Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Almost-But-Not-Quite-A-Wanderer

What ever happened to the stupidity and free spirited nature of my early twenties?

Fuck, I miss it.

At what point did I wake up and become scared of change? Was it a progessive step over time or did I subliminally anchor down roots and ties after a certain career/relationship/life stage?

I look back at the time when I was eighteen to twenty two and I made some of the worst mistakes during that period. I gained and lost friendships like paper, I tried it all-drugs,sex, mayhem. No regrets. I overhauled my career at least three times. Theatre school dropout, education major failed out, and community college reject. Housewife in training-not for me.

But I wasn't scared to take the steps. I moved places based on the proximity to the ocean, not based on condo prices. I would move based on a relationship, a glossy college pamplet or the dazzle of city lights. I made split second decisions. I zigzagged across this province like Carmen SanDiego.

And in the last five years....I'm just...here. Semi happy, quasi professional, and comfortable. And comfortable can be a ball and chain around your ankle. It's the time of my life where suddenly six months can pass and ....no major changes. Sometimes that's a great thing. Drama is overrated and excitement can just be drama with a prettier dress on. But sometimes I feel the need to break free and have the following conversation in my head...

Wanting Change Side: Why not. I've moved many a times before. And gained. I've learned, and GROWN through it. So how could it be a bad thing? Make the rash decison to move. Go to Australia. Go to Paris. Change your career. Do something to live and feel in a way that you haven't in a long time.

Rational Side: Moving or travelling is expensive and not a decision that is made in a day. I have a good job.

Wanting Change Side: A job that pays well enough to scrape by for the 50 hours a week I put in and the stress I deal with. Is THAT worth it?

Rational Side: I have friends here. I have student loan to pay every month. I have a place. I have a cat. I'm settled.

Wanting Change Side: The cat weighs less than 9 pounds and can be easily moved, items are placed in storage and I do not have a husband. I do not have kids. This is the time of my life where if I wanna up and go I should because maybe (hopefully?) one day in about 5-10 years I'll have those and be able to look back and be happy that I took that 3 month jaunt to Australia or moved to Vancouver/Seattle/London/whereverthefuckiwant.

Rational Side: It's not that easy. It's just not that easy.

So I go back to my day to day motions. Wake up, get the Starbucks coffee, listen to the songs on the radio, go to work, come home, nap, eat dinner, shower, watch tv, rinse and repeat daily. Pay bills, be a good citizen of society and get excited over bands when they come to town, the occasional binger with friends or movie coming out.

I'm scared that at 27 I've pigeonholed myself into a corner and am settling with 'content' rather than 'happy'. And it makes me look at websites or glamourous cities and savour blogs with jet setting lifestyles and think,

Could I?

8 comments:

The Divine Miss M said...

Do it.

You'll regret it otherwise. Money is not something to worry about. Just live.

Seriously.

Do what makes you happy and take as many opportunities as possible!

Mike said...

Of course, the flip side to miss m's advice is:

You can't do it forever.

When you're 50, do you think you can still keep it up? Do you want oppressive debt and most of your mortgage still there? Do you want that low level job working 50 hours a week just to scrape by? Most importantly, do you think you can HANDLE it at 50?

Not to say your lather-rinse-repeat lifestyle is the way to go either.

In anything, moderation is the key. People who don't understand this with food are fat. With alcohol, are drunken slobs. You see what I'm getting at.

Have fun now, AND plan for your future. Maybe one more move is the way to go, maybe it isn't. Perhaps you can find a place with more opportunity and a lower cost of living? You're certainly in the right country for opportunity.

Throwing caution to the wind and living only for the moment is a children's game, in my opinion. You've done that, you've had your fun. Now that you're older, smarter, more experienced, you know how to live in moderation, right? Moderation is the key to success, I think. You NEED to have fun, but you also need to eat.

My two cents.

The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...

Yes you can! :) You're only 27 and you have plenty of time to jet-set and do whatever. When I was 26 I was in your shoes, but I had a boyfriend, too. And that wasn't a very happy moment in my life, because I was always afraid to do things without him. Now I'm making up for the lost time and to just go do things.

Sometimes I feel like I have a dual life. One who is responsible when I need to be (home and work life), then I have the fun me who travels and go experience things that I want to try (i.e. rock climbing - AWESOME FANTASTIC FUN, btw - snowboarding, surfing, etc.) Or get completely plastered :) So it becomes a balancing act so I can be happy.

If the idea of "taking off" is too irrational then start small. What haven't you done that you'd like to do, besides taking off?

And you can always take up a job that allows you to jet-set for free, by the way ;) And what job I ask? Work in the airline industry ;)

surviving myself said...

you can! you can!

It's Me! said...

Start small, come visit me in Sask! It'll be an adventure all in itself!
We'll be pirates of the prairies!

Meghan said...

Miss M- another free spirit I see!

Mike-Your two cents is always welcome here :)

Fashionista- agreed. I'm thinking of taking yoga and dance back up.

Surviving Myself- I know I can. Thanks. Baby steps.

Alain Saffel said...

Not sure what I can say to help you decide, but your blog post reminded me of my urges to wander.

They're like a constant current running through me. Every once in a while I'm reminded of them. It's usually when I'm reading posts like this.

It's like I'm being drawn and quartered. One horse is responsibility, the other is wanderlust. What are the other two horses? Mortality and fun?

God, I have no idea. I just feel like I'm always of the edge of a mid-life crisis where I'll just flee the country for as long as my bank account will hold out.

But, for now, my new job is a hell of a lot of fun. I expect that will continue for quite a while too, so what the hell? Hopefully I can travel a bit with it too.

While I agree with Mike's comments, let me throw a curve on them. Be really, really responsible for a while and sock away a pile of cash. Then, travel or do whatever, like Chris and Marybeth did.

Wouldn't hurt to throw a bit of that into RRSPs, but you can still travel or do whatever.

Whatever you choose to do, I'm sure you'll have more great stories to tell. Just make sure you let us know here first. :)

Meghan said...

It's Me- Do you think Sask could handle two pirates plunders? Only one way to find out...

Alain-thanks for visiting. Great sentiments and advice, so thank you :)