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Friday, December 12, 2008

Self-Defeating or Evolving?

What's the difference between being self-defeating or evolving as a person? As a young person, when you pick a certain path, whether it be the high, low or middle path, you're usually respected on some level if you stick with whatever you choose. If you don't stick with the plan, then people say, "I don't know about that guy/woman."

As a young man or late teenager, depending which way you look at it, I decided to go to college rather than pursue a trade and take over the family business my grandfather and uncle own. I did this for many reasons that aren't necessarily relevant anymore. Either way, I chose to do something and I made it through college. Suddenly, I needed to choose again.

What are my options, exactly? Marriage, kids, house and a 9 to 5? Ha! That's the anti-choice as far as I'm concerned. Things are a bit more complicated in my mind. I could choose to go at my career full bore and hold a few jobs to get my rep. up, which is why I'm already doing. I'm not sure how well I'm doing, but I know I'm working hard, either way.

Also, there's the location question; where do I want to be now and in five years? I've talked a bit about buying a home because it will stabilize my financial situation and give me a sense of place, rather than a frenetic transient lifestyle that I've been used to for my entire adult life.

I'm quite close to settling in one place for a while. It'll probably be Worcester where my family lives and where the cost of living is lower. I'm also close to launching my small biz which will hopefully allow me to be independently employed under my own terms in coming years. I also think I'll be in grad school in September if the schools I'm applying to are not stingy.

All this being said, I feel like it wouldn't take a lot of convincing and a little bit of opportunity to pull up all my roots and take the hell off to wherever the action and interest is in the world. If I got a call from a solar installer or manufacturer in Colorado and asked me to get out there by New Years and get to work, I'd be gone so quick you wouldn't even know what had just happened.

Although, that situation probably won't occur at this point in my career, who knows? More importantly, what does it mean that I want this to occur? Are my constantly evolving ideas and goals a good thing or are they keeping me from achieving anything truly meaningful and measurable in life?

I suppose these are the questions that need to be asked before the year ends. I ask for and appreciate any and all input.

Are you facing and significant urges to change your life around beyond recognition?


Anonymous said...

Oh, boy, I have those urges every single day. But in my case, I think they always stem from self-doubt more than from a crazy sense of adventure and wonder at the world (although I like to think I have those qualities, too). And I always said the same thing about the marriage and kids thing - now, here I sit married with a stepdaughter and a 9-5 job.

But I'm not done living yet, just because I have those things I never thought I wanted. Now I just have a partner in crime to explore the world with - it sounds a bit cheesy, but it makes the adventure more interesting and somewhat crazier. Because the one thing I regretted about being able to pick up and go and do whatever, wherever I wanted was that when I saw the most beautiful things in the world, I had no one who I could say, "Wow, that is truly amazing" to.

I still have self-doubts, though. A lot of them. Frequently. I find that my sense of adventure often stems from not being able (or wanting) to finish things, being afraid of what will happen once that thing I've always wanted to do is done. So I spend a lot of time planning and thinking ahead, only to not finish most of those things I start. It's frustrating, this feeling of constantly running away from something.

Now that's all the psychoanalysis of Tara you need :)


Anonymous said...

Don't most people at this age have that urge? When there's nothing really stopping you from having an adventure, you almost feel pathetic for not having one. I'm constantly thinking of different things I could be doing and different places I could be going in the next nine months. Hope you find a good adventure!

Andrea said...

I'm generally too nervous to do anything too adventurous. I've never lived more than a 90-minute drive away from my parents, for example. Still, I did quit my 9-5 job two months ago to pursue a freelance writing career, so I guess that's something.

I just got married this year and I'm trying to decide (very quickly) whether I want to do the kid thing. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to think about it since I'm already 35 and the clock is ticking.

You are facing a tough choice and I wish you luck. I don't think changing your mind about what you want is necessarily a bad thing as long as you eventually decide. I think it sometimes leads you to something you may never have considered otherwise.

Dolly Iris said...

I'm feeling very at the cross roads right now myself. I'm itching to settle down, buy a house, start a family and yet these things also freak me out in a way. Hmm
I'm hoping this year long trip will put some things into perspective for me.