Tag Archives: dreams

little boxes

I’ve been thinking a lot about the hard work it takes to realize personal goals. I’m a quitter, you see.

believe

A lot of my high school graduating class has successfully transitioned to “normal” adult life. They work at banks, in cubicles, or at medical offices. They wear suits or scrubs. They participate in the thrill of rush hour. They go on cruises sometimes. But I, at almost 25, just quit my job on a production floor to work part time at a coffee shop. I’m working jobs that most certainly don’t require a four year degree. And the thing about it is that, ultimately, I chose these paths, these technical jobs. Sure, I’ve interviewed for “real” jobs, but I’ve never gravitated toward them.

What I’m trying to figure out is if I’m afraid or enlightened. We think we know ourselves, but we’ve told so many coping stories, it all gets muddled in our heads. On the one hand, I know I’m terrified of getting stuck. The thought of spending decades in an office chair working toward something I’m not absolutely passionate about makes the veins on the side of my head pop out. But I also like to think I’m (rightly) ideologically opposed to buying into the myth that adult life has to look like that, as if wearing modest black pumps to work and conducting conference calls is the badge of responsibility or the marker of success. 

But refusing that life means it’s up to me to make something happen. If I’m not willing to be propelled into stable adulthood by a corporate infrastructure, it rests on me to provide the push forward. And I’d like to pretend I’m strong enough to take care of myself; I scoff at those who take the easy way out – who settle – but I allow the fear of failure to eat away at me before I’ve really started anything.

I quit my job because it was unfulfilling, but, I swear, it’s not because I’m lazy. I have big plans for my vintage store. I’m excited to make it happen. I’m also terrified that the success or failure of Platinum and Rust is my burden to bear alone. I need to believe I can do it. I need to believe I have the skills, the tact, and the talent to succeed. I’m afraid that my peers (and parents) living in cushy, corporate stability scoff at me. I’m afraid that they don’t think I can do it. I’m afraid that their boxed-in dreams (or contentment, as it may be) masquerading as wisdom will get the best of them, and the best of me.

But it really doesn’t matter, does it? When I succeed, none of the doubt will matter at all.

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on the ash heap

Job art

I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself this month to create meaningful content. But I don’t have much to say.

I rant and discuss and reflect often enough, but my brain is too scattered, too absorbed in the task of figuring out what I’m going to do with my life, to spew out anything coherent or meaningful.

Everything’s been fine. But as I settle into living here – as it becomes less like a vacation – I’m restless to just get on with my life:

To change the world, or at least a small part of it.

To know my path.

To achieve something visible, tangible, momentous.

To feel, each day, that I’m living life right.

And I’m past the point of thinking that there’s one particular right path I was predestined to follow. I recognize the big lie that success is measured by high levels of both stress and income. And I daily stop to remember that I’m young – and I repeat all the cliche phrases that accompany that thought for good measure.

There’s a misplaced, or displaced, drive, I think. I want to Do Something. I’ve gotten used to people telling me what to do and how to plan my time.

The whole point, I guess, is that it’s up to me to create and follow all the steps. The safety wheels and floaties are actually off now. I have to make decisions and follow through. But I also get to be in charge and achieve something and bask in the results.

I’m mostly afraid that I will collapse into the ashes of my bankrupted dreams – that the light will flicker out, that I’ll end up a prisoner to absolute failure.

* image source: JOB ON THE ASH HEAP, JUSEPE DE RIBERA

food for thought

 

“If you do really like what you’re doing…you can eventually become a master of it…and then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is…it’s absolutely stupid to go on doing things you don’t like…and to teach your children to follow in the same track…to bring up their children to do the same things. It’s all retch and no vomit – it never gets there.” – Alan Watts