I’m in a funk. It’s the kind of funk I experience every five years, typically as a birthday with a 0 or a 5 approaches. At 20, I drove around Austin for hours trying to imagine what I wanted my life to look like after college. Five years after that, in the throes of one of those so-called “quarter-life crises”, I quit my job in New York and moved to Colorado for bluer sky and more closet space. At 30, I was back in New York again and starting grad school to tackle my third career. And now, six weeks before turning 35 (wow…really? How’d that happen??), a few months from taking a very important career-changing exam and in the middle of planning my very long-awaited wedding, I find myself feeling extremely…antsy.
I’m the kind of person, unfortunately, who has a really difficult time living in the present, and am constantly plotting, dreaming, and stressing about my next move. What am I going to do after I take the exam? Should I look for a new job? Do I open a private practice? Or worse, what if I don’t pass it?
What am I going to do once this wedding I’ve envisioned for so long is finally over? What will I plan for then? A house, a kid, a dog? When am I going to travel the world, write my novel, start my own business? How will I fit it all in? I need to know what comes next, and it always feels like I need to know RIGHT NOW.
For some reason I’ve convinced myself that if I’m not slingshotting myself forward to the next great thing, then I must be one step shy of total complacency. I can’t decide if this makes me ambitious or anxious. Perhaps I am both.
I crave change the way most people crave stability. I struggle with leaving things the way they are–just ask anyone who has ever visited my home. I have rearranged my furniture once a month since I was a little girl. I like replacing old with new. The fact that I have maintained a nine-year relationship without ever feeling an urge to bounce is nothing short of a miracle and a true testament to my beloved’s sheer awesomeness. I suppose it’s no coincidence that my laid-back counterpoint has been working overtime for the past month as I’ve been spinning through one of my existential spells.
And so instead of writing in this space, a place I created with the intention of organizing my thoughts and balancing my chi, or studying for my exam, which will get me that much closer to figuring out my next career move, I have flung myself into the silly world of wedding blogs, where I can brainlessly fixate on one frilly day instead of stress myself out about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.
As if I really need to know at 35. As if anyone ever could.