Today’s the last day of NaBloPoMo and the last day of the 11th month of 2006.

There are only 31 days left in 2006 and I don’t think that’s a bad thing …

I tend to only write superfluous or cryptic things on here about myself. Basically to keep a modicum of myself for myself.

Partly because you know, it’s like the whole world out there, and also because despite my seemingly extroverted nature, I’m really a pretty shy person. Sarcastic and cute as hell, but shy nonetheless.

I have often thought of starting a second blog just for me, much like the many journals I have tried to keep throughout my life, which usually fall by the wayside after a while (even when assigned). This blog has been the only thing in my life where I have maintained it almost daily for an extended amount of time. And for some reason, you people keep coming back. Like you’re waiting for the free beer or something …

Anyway, in honor of it being the last day of November and NaBloPoMo, I felt I needed to end on a deeper note. One of substance. More than just fluff or random rugby news. And since I’m always better at writing than I am actually forming the words into verbal sentences that beget a whole conversation, I shall blog …

The last few years of my life I have not been living up to my potential.

Potential is a finicky word. What does that mean, you are thinking to yourself. I’m not quite sure yet either. My friend Dan once told me that maybe we were having our quarter-life crisises. Supposedly it happens to all of us 20-somethings that are so busy getting educated to get “the” job, that when you finally get one and actually start working and living life, you realize that you’re pretty sure that this was not what you imagined it would be. You know, like sitting in a beige and blue office chair under florescent lighting for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 50-some weeks a year.

Or that going to school to get a job that you enjoyed doing and also actually paid well, at least enough that you never have to worry about your debt-to-income ratio, was at all important. Note to myself in 20 years: High School guidance counselors do not stress this to your children.

Don’t think I dislike my job. I don’t. Not overall anyway. It’s not too bad in the big picture, I’m good at it, they like me here. But my 18-year-old self probably never imagined that my 29-year-old self would be right here, right now.

Nor would she imagine that I wouldn’t be rolling in the big bucks. Not even close. Precariously not. Now this isn’t a new thing, I’ve known this for a while, but my life over the past two years has seen me very much ignoring all of this. Very much ignoring it and hoping it would just go away. I am really good at putting things off. So it’s only natural I would do that with my life too.

But you know when you put something off for a while, yet it’s always there nagging you in the back of your head? Like a cold breeze that gives you sudden shivers on a sunny day? Well, that gets to you over time. You get bummed out about it. You get down on yourself. You start not to like yourself very much. And you wonder every day why you don’t just fix it … but you still don’t. And soon two years have passed.

And then you reach a point where you have no other options than to fix it. And that requires a lot of work. And work is not fun. But work isn’t a bad thing. It’s better than swimming in circles in a swamp pretending you’re at the beach, you know? If you start swimming out of that swamp, maybe you’ll get to the beach after a while.

So what the hell am I talking about? I’m talking about making wholesale changes in your life. The kind of changes that stress you out and keep you up at night and make you reconsider everything you’ve been doing.

In the past year, I’ve ended a five-year relationship that was supposed to be “the one”. I started a new relationship with my good friend, someone who surprises me every day. I’ve moved into my own apartment that I can’t really afford. I’ve fully realized that the idea of “playing now” and “paying later” really is a bad idea. I’ve realized that I don’t want to move away from my family, even though the idea of living in a new far away place seems really appealing. I’ve realized that the universe or God or fate or something bigger than you can comprehend has plans for us that don’t always make sense at the time but are always clear later. I’ve realized that no one can help you if you don’t help yourself first. And that no one can help you if you don’t ask them for help too. This year has been one of the best and worst years of my entire life. And that’s all happened off of the rugby field.

Now in the past week, after applying for a job that I didn’t truly want (and only hear mainly negative things about (Sorry M, I know you like it there)) but thought might pay me so much that I could skip past all of the hard work, I got a letter saying “Thanks for applying, but you’re not really our type.” Ouch.

[Seriously, I’m nice and pretty smart. I don’t hear No very often.]

In a moment of complete insanity, I think I hit rock bottom. Literally. Just for a few hours. Flat on my ass. And I think my mom thought it was my breaking point.

And then I just rolled with the punches. I mean seriously, things could be so much worse. I could be sick. I could be in jail. I could be on drugs. I could lose the ability to walk, to see, to hear. I could be homeless. I could be dead.

And I’m not anywhere close to any of those things. I’m not even that out of shape, despite not exercising more than 15 minutes more than 4 times since the rugby season ended. My biggest stress beyond all of this right now? I really need a hair cut and the stress is making my forehead break out. That’s it.

Seriously, when I put everything into perspective, I am one hell of a blessed person. Everyone I love is safe and healthy. And I have a decent job where I am respected and valued. So you know what I did? I got off my ass. I told my boss everything. I said, hey, I like it here but right now life is hard and I want to fix it. I don’t want to be less than what I am anymore and I need your help. And you guys pay me less than the fair-market value of my work (I did my homework and figured out what I was worth on the job) and then I said, please let me know if you would like me to continue working here at a competitive higher salary or if I should find a new job. And I was completely scared out of my mind.

And then, like it was the plan all along, my boss came back to me and said, we actually like you, we want you to stay here and we think you should make some more money too. And that was really nice. And it makes me want to work harder, better.

And you know what else, my boss told me that she realizes that I may not always work for them. That she realizes I may move on some time to something else, but she wants to keep me here if I want to be here. And that when/if I decide to move on, she’ll help me out then too.

Because I have also realized in the past few months that I think I want to go back to school in a few years. That I want to go back to school to be a physical therapist. I want to be active and help people and make people feel better. With more than just words. And that would require a year of pre-reqs, applying and then a three-year program. And I thought this was out of my reach. So completely out of my reach. And now it’s still a ways off, a long ways off, but it’s not impossible. Like Jim Carrey’s character Lloyd Christmas in Dumb & Dumber, “So, you’re saying I’ve got a chance?!”

So, things seem a little bit brighter today. My work has figured out a means (lots of red tape and not until January, but that’s okay) to pay me a higher salary. Not an fabulously awesome, beyond my expectations salary, but something that help me out for sure. And that means in a few years, I could probably switch down to part-time and go back to school. And work doesn’t seem like such a lost cause anymore. I don’t dread getting out of bed every morning. And even though I’m nowhere near out of the rough, nor will I be for a while, I think I’ll be sleeping a bit better now.

See, I told you it would be deep today. See you in December!



Filed under blondie, NaBloPoMo 2006

3 responses to “Contemplation

  1. rachel

    perhaps you’d enjoy an article I am currently reading on burnout…

  2. Sarah

    Blondie – your post hits home. I’m going through a ton of the same stuff. Maybe it’s the 29-30 transition year…

  3. Anonymous

    congrats! you did the right thing!

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