there’s no straight path to awesomeness

Happy Monday! You know why? Because the sun decided to bless us with its oh-so-elusive presence today. Because that makes me anti-depressed. Because that means that skirts are almost here. However, this, along with the wonderful hour that we lost in sleep on Saturday night makes me feel like at 6 pm when the sun should be going to bed and I should be relaxing, I am just beginning my work.

Skirts. Shoes. Toes! At least spring is crawling back to me, even if my time orientation is skewed.

I’ve been thinking lately about sadness, about encouragement, about being told over and over again that we’re privileged, spoiled and self-absorbed. As wonderful Miranda Ward puts it,

Because, you know, I’ve been sitting here on the edge of my seat, thinking, gee whiz, it’s been, like, TWO DAYS since someone last wrote an article slamming my generation, and, well, who knows what sort of amazing new insight we’re gonna get this time.

That girl really knows how to stitch a word or two together, not to mention that I adore her blog title – A Literal Girl.  Literally.

*ba-dum-PSHHH*

Well, the point here is that Miranda’s kind of right. “You can be anything” followed up by “you’re so entitled” doesn’t really scream “balanced and realistic encouragement for the creation of normal and successful individuals” does it? It doesn’t.

I thought I could be a painter when I was in high school, only to be told repeatedly by my well-intentioned parents that being a painter is not a viable life choice and that I needed to set my sights on something more realistic. Clearly, choosing writing was like flipping them the bird, but they’ve (thankfully) gotten over that bit now. Maybe they just haven’t read about the demise of print culture/magazines/the publishing industry/the written word like I have and therefore don’t see what kind of suicidal move it really is. Or maybe I am great at bullshitting and subtly segueing the conversation into something like delicious Thai food. I love segueing into food, by the way.

But that has nothing to do with what I wanted to say, which is well.. in this day all you have to be is creative to get to where you want to be. Don’t think that a job will bring meaning to your life – just do what you are ready for and expect your desires, your life course, your personality to CHANGE. Possibly constantly and forever. In fact, evolution is probably the best life (not to mention biological) skill that you can gift yourself. Because going with the flow is the best option in a world where a university degree WON’T guarantee you a job, and studying hard WON’T provide you with an instant income (see: Student Voice via TalentEgg!)

You have to be a multi-talented workaholic chameleon and stunningly devoted to every mundane task thrown at you. It’s all about paying your dues if sticking in one industry is something you’re passionate about. That’s something that I’ve found travel writers (who I read constantly) know quite a bit about. Especially Kristin Luna of Camels and Chocolate – she has this great post on her site titled, “So You Wanna Be a Travel Writer?” which basically turned into an “if you can hack it – try it, but don’t think it’s easy” sort of moratorium on my travel writing dreams.

I mean, I don’t really like change. I’ll admit it. Change is hard to deal with, but I’m learning that sometimes it’s not the worst thing in the world. In fact, it makes you look harder, work smarter, procrastinate less than you did when you were comfortable. In the end, I think you end up with better-suited opportunities. So even being laid off from work is a great opportunity, if you make it one (side note: everyone should go and read Candice Walsh’s blog. Cause I said so. And cause she know how to down a good pint.)

It’s all about how you’re willing to adapt to life, which can be as unpredictable as an earthquake (see: Japan). We’re well aware of how much natural disasters change things, and it’s unlikely that they change them for the better. Life is like that too, but sometimes you have to build what you can out of the remains; you concoct strategies to deal with future disasters; you become stronger and more resistant and better able to cope. You become passionate about the evolution of your life as a thing easily swayed. And while sticking with decisions is still an admirable trait, it’s only great if you’re moving towards a better life, and if you’re not then maybe it’s time for a change.

I gave up a lot of my responsibilities in February, and for a while that made me nervous. But now I see it was the most exciting thing I could have done for myself. I like being on the lookout, I like finding opportunities for myself, and I like always pushing myself to get more and more experiences that will open my mind. I like having time to write and to nurse my mother back to health and spend time with my bratty sister (all in the hope that her attitude won’t get any worse than it is at 9 years old…. but who am I kidding?)

I like being free to meet my friends for a drink and really think about things again. Like my essays, which I’m about to go write.

I know that spring is coming, and that means it’s time to try new things again and get out of my funk.

A

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