It’s no question that my physical growth has been stunted. I stopped growing in high school in fact, hit 5’2” and was told by puberty, “Well that’s as good as it is going to get.” And I’ve accepted that, my height gets me on the limited amusement park rides I wish to go on and when my flat feet work with me I can wear heels and join the masses without towering too much into the atmosphere.
However what I am starting to notice more and more is that something emotional or mental within me that might also be stunted. What I’ve found is that while I am at an age where I should know my dreams and plans and goals they have seemed to gotten fuzzy.
When I was 18 and just getting ready to leave behind the label of “high school student” for “college student” I could have told you in detail about what I wanted for my future. In fact if you look back at what I said in my high school newspaper about future plans it was this, “Go to the University of Nebraska and get my journalism degree, find my Daily Planet to my Lois Lane, find me a crooner to marry, and then have a few kids.” Yeah I thought I was pretty sassy, smart, and had it all together.
But now I read that back and zero of that has happened or is even what I want any longer. Journalism is still a thing I admire and enjoy but once I got to college and through some classes I found it wasn’t the fit I had dreamed it to be. So one major change and some serious credit crunching, to do it all in four years, later I have a degree in English and a minor in LGBT/Sexuality studies. I Love it, yes with a capital L.
The “crooner” stuff just makes me roll my eyes at myself. I mean sure I would not throw my nose in the air at the idea of having a significant other in my life, I like the idea of sharing a life and a lazy Sunday in bed with someone just as much as the next person. It is just the fact that I thought it was so vital to my future makes me just chuckle. Not to mention the kids comment! Ha! If you know me now you know kids are the nothing I seriously entertain, it’s more like I actively avoid the concept. Although I will stand by my obvious love for Superman and that world because it is the only unchanging thing from that little blurb. Lois Lane remains better than your favorites.
What this all means is that at the end of another round of education I was faced with mountains of school loans, a degree I was proud of but still trying to figure out how to make a career out of, and no new safety net to catch me when an inevitable fall was to happen. I grew a lot in those years which, yeah they encourage and love that, but they also expect you to come out with a trajectory and solid idea of where to go from there. Unfortunately I had nothing.
So I did the one thing I had never wanted to do and was so far off my 18-year-old self’s intended plan; I moved home. Which in hindsight wasn’t as awful as I had made it out to be in my head, in fact the first few months of completely uninterrupted laziness was a thing of beauty. Typically summers off are only so fun because we all know that there is an end in sight and we have to return to “the grind”, but this came with no expiration date. Realistically I knew I had to get off my ass because student loans would come knocking sooner rather than later, and also because I am a person that can only take so much down time before I lose my mind.
Insert me at my high school job where my former bosses were kind enough to give me a position again. It was another one of those things I dreaded having to do; despite how much I love the people here and the job isn’t bad nobody really wants to return to their part-time high school job. However I am not stupid; a job is a job and money is money and I needed some sort of income (and the people there are some of the best so it’s not hard to show up to work really). Even managed to find myself a second job in the process.Between the two I sometimes run a little ragged but the security knowing I am somewhat financially stable is a load of my shoulders and therefore taking up less space up in my brain where I try to constantly reorganize a plan.
Thus we return to my stunted, and possibly reversing, mental state. I’ve been avoiding admitting it for ages but I know less now about what I want to do with my life than I did six years ago.
Yes there are things I am passionate about, love, and am pretty decent at, but I’ve not narrowed down a specific course I should or desire to take. I’ve got loads of different ideas but I can’t be sure any of them are right or will work out and I think that fear has been holding me back. I don’t really want to waste my time on something that could be a dud, even if I am still young and capable of making mistakes I’d just rather not if I don’t have to.
Which means I sit stuck in a routine I don’t necessarily hate, daydreaming about all the possibilities I could be exploring.
At night I often dream up elaborate plans and action I am going to take to provide me with a new life that will lead to the feeling I seem to be chasing. Describing that feeling has been difficult, which in turn makes chasing it that much more so, but I know I get it when I see my friends settling into their adult lives and “figuring it out”. It’s not pretty but I get jealous, they all deserve the things they’ve worked hard for and I don’t wish to take it away I just realize how impatient I am getting to feel that myself.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “She is aware this all takes work right? It doesn’t just fall into your lap.” I do know that and I am not afraid of working for it, I just for now need to figure out exactly what it is I should/want to work for. Once I narrow that down I am excited to start down that path.
For the mean time while I stumble my way to the right decision I take comfort in the fact while my physical stunted-ness is permanent and unfix-able this mental and emotional stuff is temporary. This whole post might reek of me being a pessimist but I am mostly an optimist and I believe that eventually things will work out. Someday in the future I’ll come across this and laugh at my insecurities and worries like current me can laugh at the fresh face and idealistic version of myself from six years ago who had every little detail planned out.
There is little doubt in me that I won’t, in time, live a life I fully enjoy that allows me to be loved and happy and therefore project that back into Universe. The destination I get (for the most part) it’s just the journey I’ve yet to decipher correctly, and that’s fine I’ve got time I just don’t always have the patience to match the time.
As it stands I am an individual in her mid twenties that can’t answer the question, “What do you want to do with your life?” The answer changes from day-to-day and I’ve given up saying generic answers to appease people or sound like I am not a total loser with her life in shambles.
The truth is, I don’t know what I want to do and I refuse to let that beat me. It’s now become a challenge that I’ll have to overcome, but it’s better than wallowing in the feeling that I am a failure which is a pattern I sank into for a while. I may not be able to know exactly what my future hold or where I’ll be in a year but that’s a little exciting when I learn to let go of the fear it puts in me first.
It’s no question that I’ve got time and the imagination to make whatever future I decide I want to happen. This is not as good as it’s gonna get for me; I’ve got many more exciting roller coaster like adventures to go on and killer heels to wear to an assortment of life events.