starting to lead a purpose-driven life

“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.”

– Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

Precious Readers,

I have good news and I have bad news.

 

THE BAD NEWS:

I have not lived up to promises of keeping you entertained.  These last few months have been some of the most difficult I’ve ever encountered.  Needless to say, there is a lot in my life that has required me to step away from the keyboard and focus.  These issues are not quite at a place to discuss them publicly at this time.

Life lessons have been recycling in my life.  Lessons that I’d thought I’d learned from and protected myself against.  There are people in my life and there are those who were only seemingly in my life.  I haven’t had this strong of a reality slap in the face since my dad passed away.  There were people who I thought would never leave my life, who instead completely disappeared never to be heard from again.  Then there were others who stepped up and became closer friends with me than I ever imagined possible.

I’m facing that needle-like tingle across the face, the stinging reverberated across my cheek as the icy reality of the same sensation has happened again.  This time there no major life changes that caused this, thank goodness, but my own awakening as a “can’t look back now, I’m officially an adult, no other synonyms allowed” person.

This year, I turned 30.

Not to sound cliché, but this was a difficult birthday for me.  Not in the political sense of “a woman turning thirty” requiring everyone and their brother to question if the female subject in question is married, has a house, has children?

No, the idea of 30 was a bit more personal than political.

There’s a film called The Last Kiss, one Americanized starring Zach Braff, but actually is a remake of an Italian film L’ultimo Bacio.  For the purposes of this blog, I am focusing on the Zach Braff film.  The director’s commentary of the film-

Yes. I’m one of those.  I watch the director commentary of films. <shrug.> 

-mentions that although of course at the heart of the story is a man who is realizing his life is beginning to “settle.”  He and his long term girlfriend are expecting a child and planning to find a place to live.

The film isn’t subtle.  It’s about as subtle as a brick to the head. However, it does bring up an interesting subplot: the idea that it’s possible there is more than one type of “life crises” phases throughout the human experience.  The main character and his three other friends are all approaching 30.  It explores the idea that there is another “mid-life crisis” in your 30’s where you face not only the consequences of your youth, but setting the foundation for the remainder of your adult years.

That’s a lot to deal with.

It becomes apparent that this is the final age where no person can truly say they’re a ‘young adult’ anymore.  It is the official stark, unwavering line between youth and adulthood.  20-somethings can still use the excuse that they’re “young” and still “finding themselves.”  While any person can easily say that “if you want to be somebody else, change your mind,” (thank you Sister Hazel), at any age, it would be difficult to find any person who believes 30 could still be misinterpreted as a ‘young adult.’ You are now an official adult, no turning back, no holds barred.

In the new age of writing, there has been a recent genre rising to the scene called “New Adult.”  This surpasses the pre-teen angst, the teenage romanticism of pain and joy, and the college years of someone claiming to be an adult while still dealing with a 4-digit phone number and mini-fridge.  New Adult claims to be post-college, yet not quite in the “married, settled in the suburbs with the 2.5 kids.”

Obi-One-Pin-Obi, a longtime friend of mine, greeted my third decade amongst the world with a birthday card that said, “Welcome to your 30’s!  There’s cookies here!”  I’m one of the youngest of all of my friends, the second youngest of all of my cousins on both sides of the family, and was the second youngest person in my graduating class of high school.  The youngest person is only younger than me by less than two weeks.

I look at Facebook among the people around Pilot’s and my age and see a definitive, polarized line of the life stages.  Many are either married or already divorced with several children, while the other side is still single or just finding significant others.  I fall into a minority where I’m married with no children, and no plans for children in the immediate (or possible long term) future.

I’ve been (somewhat) maintaining this blog for 2 years.  What do I have to show for it?  A slow fading of posts that went from daily to only a few times a year.

Funny enough, I find myself back at square one.

