So much for New Year's resolutions.
The date? January 14th. The year? 2018.
This is my year, you guys. I just know it. Just like I always do.
Every. Single. Year.
I'm also feeling that familiar angst, anxiety and fear of failure-by-not-doing sneaking in.
Is it just me? Of course not, that was rhetorical.
New Year's resolutions are like lottery tickets, what with their excessive hopefulness and unreasonably high expectations. What is it about the start of new years that makes the stakes feel higher than usual?
Don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place for goal-setting. But the New Year?
We ate, we drank, we binged Breaking Bad (for the third time), and we spent entirely too much money, as per usual. Why should we force ourselves to take self-inventory now? Shouldn't we just focus on getting back to our regularly scheduled program? Really, it's enough to have the best of us feeling guilt-stricken, sobbin' with our heads on the floor.
After all, it's common knowledge that we humans don't make the best decisions when we're feeling desperate.
I'm by no means immune. I live for fresh beginnings. I love a good excuse to hyper-examine myself.
So of course, here I am. Failing.
You see, I still haven’t figured out what to do with my life. Two weeks into the new year, zero progress made.
I don't actually mean life, though. I have that down pat. Life is companionship with my main squeeze. It's screaming toddlers in the background, kissing boo-boos a couple of times a day, painting abstract "art," playing with Photoshop, traveling, Pinteresting, etc...
I haven’t figured out what to do with work, which unfortunately takes up the majority much of my time (aside from sleep... don't even mess with my sleep).
Yes, I am certain that 2018 is MY. YEAR. I just don't know... how, I guess. I don't know how to get to where I want to go. How to design my life. How to make a living.
But with three kids under five, "making a living" is of uttermost importance.
I use the word traditional a lot at work. As a marketing manager in the corporate retail world, I drop phrases like these all day long: "'Traditional" marketing vehicles won't work for this launch," or, "Moms traditionally seek retailers who fit into their daily routines vs. those who make them go out of their way..."
What's ironic is that I myself am far from traditional.
I work (a lot). My husband? He stays home. With those aforementioned three kids under five.
Also, I actually wanted to have three kids back-to-back-to-back. I like my minivan.
Tradition? Psh. What does that even mean?!
I. Love. My. Life. My husband is a dream come true. He accepts my flaws and I, his. He puts up with my mess and I put up with his OCD.
As much as I love my life, I yearn for change. Don't we all?
You see, 40 hours at my corporate 9-to-5 is about as much fun as having sticky fingers. You can tell something fun happened there once, but now the fun is over. Doing the things I love - doing life - is a lot harder when those sticky fingers get in the way for exactly 40 hours a week. Or 50.
I landed a six-figure job in my early thirties - that feels damn good. I've had the dream job. I've earned the promotions. I’ve risen through the corporate ranks faster than my female peers (and most my male peers, too, despite those damned XX chromosomes...). But, for reasons I can't pinpoint, I’m not quite as satisfied as I should be.
Is anyone? I have exactly zero friends who are openly – or genuinely, I should say – excited about being at work. Do we really live in a day and age where 40 HOURS of EVERY week need to be dedicated to a place that drains our souls? Is that really necessary in 2018?
I see people all the time who make their dreams a reality. A friend and former coworker of mine was laid off last year from her marketing gig for seemingly no. reason. at. all. In fact, she was one of only a handful of layoffs in my department. In the weeks prior, we all knew the layoffs were coming. We didn’t know how many or who exactly would get the boot. She was worried and seemed to know her days were numbered.
Sure enough, she got the pink slip. I wondered what she would do next. The universe, on the other hand, had a plan for her. She started her own company selling her art and now has so many followers on Instagram that she can barely keep up with the demand.
She gives me inspiration. I know I could make something else work, just like she did. And I just know that corporate marketing isn't my thang. The problem? I have literally no idea what I'm supposed to be. Should I be an artist? Well, not for a living. I have a family to clothe and mouths to feed. Should I blog? Uh, sure, but would anyone follow me? (I guess we'll see).
I have cool ideas for businesses I want to run, but… see “family” and “mouths to feed” excuse, above. While we live a comfortable life, it's not cush enough for me to start the startup of my dreams. Oh, but you mark my words: it will happen. Give me time and give me capital (I'm looking at you, angel investor...).
For now? I'll write.
Writing frees my soul and relieves my stress. I love reading, too. And I hope, if you've made it this far, you've enjoyed what you've read. I hope you'll join me in this new adventure for which I have no map nor destination.
Maybe I'll keep writing. And maybe you'll keep reading. Will the world welcome my truth? Or will it spit me out and reject my words? I guess we'll see, won't we?
Help me, world. Help me figure out what to do next.
- Sincerely, Lost