Saturday, January 18, 2014

The update you may or may not be waiting for

Hello people. Hello whoever you are, out there, sitting at your computer, on your phone or on your tablet, staring at this text and letting me enter your life if only for a few minutes.

Before you get started reading this, can I just say thank you? Just for taking any time, even if it just means clicking the link and then clicking away. Thank you. If, on the other hand, you've read a great many of these blogs and taken even more than a minute of time to let them into your mind - I'm forever indebted. I love reading other people's thoughts and that anyone has any interest in mine brings me more joy than you could possibly know.

So anyway, I haven't been updating this writing space. And there's an explanation for that. One that you may or may not have been wondering about.

2013 is now over and I guess I feel safe saying that it was one of the most trying years of my life. A lot of my steps toward the pursuit of a lifetime of happiness have been upended, and though there are many valuable philosophical principles you can learn from having a rough time in your life, that doesn't make the trouble of getting through that time any easier.

I'm sure 20 and 21 are common years for identity crises, but as someone who never had any questions as to what her life was all about, it came on a bit suddenly.

Now I'm sitting here, in an apartment in the South Bay near San Francisco and I just keep thinking Well, this wasn't part of the plan, was it? What is this, then?

But that's life, isn't it? It's all about taking the steps to get somewhere, and along the way discovering new things. I'm discovering a brand new place to live, I'm meeting new people, I'm feeling really scared...about 99.9 percent of the time.

Which leads me to think that even though the space between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2014 was the hardest I've had to deal with, it's also been the most formative. Feeling scared is better than feeling complacent. So many times in the past I dreamed of the next step and felt contented to know that it was there, but that until it arrived I could live in this in-between time without any firm expectations for the present.

Now it's all about what the next step is. And for once that next step is not part of the conveyor belt, it's not steady and planned out. And that's the scariest thing I can imagine, personally. I feel like I'm walking into a dark room, arms outstretched. Any minute I could bump into a wall, or trip over something hard and land flat on my face.

I think the uncertainty is why I've been afraid to write much lately. I don't feel the stability I once did - and that makes it more difficult to reflect.

I've also started to realize that I barely know myself. And that sometimes even when you think you have a firm grasp of who you are or what you want, you can be incredibly mistaken. Completely off the correct path to understanding. Maybe even on the wrong planet.

I wouldn't say I'm on Neptune or anything, but I've definitely had to reassess what it is I want, need and expect from day-to-day life.

Which brings us back to the "what's the next step?" question that haunts my dreams.

The answer is: I don't know. And it's a common one amongst people my age. For a long time we might've believed that a job or a grad school or a spouse (or whatever) would be there waiting for us when we graduated. The next step would be drawn out for us. For some, maybe it is. For others, it's completely up in the air.

I'm one of the latter. And it's partially by choice.

The update I've been meaning to give is one that I haven't been able to quite figure out yet. Because I don't even know what it is I'm doing, or what I'm thinking, or where I'm going.

And what is the point of writing a personal blog if all you have to say about the life is a long "uhh" accompanied by a shrug?

But what comforts me and inspires me to write this regardless of where I'm at is the realization that people are out there feeling the same things I am. And that the update that I haven't been able to give until now is one that can resonate with other people.

Even people who think they have it all together - my past self included - may not have much of anything figured out. And I like to think that's why we're allowed to make mistakes right now, because even if we feel we have these almighty clairvoyant powers, in an instant we might discover that they're absolutely and undeniably incorrect.

Well I was incorrect for a long time, and this brief span of difficult trail is going to, hopefully, get me back on the right track.

So that's the update you may or may not have been waiting for. If you have been waiting, then I thank you. If you haven't, then thank you anyway. Thank you for caring.

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