I’ve been in kind of a rut lately. Oh, I know, I never stop complaining. Everything was great for a few days after I finished my Thesis rough draft* and then it sort of…stopped being so great.
By and large I feel dissatisfied with my life. On the surface, I shouldn’t: I’m doing well in school, I like being a student; I have a job that I like and (for now) I can afford to live on what I make; I have the love and support of family and friends, both near and far; and (ignoring for the moment the 3000-mile chunk of America that sits between us) I love and am loved by a very wonderful man.
Yet this is not what I always wanted for myself. This is not where I thought I’d be at 24.**
Last summer I had to choose between staying in Pittsburgh to work and pay my bills and going up to northern Michigan to the lake I’ve gone to every summer of my life (also the subject of my Thesis). I chose work. Logically, I know that was a good thing to do. Emotionally, I hate myself for it.
I want to live the writer’s life. I want to travel the world and spend a month in silence, just thinking and writing. I want to be able to just pick up and go. I want to get out in the world and do some living, take some risks – get hurt, maybe.***
But here I am. I’m in an office 8.5 hours a day, with little to no flexibility. I go to class at night, I go home and I watch shitty TV for an hour or so and then I go to bed. I don’t write at night. I barely write on the weekends, and even then it’s limited to writing for class. That’s all I have the energy for. I don’t travel, can’t afford to.****
There’s a part of me that likes the predictability of my life as it stands – no funny business, no surprises. All my ducks in a row. But mostly I feel stuck, stifled. I want to learn how to be irresponsible and fly by the seat of my pants and not feel panicked.
Maybe it’s jealousy. Most of my friends are graduating this semester and they have big plans – or no plans – and it’s exciting and scary.
Maybe I just want to feel like I have choices. Right now it seems like I’ve given them all away.
*Upon hearing the good news, my mom said, “that’s great honey! Does this mean you won’t be going to school anymore?”
**I know 24 is young – and only a fraction of the total years I expect to be alive – which is maybe the problem: I’m too young to live like I’m so old.
***I mean “hurt” like “stub a toe,” not like “get shot at by pirates.”
****My latest fantasy involves selling everything I own and just running away. I wonder how far I could get on a couple hundred dollars?