 

THE GOOD NEWS:

I find myself back at square one!  (Yes, I did intend to write that a second time.  With an exclamation point!  As a GOOD thing!)  I have another opportunity to make another drastic change in my life.

Precious Readers, Pilot found a full-time job!

This marks a new beginning for me.  The freedom of choice. Although there are still several details that will need to be sorted out, I finally have the freedom to choose how I spend my time.

Not to sound completely full of myself-

However, if I do… I’m blaming “only child syndrome.”

-I am quite hirable.  The skills I’ve learned through having to work since I was young-

and no, I’m not talking early twenties. I’m talking about babysitting, doing odd jobs before I was 14, and then being old enough to have jobs since I was 14.  Been working and never stopped!

-I have a (now) decades of customer service training under my belt, along with now a degree and several other office administrative skills that have grown over the years.

This has granted me the ability to work in whatever location of my choosing.  At the time, I worked wherever the money flowed.

Now I can choose.

The difference between my 20’s versus my 30’s?  I’m finally taking steps towards making writing my full-time career.  This month, I’ll be attending the Emerald City Writer’s Conference in Bellevue, WA.  If you happen to be there, feel free to look me up.

Also, I’ve been attending writer’s support meetings and finally getting to a place where I’m not blocked anymore.

If the lack of blog posts have been an indicator, I’ve been a dealing with a bit of writer’s block lately.  Mostly due to lack of time.  Although it’s true that, “if you want to be a writer, you’ll find a way to write.” That would be true if I didn’t work 60-80 hours per week, plus 1-2 hours of commuting ONE WAY, and (attempting to) manage a household and take care of others in my time-limited life.

Lunchtime would be primo time to knock out a few hundred words… If I actually took a lunch, which I rarely do.

Just a reminder: It’s easy to dole out advice when you don’t understand the other person’s situation. Think before you speak… Another lesson I’m relearning on a minute-by-minute basis, and rarely succeed at.

No, Precious Readers, something has got to give. I’m reviewing my life with a fine-toothed comb, and I’ll tell you what:

By this time next year, there are going to be a LOT of changes happening for me.

I hope you’ll continue to stay with me on this new adventure.

 

Have there ever been definitive moments in your life where you completely 180’d your entire existence?

What sacrifices did you have to make for these life-changing experiences?

Do you ever regret uprooting your entire life?

Who were the haters and your greatest supporters, and how did they affect your decision?

i run from hate, i run from prejudice, i run from pessimists

“Wow, I’m really good at lying to myself.”

– Katherine Bacher

Oh dear.

I may have made some serious miscalculations for myself. As with most people, I’m afraid I haven’t quite stuck to my guns with my New Year’s Resolutions. Hopefully those of you out on the Interwebs have fared far better than I.

Precious Readers, I have failed you. Which is worse than failing myself. Although they’re only separated by a 1/8 tick. I feel worse about disappointing you than lying to myself. Let’s face it, lying to ourselves always makes one feel better in the short-term. Earning your disappointment or disapproval… yikes.

Not as an excuse, but to give you an idea of where my head is at, the following has occurred in the last four months:

1.  I got roped into a MAJOR PROJECT at work that required almost 100% of my attention. This included many late nights, long hours, time away from Pilot, etc. Let’s just say the entire month is a caffeine-and-carb-riddled blur of a mess where I managed to single-handedly complete a massive shipping of product generated from my job out to the masses of our clients all over the nation. I think there was a grand total of maybe 5 hours worth of conversation and eye contact spent with Pilot in that entire month. Combined.  So thankful February isn’t a “real” month.  That might just have de-wired my brain.

2.  A co-worker passed away. Due to the nature of this individual’s situation, the family he left behind, and the infamous way he created notoriety for himself before departing from this earth, I will not go into further details. Unfortunately he leaves a young child behind, and although I empathize with that child, I did luck out in having significantly more years with my own father before he passed.

