10 years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.
Image and text via @ThinkGrowProsper on Instagram
“So. How would you describe your voice?” they’d ask.
Like the golden arches or a chef’s signature dish, a writer’s voice is what sets him or her apart from all the other shmegegges holding a pen.
I don’t think I know yet. I’d like to say that my voice is daring and bold, along with many other sexy synonyms that would crowd the cover of my biography (for which Amanda Bynes will play me in a movie adaptation. I believe in you, Amanda!). But if my voice is anything like my current state, I’d have to say it’s young, impressionable, and constantly struggling between whether to say “cheese” or pull on some sweatpants and go to town. Snackville, Population: 1.
Impressionable because it tends to change based on the voices swirling in my mind that day. It wasn’t until cracking open Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” that I felt free to unleash my own internal comedienne. Amusedtown, Population: 0.
To switch subjects for a sec (shiny object!), let’s turn the spotlight on you. Do you like yourself? Really, truly, appreciate who you are? Do you feel you’ve got a grasp on just what makes you tick?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions—specifically the last one—you’re either really lucky or just plain delusional. I’ve heard that we never truly understand ourselves, and even if we do, another life stage is around the corner just waiting to trip us up.
(Side note: Isn’t that grand? Life really is an adventure, and when we’re coastin’ pedal to the medal a deep curve pops up and you fall off Rainbow Road)
Here’s how my current life stage is looking. I’m an ex-advertiser who left the game at the top of her game to traverse Asia, then canceled that one-way ticket and said no to an offer in the Big Apple so she could marinate in silence as a boomerang kid with two 60-year-old-plus roommates. (But hey, at least rent is free, amiright?)
Through the silence, the stigma of these labels was so sticky, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to rip them off. It’s been two months since leaving a career I was successful in but always unsure of; a 9-5 (really, 11 to 10) that existed to distract me from having to face the fact that I’d lived with a stranger for 20-some years.
It’s been two months since leaving a career I was successful in but always unsure of; a 9-5 (really, 11 to 10) that existed to distract me from having to face the fact that I’d lived with a stranger for 20-some years.
The first month was the worst. I cycled through the stages of grief; not only had I lost my career and 10+ years of independent living, I also lost my last big shot at a good partner and healthy kids (at least, that’s what singleness near 30 will tell you). I faced the guilt and shame of hurting someone who loved me and lay on the ground attacked by threats like, “you’ll never find love again,” or “this is why [this or that person] didn’t care for you.” I paced a beat-down path around my brain and resigned to sleeping away this sense that I was lost.
And then, I saw it.
Continue reading Part Two.