Today we’re gonna pause for a moment and get real. (Disclaimer: Getting real! Stop reading if you just want puppies and kittens and rainbows and unicorns!)
So…. Admittedly, I’ve had a lot of awesomeness in my life recently (for example, here and here), but the truth is that my life really doesn’t resemble anything like I envisioned it would. And that makes me really panicky sometimes.
I had a crisis in the shower recently, which is where I generally do my best thinking. (I think it’s because my brain is nominally distracted by things like shampooing, which curiously makes the actual thinking process easier.) Anyhow, I was taking a good, hard look at my life, and I got really overwhelmed and anxious.
I was raised in a household where my parents had successful, busy careers, and I always assumed that I, too, would have a successful, busy career. (I would distinguish the word “career” from the word “job” in this case.) I figured that I’d go to college, get a degree or two, start out in a low(ish) position, and work my way to a high position of some authority, eventually. You know, have a career. And I did just that for about 7 years in the film/tv industry, moving from low positions for almost no money, to small independent films for iffy money, to large hit tv shows in union positions for great pay and benefits. My boyfriend and I were on track to get married and possibly have a kid or maybe even two. And I figured one day, I’d work my way up to be a department head, work with a bunch of really big movie stars, and have more of a creative impact.
Until one day when I realized I didn’t want that life path.
I’m too young to have a midlife crisis, and I’m past my quarter-life crisis window, so what is this? A 1/3 life crisis? Sure, we’ll go with that.
To recap: I’m thirty. I’m about to be 30 1/2. I put all my stuff in storage in LA, hauled my dog 2800 miles across the country, and moved back home to South Florida where I grew up. I put my entire life (and my film career) on hold to investigate a new life path possibility. My old life back in LA? I’m not sure if it’s actually on hold or if I left it behind and it’s now gone. I live with my parents. I work in a tea shop. I want to open my own tea shop. And theoretically I know how to get from point A (working in someone else’s shop) to point B (owning my own wildly-successful tea shop), but in practicality, I have no idea how to actually make it happen. (Read: $$$).
All of this would be ok if I were 22, out of college, and needing some life experience. But I’m 30. I don’t exactly have a ticking biological clock, per se, but I do have some internal clock that says I should have accomplished more by now. I should be married, with kids imminent in the next couple of years (ok, to be fair, a large part of my brain is NOT really in sync with that dreaded clock here). I should be making mortgage payments. I should have some stable career where I’ve been steadily working my way up. With decent health insurance. I should have a much beefier bank account.
But I don’t.
I need to quiet that voice inside that says I’m not good enough because I haven’t achieved all the things I thought I would by now.
I need to let go of my expectations and my self-criticism, and just be okay with myself in the present. Accepting reality.
I’m working on it…