What Should I Be When I Grow Up?

writergirlYeah, so my first world problems include this incredible fear of missing out of all my different potential selves and lives. Explained beautifully here at one of my all-time favorite blogs, Brain Pickings.

“Our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless tantrum about, the lives we were unable to live. But the exemptions we suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are.” – Adam Phillips

I have an incredible amount of discomfort living “in the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present.” I am not sure how to love my less-than-ideal self unless she is acting ideally toward becoming a better person. My love of self is definitely not unconditional.

I need daily reminders about seeking healthy motivation for change vs. relying on fear, anxiety and self-loathing. It feels ridiculous to have to have these conversations with myself at age 42.  I am seriously still 14 inside criticizing my round face and double chin.

My most recent double chin is my inability to commit. I just refuse to go All In on a project and fluctuate about what I want.  Then I have to wonder if my waffling goals are about dissatisfaction or sabotage. Regardless, that lack of going All In on anything, has me walking a fine line between relief and regret.

Fear of failure always sabotages commitment. True for me too, but it’s not the fear of people judging, it’s the fear of wasted life. All In on the wrong goal means hours of time wasted and potential, ideal lives lost.

But, Rocky, it’s the PROCESS that matters.  Shush Now. Come look at my ugly with me:

Things I have supposedly wanted and abandoned + the years I put into that shit.

  • The Christian Fiction Novel – 2 finished draft manuscripts (4 years)
  • The Indiana Journal (6 years)
  • Healthy & Strong Body – Ye old, repeatedly abandoned work in progress (30 years)
  • Getting out of Ohio –  Ye old, repeatedly abandoned work in progress (30 years)
  • Commercial Magazine Editor (12 years Settled for business publishing)
  • Graduate School (Chickened out)
  • Music Theater Performer (5 years)
  • Learning an instrument (piano – 2 years and guitar – 2 years)
  • Lawyer (0 years, wised up)

The latest goal, a career writing fiction, means, at minimum, 3 hours a day writing a project, 1 hour a day reading fiction and 1 more a day marketing myself, that’s 5 hours a day when I’m not earning money, or volunteering for a non-profit, or becoming fit or being with my family or contributing more meaningfully to the planet (I mean, seriously, why writing beyond ego/blind ambition/cliche?).

For All In on this goal, we’re talking close to 1800 hours this year. That’s 228 days of work (if one sees a day of work as 8 hours).

Here’s the other tricky bit . . . I have already achieved enough.  I have an amazing and wonderful life for which I am truly grateful.  All angst is self-imposed, “you should be doing more with your life” crap.  And that’s just ridiculous in the large scope of life on earth.

So, I have guilt about wanting more when I clearly have accomplished, acquired and accessed all I’ll ever need.  Makes it hard to write blog posts and not look like a brat. Makes me want to just do the non-profit gig and abandon the striving for more and more success.

But wait.  Is that logic or just more sabotage?

That’s it.  Someone forward me a Buzzfeed quiz about what I should be doing.


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