and worry that I won't enjoy it as they do, not sure that I'm really cut out to be a mentor for a child in the way that a child deserves. I look at my friends who have truly found their calling in their profession and envy their blessings. I look at friends buying their first home and wish that I'd planned better in my youth to be at that point. Basically, I'm looking around and wondering, 'is this all there is?' and knowing full well that it is, unless I make significant changes in my life.
The impetus for this post wasn't to be down on myself for what I lack, but rather where I can improve. I want to be healthy. Those who know me know that I'm a glutton, in most senses of the word. If I like something, I want all of it, right now. That's a great thing at times- I immerse myself in things that I love, be they my partner or finding something new that I love. However, in certain aspects, it's not the best plan. In the next few weeks, I'll be starting a diet and exercise regimen. It won't be easy, but I'm sick of huffing and puffing my way through the city. Which leads to the smoking cessation that I've talked about forever, have attempted several times, and have never quite quit. I've smoked every day since I was 18. It's a crutch, a social lubricant, a stress reliever, and a true addiction. I've tried patches (which fall off my skin and give me rashes), nicotine gum (I hate chewing gum in general and this stuff is the devil), Chantix (which makes me absolutely nauseated) and sheer willpower (not the best plan for me). I'll get back on the Chantix soon and figure out strategies to curb the nausea, figure out ways to not want to punch babies and kick puppies when I'm beyond stressed at work. We will see how it goes. I don't like declaring that I'm quitting. It calls too much attention to it, making it impossible for me to conquer it. I'm the unfortunate sort who, when I slip, I give up. Quitting smoking and getting in shape will require a new construct for me and it's a matter of creating good habits.As if that weren't enough, I know that I've done my time at my job and in order to have the happy ending, I need to extricate myself as soon as I find something else to do. It's daunting to be honest. I haven't had a job interview in 3 years. My job experience is fairly limited to merchandising and sales and I want to be in marketing/event planning. But yet, I know it's what I need to do. I love the people that I work with (generally), the job itself is almost rote knowledge at this point, and most days I feel good about what I do and the experiences I've had. But it's just not enough anymore to keep me sane. So I'll be starting to tighten my resume and search for something new. It's a scary thing- I've been in a little cocoon for 5+ years now and it's really unnerving to think that I'll be doing something new that will be a challenge. I always want to be challenged but it's so easy to coast. I'm sick of coasting.
This was a lot to write on this topic and, for better or worse, get used to reading some missives along these lines. I'm ready to make some changes in my life, ready to be scared for a bit, but I'm willing to do that if in the end I'm a happier person for it. I'm ready to be happy again.