It’s funny how quickly time can pass when you’re having fun–or even not having fun. Time passes even when it seems to be standing still. In a short period of time I’ll officially be a year older and hopefully a bit wiser. It’s usually around this time every year that I get somewhat nostalgic and ask myself yet again, “what am I doing with my life?” The answer never seems to be what I want. However, this past year was a game changer of sorts. I posted a lot about change and making hard decisions all throughout this year and some hard decisions were definitely made. I traveled a fair amount that included trips to France, Mexico, and Greece. I started a job that I realized wasn’t a great fit. I started working nights and stuck it out for a while. One of the biggest lessons learned this year was the importance of being clear about what I want and going after it. I met some pretty big goals simply because of planning and being willing to step outside the box to make it happen. I had a huge disappointment that made me reconsider the direction of my life–as most disappointments do. Ups and downs are a part of life and this year was no exception. However, I’ve learned a lot and matured as a result of being willing to challenge myself and some beliefs that I previously held. I did a overhaul of my life and relocated across the country just to start from the ground up and begin building again. Definitely not something for the faint of heart but I think it’ll work out
I found this great article that I thought was especially relevant. You can read it here. I’ve have a variety of work experiences in my limited years of officially being in the workforce. One of the first things I discovered is that it’s nowhere as glamorous as the TV shows make it out to be. Yeah, it’s nice to be able to pay bills on time but in reality the day to day grind is typically pretty stressful. The author in this post asserts that it’s ok to get personal on the job. I agree to some extent because I know people who consider their coworkers to be extensions of their own family. It’s refreshing to work with a group of people you know well. However, it’s also nice to not feel obligated to invite your coworkers to events like your birthday party or wedding and be pleasant without sharing every detail of your life with those who work with you. The author of this article also mentions poor performance and culture as one of the reasons that millennials are frustrated. I think that a lot of people in my age bracket are realizing that having a job isn’t really all that it’s cracked up to be. Waking up at an ungodly hour on a Monday morning to slave away for the next 8 hours and then repeat for the next 4 days in a roll isn’t exactly the definition of having a good quality of life. Unlike many of the generations before me, I can’t imagine spending 40 years or more in the same position. Many young adults are more focused on doing something that makes an actual difference in the world instead of just clocking in. It’s more about the journey than the end goal (retirement) these days.
Not too long ago I had to make a decision that was uncomfortable but had to be done. I believe in trying to live without regrets and I knew that not taking action would result in regret later. Closure is something that has always been important to me. While it’s a luxury at times, the ability to wrap something up with a nice pretty bow before it’s discarded. There aren’t any loose ends to wrap up. I’ve learned the hard way that it is worth it sometimes to be uncomfortable for a moment instead of having a lifetime of regret. Usually closure is something that’s done for me in some weird twist of circumstances and fate. The difference in this situation was that the responsibility rested solely on me. I had to step up to the plate. I think that having closure is better than carrying around something that we have no control over. It helps us to move on and accept change. No, it may not have turned out the way we would have chosen but there’s a certain peace attached to being able to accept, adjust, and move forward because a chapter of our lives has ended.
I want to marry a rich man at some point in my life. I respect the people who say that money isn’t everything in life and I agree. However, I don’t want money (lack of it) to be an issue in my marriage. I think that relationships have enough stressors without financial ones. Money doesn’t solve all problems but at least it gives you a head start. If I have kids I want to be able to give them a better life than I had. While I didn’t grow up in poverty and my family was middle class, I always wondered what life would look like if we were better off. I recognize that there are sacrifices made when you are with a man who is ambitious and rich. Whether it means turning a blind eye to his wandering one or being the primary caregiver of the kids and the house. Life is never good 100% of the time and each family has their own challenges. I appreciate spontaneity but at the end of the day I want a partner who is stable and financially secure. This doesn’t mean that I want to be solely financially dependent on someone else but it does mean that I like the idea of someone else having my back if I need it. No, I’m not going to marry someone because of their bank account but their ability to provide will be taken into consideration. Not being “rich” is definitely not a deal-breaker because there are things in life that matter more than money at the end of the day.
I just got back from an international trip and had an awesome time. It’s always humbling and eye opening to see how people live on other parts of the planet. Aside from a few moments of genuine anxiety and heart racing panic about missing the flight home and being stuck in an airport in Turkey, the trip was a success. We had a great travel agency, met a lot of fellow travelers, and enjoyed some amazing food. A few things I learned: 1. Travel lightly–hauling a 40lb suitcase plus a duffle bag was hard and I didn’t need everything I brought.
2. Don’t be obnoxious– whenever I heard someone complaining loudly or whining 9 times out of 10 they were American. It’s embarrassing and gives Americans a bad reputation.
3. Get off the beaten path. Ironically the BEST Chinese food I’ve had in my life was at a small restaurant on a Greek island.
4. Talk to the locals. Some of the best suggestions and fun I’ve had has been the result of a local recommendation.
5. Make the most of the experience. Do as much as possible but spend your time wisely. You’ll still be just as jetlagged when you return home.
I feel that I’m due for another post and while I have been consistent with writing in the past, sometimes it’s almost impossibly hard to translate my chaotic thoughts into something coherent. But I’m going to try. I’ve come to the realization that most people live with a set of “ifs” or “what ifs.” It’s that feeling where you just KNOW that things would be different IF distance wasn’t a factor, IF money wasn’t an issue, IF you had made a better decision. The list goes on and on. Sometimes that “if” is a person. I’ve seen the look of regret on the faces of many older adults as they’ve lamented on losing their first love or a painful goodbye that they never fully got over. I say all that to say that sometimes you have to know exactly what you want—even if it’s a big thing, and work backwards. You can eliminate a few “ifs” IF you are willing to make huge decisions that are uncomfortable in the present but lay the foundation for a better future.