Sunday, October 14, 2012
I know you're not supposed to have regrets, but lately I've been having a lot of them... and they've been making me eat because I'm so down on myself. Let me paint a picture for you. When I was 22, I was living in Manhattan, working as an entry level investment banker, and living with my husband, who was a trader. We worked a ton, and I complained about my hours, but I had my whole life in front of me and felt pretty proud of what I had accomplished. Then, after two years of 100+ hour weeks, I quit and went to grad school to become a teacher. I reacted too strongly to banking and did a 180. My first regret. Then, I worked at a top tier school in Manhattan and enjoyed it. I was around lots of smart, interesting women, and the kids were smart and well-behaved. Then, I got engaged and had a beautiful wedding. I was skinny, my husband was handsome, and I felt proud of my accomplishments. A month after the wedding, we moved to North Carolina where my husband went to business school. It was a very hard adjustment for me - I gained weight and felt very disconnected from the world in which I grew up. I never realized what a bubble the New York metropolitan area was until I left. Then, after he graduated, he got a job in NE Florida - a very southern, conservative part of the state. Here I am a teacher but with none of the shiny prestige. I am now 29 - no longer thin, no longer with a job that other people admire. And I feel like it's too late for me to reinvent myself because I don't know how without the connections I would need to help me. At least at home, I knew people in different industries who would at least talk to me about a career change.
Anyway, I look back on the last 7 years and it's hard not to see them as a downward spiral. I feel like I had such a promising life ahead of me and now it's just mediocre. I try to be grateful for what I have - a wonderful husband, a charming house and garden, and a cute puppy - but selfishly, I mourn for what I lost. I feel like I had so much and threw it all away. Perhaps it's not rational, and perhaps I place too much importance on what others think, but I just have to be honest. In NY, whether I was a banker or a grad student or a teacher, I felt appreciated and admired, to a certain degree. This gave me confidence and I felt disciplined and in control of food. Feeling good about myself made me feel like I was worthy of being skinny and well-dressed.
Now, I don't have that same self-confidence, so it's harder trying to convince myself that I am special and deserve to be beautiful. These are the things that occupy a lot of my thoughts...but I am nervous to share them because I know they don't portray me in the most positive light. Thanks for listening!