3.  A dear, dear friend of mine – we’ll call her Azalea* – passed away. Her service is still being scheduled for next month. I worked with her at my previous employment and we became very good friends. She suffered from colon cancer for the last 3 years of her life, multiple bouts of chemo and radiation. When I last spoke to her, she was on an oxygen tank. She was a wife, mother, grandmother and my friend.

Azalea’s passing earlier this April has really hit me hard, and I’m ashamed to say I had quite a few meltdowns at home last week.

Let’s face it. I’ll probably have a few more.

She was more than just a co-worker to me. She was family. It brought up old feelings of losing my dad and grandma (both of whom I lost in 2007), all over again. Feelings of which I buried super, super deeply.

I hate stuff resurfacing like that. It’s like a bad carpet stain. You think it’s out of the way. When you least expect it, it pops right up again clear as day and you wonder how the hell all of the efforts you put into “out of sight, out of mind,” it’s always right below where you can see it. Lurking.

That’s right. Lurking. I’m beefing up on my verbs today.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m approaching the big 30 this year. Maybe it’s a mid-mid-life crisis, but these recent events made me realize I need to start making a LOT of changes in my life.

Foremost in my mind: Stop living to please other people.

My dear, Precious Readers, you are in the presence of a wuss. A big-

Well, not “big.” I’m not huge or anything. I’m… well… let’s just say there’s a lot to love. I have pretty wrists, decent-sized boobs for an Asian, and good hair, does that count?

-what was I saying? Oh, right.

I’m a cowardly, shy, “flight”-reactive wuss when it comes to going for my dreams.

Growing up, most of my life was pretty much planned out for me. I wasn’t a “rebel”-

Although, my parents have mentioned that I had quite the smart mouth. Maybe “smart mouth” + writer’s brain go hand-in-hand?

-I was a good girl. I ate my vegetables, brushed my (good) hair, minded my P’s and Q’s. Fared decently in school, didn’t get into trouble. Heck, I volunteered countless hours at children’s day camps, retirement homes and nursing homes.

From the womb to the tomb.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to perfect a lifestyle to meet others’ idea of success and accomplishment. To be brutally honest, leaving my last job and starting this blog are probably some of the most rebellious things I’ve ever done.

Although, I am a roller coaster junkie. Is that rebellious?

These recent events have made me ask some tough questions. Like, “Why am I so afraid?” I need to start living for me before the next 30 go by like the wind. I’ve spent a large portion of my 20’s depressed, and I think it’s mostly due to the fact at my incredible ability to deflect and ignore what’s actually important to me.

The reason? It’s simple, my Precious Readers. Fear.

It’s not difficult to figure out. Seriously. It’s 100% Fear.

Fear of disappointing those I love.

Fear of failure.

Feeling unworthy/undeserving of my true dreams; that my parents are right, and “an artsy job” will not pay the bills and I’ll end up homeless.

Although I’d never sell my laptop. There’s free wi-fi everywhere. I’d make do. I can’t live without access to my books (and yes, I have TONS of real books, too), cat videos and online cooking channels. YouTube** and Kindle** are my late-night best friends.

I’m sure most of those who are in my Daily Life and Real Life will tell me I’m crazy.

Well… crazier.

I don’t care anymore.

I’m sick of caring about what people tell me to care about.

I want to care about the things that keep circling around in my head over and over, to which I respond with the word “someday.” I’m tired of “someday.”

Someday can kiss my ass. It’s already kicked it for 30 years.

It may take me a while to accomplish my bucket list life goals, but I have faith that God will give me the strength to truly move forward, stop being afraid about what other people think.

Also, that He’ll boot me on the butt when I’m getting lazy about it, ensuring I at least try with everything that I have.

I hope this post encourages you to go after what you think your purpose is.

It’s too short, people. Life is just too damn short.

*This name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual and their family.

**Not endorsed by YouTube or Kindle. Any statements made about these two applications are the opinion of my own free will and not a reflection of those company’s points of view.