Monday, December 10, 2007
So, an email I got from SparkPeople the other day had a quote in it, something like: "The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults." The crux of the message was that we don't have to wait for something serious and life-consuming to get serious about our goals. In fact, its silly to wait until then to work toward our goals!
I think that part of the identity issue with my generation of women is that we have the luxury of having the demands of life delayed. I have put off getting married and having kids without much thought, because its what most of my peers are doing as well. In my case, I really hadn't met the right person yet, and I had so many issues with debt, mental health, and several addictions to get out of the way before I could see the light. (I'm talking about compulsive overspending, and enjoying a part of my life where I could go out all the time and party-- I've never been an alcoholic or used drugs of any nature. Just a very selfish period of time that I gave in to.) Beyond that, I've had so much "going on" and so many projects that I've wanted to do: music, writing, art, study, sewing... I feel kind of lucky that I've gotten to do these. I feel that I have matured as an artist and a musician, and that I am capable of producing work that I am happy with, and that I don't need to question or follow any one else in doing.
Last night as I cleaned up my apartment and got things surprisingly organized (or at least half way toward an end goal), I felt this pang inside my gut. It had to do with thinking back about five years ago, when my life was more chaotic and I had absolutely NO IDEA what to do with myself. I was in a "good job", supposedly to pay off my debt (which I wasn't doing), and I was making my parents very proud. Now I am in a lower-paying situation, living up near (very expensive) NYC, which I never wanted to do... but I am JUST NOW getting to the point where I feel like I have my paperwork under control, and I feel like I am in a job where I can be myself and earn enough money to pay my bills in a way that is enjoyable to me. I am starting to "get it".
Maybe I would have been forced to "get it" very quickly if I had lived my life differently-- marrying my first boyfriend out of high school and having a few kids by now... but I think that personally I would have been at a loss down the line for this experience which I am having right now. I have gone through bouts of being crazy, bouts of being depressed out of my mind, and bouts of being really boring and analytical about everything. I think I am finding a real balance these days. I think I am defining who I am supposed to be, and its not who I thought I would be even when I was in college.
I have to develop a new aspect to this learning experience and that involves new habits to take care of my physical health. Now that I've got the other things somewhat sorted out, I feel really empowered to find a gym or follow an eating plan and not feel like its too much for me to be in control of. Five years ago I would have given this my all and immediately become overwhelmed and scared, almost immediately I would have been defeated. Not anymore. I'm growing up, and I "get it" and I can do this.
I don't have too many balls in the air to juggle anymore. I'm done with school (for now, anyway), and I'm working hard at a job that allows me to go home right at five o'clock with everyone else, instead of spending all night long working overtime and being underappreciated. This is a really great time to figure these things out, step up to the plate, and hit myself a homerun.
May 2008, baby. I will arrive there in style!!