Sunday, March 9, 2014

An Identity Crisis...Sort Of

Some days I experience emotions that make me feel a bit....lost. 

Not necessarily that I am going through life without a sense of direction but more like I missed out on a huge chunk of my life.

Let me explain.

I am thirty-six but I feel like I have the life of a twenty-four year old. And to be fair the only reason I say 24 and not 22 is because I went to grad school.

Here is why I feel like a 24 year old. 

I drive a car that is financed, not owned.

I live in a one room efficiency, that I rent.

I am single.

I have no kids.

I have only been at my current job for a year. And to add insult to injury, not only am I not established in my career I make less than I did 7 yrs ago when I got my Master's.

I feel like over the last decade (more particularly the last 4.5 years since I left Boeing) my life was paused. During this time my friends got married, bought houses, had families.

Me- well, I did get married but you all know how that one played out.

And it's weird, talking about this to E. He is my age, well a couple years older, but his life (although single and kid free) is quite different than mine. He owns his car, has a decade worth of equity in his home, and has been at his job for 13 years. He is established.

Me- well some days (like today) I just feel like I'm floating. Not grounded. Not rooted. Just here. And it is a weird feeling.

I feel like I will be 50 years old by the time I feel like I have a 36 year old's life. And that makes me nervous. 

And sad.

And remorseful for the life I feel like I lost.

And I can't fix this. 

I don't know how. 

Or at least I don't know how, yet.

Yes, I realize that every 36 year old leads a different life. I have high school friends with kids that are making college plans and I have friends who openly admit they will never settle down, never have kids, etc.  It's a broad spectrum.

And I'm on it somewhere, seemingly more towards one end than the other.

And I don't write about this because I want pity or sympathy but instead I write simply because it is cathartic for me. Sometimes this is the best way for me to express these feelings. And through that expression I hope to find a solution.

Or at least a glimmer of hope that my 36/24 life is ok.

That this is where I am meant to be.

That I will be ok.

Because this is my life and it will only ever look like what I make of it.

I can't take back those years of my life where I felt stagnant. Those years I feel I wasted.

But I can vow to work on creating better years going forward.   

And being ok with my life the way it is. Because ultimately it doesn't matter how I perceive the state of my 'adulthood'. 

I have a roof over my head, a job, and people that love me. Everything else is just icing on the cake.