It’s an odd feeling when the identity and life you were building has slipped away from you. Not that it’s bad to change, more that things have diverted, at least according to how I mapped it out and took steps to achieve right after college. I am in my mid-thirties (I know, I keep harping on this – but it’s just a reference point, albeit a poignant one) and was supposed to be MUCH more successful and set by now – in the prime of my career, not restarting it, restructuring it, etc. (Sidebar: Is that what all mid-thirtes people say? Are we actually the modern day version of yesteryear’s 20-somethings since everyone is living longer and our grandparents had to grow up faster because life was harsher? Is it true that nowadays no one can be grown up until at least 35? That’s a theory.)
But here I am, in that place, and I am stoic about it. No reason to wig out or panic – as life is presenting me with a unique opportunity here. I can choose to see it as a gift and work with it as my chance to ignite the spark rather than do that other thing that we won’t even mention here.
Thankfully I thrive on change, always have. And isn’t that what life truly is after all, change? It’s the only constant, the only thing that doesn’t change is the fact that things change. Everything changes. I choose to find comfort in that because you certainly can’t outsmart it.
We all like to make plans and have linear goals that go from A to B to Z, yet life constantly teaches us that nothing is that simple. As a very wise peer and successful colleague put it to me – you have to be able to dance with the zig and zag of life because rather than being impediments toward your ultimate objectives, it’s those very zigzags that can lead you to exactly what you’ve been working toward. She’s right, and that’s exactly how Life, the Universe, God – whatever you want to call it – works.
I feel the surges of creativity, the yearning to strike out, to make the marks and the statements and gather initiative to take it all to the public level. I know I can do this and this is what I WANT to do – write as my sole profession (not as a for-hire freelancer but solely from my own projects), develop and execute my creative projects into real public ventures that produce revenue, and most importantly, connect people and make them think – hopefully inspire them to open their minds and hearts to greater perceptions.
That is my dream profession and that is why I create, looking for niches where people can tell their stories and read about others. Ultimately it is to connect. It’s also just something I have to do. I feel it in my bones…I have to write. I have always felt that way since childhood, which is why I got a journalism degree and went into magazine writing (even if that was a bit of a false start). I am an expressive person and also very intense, so because of that, it’s better to neutralize my communication by writing. What comes out of my mouth is very different than the eloquence with which I present in written form.
But I digress….
Back to being a TYPE – mid-thirties, false start (career begins, hubby in place – then NOPE, this isn’t right, I can’t settle for this, must make a shift to ensure I get the life of my dreams) and now regrouped and primed for the next chapters – now that I am officially an ADULT with all that complex title entails. I wouldn’t even call it being a late bloomer, because at first I was ahead of the curve, but now, behind that societal age curve of success. Yet after talking to friends and colleagues, everyone of our generation (Gen X/Y) agrees that real life and learning how to be truly responsible and finally get on top of all your shit actually happens in the 30s. This helps put things into perspective. (Obviously I over-think things, but that is how my brain works – always spinning and churning. Hence, I must do something with all this mental energy…write!)
Therefore I move through it, working hard on my mind, body and spirit to get me in the proper state to reclaim myself, reinvent myself and go back after my dreams with confidence, ready to conquer the world. Life and our experiences will zigzag. This is why we have to be flexible as we make our plans and goals and rules, realizing life cannot happen on a straight line. When it zigs, you may zag, but eventually they meet up and propel you to your best self! Trust that process.
I refuse to see any challenge or “false start” as a step back, but more as a “shoulder” on the fast lane of life – where we pull over for a bit and check on all the blinking lights, make sure the car is working properly. We fix anything that needs fixin’, then get right back in that car, turn on the blinker and merge back into that fast lane!