Friday, June 20, 2014

Waking Up

It's frustrating to look back at my 20's and realize how much time I wasted doing nothing. I say nothing, but that's slightly dramatic. I moved to a new city, completely changed careers, I loved and lost. In that time, I moved up in my new career at a decent speed. I can't go so far as to say I was focused on my career. Had I been specifically  focused, I'd be farther along than I am now. I should instead say I got so caught up in the 9-5 life that I ended up in a perpetual cycle of: work, go home, sleep, repeat. I didn't notice that my hobbies and social life quickly took a turn for the worse. I didn't notice that I lost myself in the tedious grind of that lifestyle. It's not a stretch to say I forgot how to be who I was supposed to be.

Having a solid career is a wonderful thing and I'm certainly thankfully to have one. But losing who you are, forgetting to socialize, forgetting to dream and to try and accomplish those dreams... well, that's a terrible thing. It's those things that create truly important moments in our lives that we look back on with fondness down the years. It's how we become enriched.

But as I mentioned, I didn't notice all of this was happening. It wasn't until the last few years that I really saw myself from the outside and noticed these negative changes. My health had suffered, my social life was in shambles, all of my hobbies that I was once been passionate about I hadn't touched or even thought about in years. All because I was lost in the routine of daily life. All because a fog has settled on me without my awareness.

I don't really know what woke me up, but I've been trying to make up for lost time now that the fog has lifted. Not that time can ever be reclaimed, but I'm trying not to let it slip through my fingers as easily as I once did. My friends probably think I'm having a mid-life crisis even though I'm not old enough for that. At least, I HOPE I'm not. I jokingly say "mid-life crisis", but I haven't bought a fancy car or gotten a mail order Russian bride. I've just been picking up old hobbies. Things I love but have neglected for too long.

I forgot how energized I get by learning something new or working on projects. I've been taking so many classes it's hard to keep track. And I've been loving every second. My goal at the start of the year was to try and do something new every month or to put myself in situations outside of my comfort zone. I saw a great quote about that once, "life begins at the end of your comfort zone." And I'm finding the more I put that theory to the test, the more true it begin to appear. There's a pretty extensive list of "stuff not in my comfort zone" that I can fall back on so this could go on for quite a while.

I look back and think about all the grand dreams I had when I was younger and I feel disappointed that I didn't make a more concentrated effort to reach them. But I realized that - while I had motivation then - I didn't have the level of motivation required of the people who do something truly special with their life. Even as motivated as I am today, I don't know if I have the right amount of drive. I hope I do and I'll be interested to see what the future holds as my young, passionate self continues to merge with the more driven, present version of myself to create - hopefully -  a better me than the other two.

I shake, I shake I could never see-
how good a young love could really be-
I know, I know it's not that bad-
Take a look at what we had.

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