“I want to be a fairy princess that has wings and flies around!” This is my husband’s joking rendition of what I want for my life. He’s not that far off.
So, I’ve decided to start a blog. I’m writing this on my iPhone on the subway during rush hour. That seems to be the time I feel most inspired. There could be many reasons for this.
Perhaps the most relevant reason is that being on the subway at rush hour is the experience which most highlights my dissatisfaction with my current life situation, and that, I think, is mostly why I want to write a blog. I am confused and dissatisfied and I am looking for wisdom. Also, even though this is a particularly negative post, I have hope. I have hope that things will turn out well in the end and that my life is a story whose process will be worth reading. I would like to write that story, as it happens, for myself to look back on.
Why a blog and not a journal? Because a blog adds the pressure of potential readers which creates just enough motivation for me to actually process what I’m thinking rather than keep my swirling feelings unarticulated.
I feel like I’ve been duped, misdirected, lead astray. I’ve lived my life up until this point according to a certain set of ideals and I feel like life is teaching me that these ideals are wrong. I really hope this is not the case.
“You can do anything you want with your life.” “Every year older you grow the wiser you will become.” “You can change the bad bits about yourself and become a better person.” “The purpose of life is to live an exciting adventure.” “Working a 9-5 regular job that you sort of like but mostly do to make money is selling yourself short of the life you were meant to live.” “Oh that poor lady, she had to be a school teacher for her whole life when what she really wanted was to be a writer. She should have quit her teaching job to follow her heart and pursue her dreams.”
The American dream: you can be, do, have, anything you want as long as you work hard enough for it.
Well… for whatever reason I don’t do or have and am not some of the things I really want and I’m at the point in my life where I feel that I have to decide whether to give up and change what I want … Or keep banging my head against that door and hope that one day it opens. Which is what I’ve done until now and which is fine… But I don’t want to bang my head against the same door for my whole life and then look back at my life and realize it was the wrong door the whole time. I’d rather realize that now so that I can choose a new direction now and be some definition of successful, sometime in my life.
But I really really want that life I’ve been working so hard for, have always wanted it. And if I give up now I might just regret it for the rest of my life.
Or do I really want it that bad? and is what I want even good or… is it even a real thing? Enter that fairy princess.
Two things I think I have learned: One, decisions really are a big deal. If you make the wrong one you can waste or ruin years of your life. Two, every decision you make looks like a better choice from far away than it does up close. Up close things get real and dreams are always so much prettier than reality. The photoshopped picture, the airbrushed model, the job of a pro athlete looks so fun on the field. Living in a small town, living in a big city, having kids, not having kids, in reality even the thing you think is the most fun in the world comes with it’s shitty bits. Hard work, people you don’t like, compromised values… Or that’s what I’ve learned. I used to think that dreams could become reality…
How much perfection should I require of my life? I will not settle for a life that leaves me feeling negative, trapped, unfulfilled, unsuccessful, unhappy. Yes, I hear you, those things are all a mindset which you can have in either a perfect or imperfect life. But… Ok here it is: there are some choices I can make which would make it much more difficult to be happy. Not impossible, never impossible, but difficult. I’m in a season in my life where I need to make many huge choices: career, family (is there a vs between those two words?), location.
I have to choose and build the framework of my life. The foundation is Jesus so the house has a good starting point but given how I choose to build the walls it could still very easily collapse further down the road… How can you be sure your house will never collapse? I guess you can’t. Shit happens.
Actually that’s kind of encouraging. I can never be sure that my house will never collapse. All I can do is build what I know to build now and make repairs as necessary. Hmmmm, repairs… That’s a hopeful thought. If something breaks, God and I can fix it together.