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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New You

I made a decision, remember? 2011 is going to be a GOOD year. I'm not giving it any other choice. It will be good and amazing and shiny and everything 2010 and 2008 weren't. It will be mine.

Ever since I graduated in November, I've been paralyzed. Suddenly I didn't have a buffer anymore -- this was IT. The beginning of my beginning. No more school, no more waiting -- it was time to do that big, scary thing everyone's always talking about and start a LIFE somewhere. But ever since college destroyed all of my childhood hopes and dreams (thanks a lot, American Education System), I've avoided making any cut-and-dry decisions about my future for fear of -- everything. I always assumed that once I graduated everything would magically fall into place, just like I assumed that once I got into college everything would magically fall into place.

I'm starting to see a pattern in my life. Apparently you can't WAIT for things to happen. Who knew, right? This shouldn't be news to me. I blame, once again, my dangerous dependence on religion growing up. Someday I will make a psychoanalyst VERY happy.

So the past month I spent flipflopping between being crazy spontaneous in one of two ways or staying put until I figured stuff out. Staying put has become increasingly less of an option -- I've said since high school that this city kills your soul. Why I expected it to change when I moved home for college, I don't know. But it does kill your soul until you reach a point where you think it'd be okay to live in some scummy apartment next to a bunch of wailing babies and creepy old men while your greatest joy is going to Buffalo Wild Wings every Friday night. Throw in your own baby or two, and you've got the makings of every. single. person. in this city who stayed here after graduation. Throw in a lot of backstabbing, sabotaging, and high-school like drama, and you've REALLY got the makings of every single person who stayed.

For a moment...I wanted that? I heard myself admit to that being an okay option for me tonight, and it made me go -- damn. What happened to me?

Fear. Fear happened to me. Completely and utterly paralyzed me in limbo, the land of the Gray Area, the place I promised myself I'd never, ever be. I was okay with it. I accepted being, for a moment, NOTHING, being undefined and hovering and waiting for SOMEONE ELSE to define me.

This girl wouldn't have been okay with that. This girl took a leap of faith and landed an amazing job. This girl just sounded awesomely optimistic.

But staying in this place of Gray Area Limbo has turned me into someone who accepts the prospect of a dead-end city and social life as enough. Someone who is content with an "exciting weekend" of hanging at questionable bars while a bunch of 40 yr olds drink so much their lives don't seem sad.

I'm not who I want to be. And I can't pretend staying here will make me who I want to be. I want to be the girl I linked to up above. I want to be PASSIONATE and OPTIMISTIC and FIERY. I want to be a WRITER again.

So I decided today. I made a decision. Today. To be that person, and to find a place that will help me foster ME back into that person. And it'll be scary and it'll be hard and I might hate it -- but I hate me here. And saving me is worth the risk, I guess.

7 comments:

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Please don't become a backstabbing, baby wielding, gossip mongering biatch! Please! Come to France! And write. And drink lots of wine. And...

Okay. That might be a little bit unrealistic...for some people.

You will figure out where you want to live and the steps you have to take to get there. And you will become a successful (and did I mention wildly creative) writer.

Happy New Year!

K. M. Walton said...

I do believe this will be one of those "meant to be moments" - I saw this video on a friend's facebook page yesterday - watched it - and was blown away.

And now I share with you. So. Meant. To. Be.

It's on my blog - but some have not been able to open it. So here is the direct link...

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

Jill Hathaway said...

You are so amazing. You have all you need within you to make your wildest dreams come true. Don't ever forget that.

ChristaCarol said...

The beginning of this post made me think of the movie Post Grad. But in all seriousness, Jill said a lot of truth. Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make it. Risk is always and forever will be a part of obtaining happiness, and I think you've made the right decision to save yourself, stay true to who you are, and find the place you feel sincerely "at home". Good luck, my prayers are with you! Happy 2011.

Dara said...

You can do it! You have soooo many opportunities before you. I pretty much married right out of college (well within five months of it) so I didn't really do what I expected I would when I first started college. I made a good decision though.

Maybe I'm not using my education (like at all...not in a dead-end secretary job) but I've got a great family and going to have a little one of my own soon. Life has a funny way of taking you in directions you don't expect.

Renee Collins said...

I've felt this way. Sometimes we just have to jump into the deep end of the pool. And you might have to learn to tread water, but you will be happier.

(On a somewhat related tangent: I played Water Polo goalie in HS, so I'm actually very very good at treading water.)

(More related tangent: Good luck!)

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

I went through that lost, "what am I supposed to do now?" phase after college... and for me, it turned into waiting tables for five years and going to bars like the ones you mentioned -- and I live in a good sized city. I guess all that would have been okay had I been writing the whole time, but no. Insead I got bogged down in a "this is what I have become" pity-party.

Yes, I'm through it now and have a decent job. There is light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long the tunnel might be. Just know that it's NORMAL to feel a little confused and lonely, in a way, when college ends. It isn't just "you!"