So, along with all of the New Year’s Resolutions and Goals, many folks are evaluating their lives, and thinking about the kind of life they want to live.
I’m afraid to do that.
I’m afraid that if I think about what I want, or how I want my life to be, I’ll realize that I’m not who I want to be, or who I thought I’d be. What if reflecting on my life leads me to realize that I’m not married to the right person, or in the right career, or that I really am not cut out to be a mother? What if I live in the wrong state?
My life isn’t at all what I thought it would be like, when I was a teenager dreaming about becoming a writer, and living in NYC. I thought I’d be alone, a crazy cat lady, churning out poems and novels in a dusty, book-covered apartment.
Instead, I barely write anymore, I haven’t moved away from my hometown, I’m married, and I have two sons. I haven’t been to NYC in over a decade. I’ve just followed this path that Life set out for me. Sure, I had some goals along the way, mostly related to my education, but for the most part, I didn’t think about where I was going; I just went.
Following that non-plan, I found my way back to the love of my life (go ahead, gag. I know it’s cheesy), got a job at a school that I love despite its flaws, and had children, something I didn’t think I wanted. I also realized that I didn’t want to be an unhealthy role model for my boys, and started following Weight Watchers. I’m going to start running, something I NEVER thought I’d want to do.
What do I do if this is all wrong? If I really think about what I want, and realize that non of my current life fits? My people don’t think about whether or not they’re happy; they just live their lives, and accept what comes, both good and bad.
I’m 3 years away from being 40. And even though I realize that’s young, I still sometimes feel like that’s too old to make major changes in my life. I still have angst because I don’t have a full-time teaching gig at this age.
Am I happy? I think so. I have moments of frustration, sure, but overall, I think I’m a much happier person than I used to be. I love my boys. I love my job. I love my family. I guess the question I should be asking is: do I love myself?
I was hoping that by writing all of this, I’d figure it out. But I haven’t.
Have any of you been afraid to take stock of your lives, and face the reality that you may need to make some major changes?