My quest for a more contented life boils down to two key elements: love and career.
I don’t think I’m unique in this way. People want to be in love, have love an active ongoing part of their life, and they want a life with meaningful challenges that rewards them with a sense of satisfaction and enough wealth to afford a comfortable lifestyle.
Last night I got into a conversation with a woman I used to date. It was via text messages which always makes for a stilted conversation. Not my favorite way to have a discussion but still a viable method for discourse. I can’t say what her motivation for contacting me was but she had brought up my self-improvement month. We had a nice back-and-forth about my efforts and her efforts to make improvements in ourselves.
I made the statement to her, “You are finding your way. It will all come together eventually.” She responded with “You will too.”
“Ideally and hopefully soon. Lost in the woods a wee bit too long. All I want: love and career. Both quite elusive.”
I wrote that half asleep and the as I pushed send, it felt so much like a Platonic Truth that it kicked my angst and anxiety into such a high gear. Love and career both rely on other people and institutions to happen. Ideally correlated in that way, as well. Here I am spending so much time trying to be more self-reliant, improve myself, and it still all boils down to how I fit in the lives of other people.
My old response would be to ramble on how pathetic this is, how much of a sap I am, and on and on about my need to find a better way to be without people, without institutions, without actually having to exist within this version of reality. Yet, I do have to exist in this version. I can have great flights of fantasy of the person I want to fall madly in love with me doing so and my crafting the perfect type of career giving me the freedom to bend my time to and fro to meet my whims and desires.
Reality sucks because in reality these things don’t just happen. Both require effort. Both require stated intentions with expectations and potential rejections.
It is slightly amusing to sit with a friend and watch her rejecting guys left and right who aren’t for her for one reason or another while being a guy who just wants to be ‘the right guy’ for some woman. Everyone carries their own burdens, yet I can’t help but see the grass as being greener on the other side. How nice it would be to have the luxury of being annoyed by women who want to date me. I’m sure I’d be bored by it in short order, but good for the ego at least.
The other piece of advice I got last night over text message was ‘be prepared to commit.’ This area is actually a danger zone for me. I’m so ready for commitment, to have this part of my life in process that I fear I may grab the first willing woman and end up miserable in five years because I didn’t give myself the time needed to truly learn who she was and how we operate together.
When it comes to career, I commit quickly. I have bills I need to pay, rent to pay, food to buy – having a job is important and my desperation has always meant I’ve been horrifyingly underpaid. When you take that first job at a rate beneath the market, then the next job also is beneath the going rate, and so on and so forth. I’ve been horribly underpaid for all my adult life and now… jesus, I’m embarrassed by the money I make. It is so paltry. I made this money with my second job right out of college. I don’t see a career, a path of work that I can make an essential part of my life, currently. I see myself doing odd jobs for people who never fully understand what I’m capable of. They don’t understand because I am unable to communicate it to them in a thorough fashion. I’m great at telling them what I can’t do, what my weaknesses are, but not what I can do, what my strengths are.
I think this may also apply to women and romance. I’m very quick at telling them what my crazy is but not what my awesome is.
Yet, I need to push forward, grasping for the straws that might lead to something that pays me a big boy salary, relying upon institutions that couldn’t care less about me even if they tried.
This post is really the epitome of my day. Struggling to find positivity when faced with two of my biggest challenges. Taking my own advice from yesterday… time to rise above and move on. I don’t have the love I want, I don’t have the career I want, but now is not an obstacle to later. This is just a moment and is not indicative of the entirety of my life’s accomplishments.
If you are struggling, smile, you are still alive.