When I applied to law school, my father, who is a lawyer, sat me down and asked me why I did it. I didn’t have an answer. I guess I did it because I am smart, knew I could get in and do well, and like education, I certainly didn’t do it because I wanted to be a lawyer. Upon hearing this, he urged me to reconsider my decision. “I will,” he said, “Support you in any decision that you make. But I would prefer it if I knew you were doing something that made you happy. I don’t care what you do, you can become a lawyer, a politician, a truck driver, an interpretive dancer, a dog walker, any career you chose will be noble and you'll be a success. The only thing I ask of you is that you find your passion. That you do something you love, and you maintain your integrity and kindness whilst doing it.”
Six years later, they haven’t changed their stance. My parents are fully committed to support me, so long as I remain a good person and am happy. I’ve switched jobs and moved and made mistakes but they’ve simply told me that this is a part of life, that sometimes we need to know what we don’t want to find out what we do, that the little picture will make up the big picture. That nothing is wrong if I’ve learned from it. The gratitude I feel for them can not be properly defined in words, they have let me discover who I am and what I want for myself, never imposing their beliefs but always being there if I need them.
Keeping up my end of the bargain has proven more difficult than I initially imagined. Maintaining my integrity has been easy, it’s the being happy thing that hasn’t. I am a difficult person at times. I am, for the most part, the ultimate idealist, yet I’m also difficult to win over. I tend to compartmentalize my life, keeping things organized and controlled, making sure that nothing or nobody can get too close.
I’ve realized that my main problem in life is my emotional connection to things, whether it be a job, a city, a friendship, or a boyfriend. Initially, I am reticent by all accounts, I take my time to warm up to things. I won’t allow myself to connect. I observe. I wait…and then I dive in. There is no middle ground for me, it’s all or nothing. I embrace, and commit to the highest degree. I go from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye and this seriously hinders my ability to be happy. Because it's impossible to keep up and I always end up disappointed.
Oh, I’m happy for a certain period of time. It’s easy for things to be perfect and wonderful at the inception, but my issue is that my idealism gets in the way of reality. That nothing is actually perfect, that just because I’ve deemed something worthy of exploring doesn’t mean that it’s going to make me incessantly happy. That there are ups and downs, that there is a reason people ease into things. Jumping in the deep end won’t teach you how to swim. My inability to wade into the situation means that when i fall, I fall hard.
Another problem is my unfailing loyalty. Once I have committed to something, it’s almost impossible for me to walk away from it, despite if it’s no longer making me happy. It’s a struggle I’ve faced quite often since that talk with my father, because I don’t know what to do once I stop being happy. I feel like I’ve failed, the persistent soul in me wants to fix things, wants to make it work, wants to prove it wasn’t all in vain but in the back of my mind I remember promising myself that once something stopped working, that once it started making me more sad than happy that I’d walk way. That life is too short for anything else.
It’s easier said than done. I knew I had to leave NYC and while I did eventually, there were many instances that I almost pulled the plug. I have dated people for months, YEARS too long because despite being unhappy and knowing it was wrong, I didn’t want to look all of that effort in the fact and throw it away.
I am at a crossroads now because I am watching the life I have built for myself crumble all around me. I am questioning every decision I’ve made in the past six months, and having difficulty accepting that some of them have turned out to be mistakes. It has become blatantly apparent that I am no longer happy with pretty much EVERYTHING about my current situation (even the things that used to bring be joy) yet I feel like a failure quitting or moving on. I think it makes me weak. I hate being weak and I hate being wrong. But what I’d hate even more is feeling like I am wasting my life or energy on things that no longer are right for me.
I know I sound like a spoiled, pathetic brat who is slightly unhinged. Perhaps, these days, I am. But I also blame the extremity of my emotions to the fact I feel completely isolated and alone here, that I have an inability to open up and express myself, that I am not sleeping at night and that my heart is broken.
If anything, maybe this post will help people feel better about their own lives because at least they aren’t as pathetic as mine. ;)
I’ll pick myself up, I’ll move on, and I’ll rebound on to the next thing like I always do.