I’m Here…What Next?

Once you’ve accomplished most of the things that you used to dream about growing up, then what? It’s funny. I don’t think we learn to really dream past the marriage phase of life. Once we start our career and get married, the only thing really left is having kids, right?

Maybe I’m having a mid-life crisis in my 30s. I haven’t grown much in my career but I haven’t taken the steps to really grow since my last degree. I have a great marriage and I definitely pursue my hobbies. For someone who needs to keep growing, I’m not quite sure what the next step is.¬†On top of it, when did I get to a point where all my dreams have already been realized? When did we stop dreaming so that we have nothing left to achieve? How do you reactivate this part of you?

I believe that I’m supposed to just enjoy life to the fullest at this point and know that things are good and appreciate every minute of it. It’s hard because I’m the type to want to constantly work towards something. The minute things become settled, I get restless. How do you deal with this restlessness?

Occasionally, I do worry about the future but in reality, we are where we are and that’s exactly where we are supposed to be. That’s probably the best advice I’ve ever received in my life. So finding the next step will come. Opportunities show up when they are supposed to.

So why is it so hard to wait for them then? Is it bad that I want to know what’s going to happen now? Patience is a virtue but waiting really just sucks sometimes. The irony is that when I get to the point that I’m supposed to get to, I’ll know why it didn’t come any sooner. I just get impatient right now.

Am I the only person who has trouble enjoying the present?

The Guilt Factor – Off of the Beaten Path

Does this life sound familiar to anyone else? We go to school, graduate with our bachelor’s, work, go get our master’s degree, work, get married somewhere between the bachelor’s and the master’s, work, have kids right after our second graduation, work, and work until this repeats with our children.

Wait, what happens when you don’t follow this formula? Probably guilt. I feel guilty that I’m not doing what I was programmed to do. This is the correct formula to make everyone proud and to be able to show your face in society, right?

Well, crap. I didn’t follow the formula and now I feel like I’ve let everyone down. I feel the guilt. In all fairness, the guilt tends to follow you every time you do something that isn’t allegedly morally correct, not just when you step off of the beaten path. I don’t know if this is oldest child syndrome or not but I’m willing to bet it’s not just me who feels guilty every time I do something that I know might not be the best choice. I feel guilty even putting myself first before my family.

It’s unrealistic to feel this guilt. When you do something for you, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else, it shouldn’t be a bad thing. Taking time off to take care of yourself is a good thing. Finding out what makes you happy and working towards that is a good thing.

Happiness. It’s a fairly unknown concept in our culture. So much of our society is based on duty and responsibility. We forget that life is so fleeting that you might as well enjoy it while you’re here. It’s a concept that is slowly start to emerge as the new generation grows up and realizes that they don’t want to live the same formula anymore. It’s interesting to watch people chase their dreams and follow their hearts.

The guilt needs to go. It’s taken me a while to learn how to dump the guilt. I still feel it since it is programmed in me but give me an hour or so and I’ll get over it. I’ll know that if I trust myself and know that I’m doing the right thing, then I have nothing to feel guilty about. Hell, even if it’s not necessarily the ideal thing to do, at least I made my own choice and will live with that decision.

How else are you supposed to live your life to the fullest?