There is something so soothing about watching the waves; small ones lap gently on the beach while large ones crash furiously over treacherous rocks, leaving white foam and tide pools in their wake. Poetically, the ocean seems self-cleaning, constantly changing, spitting out shells and garbage and mermaids, sucking sand and unsuspecting tourists out to sea. Ok, so my poem is kind of twisted. (Also, mermaids aside, I am well aware that the health of our oceans has been on a constant and steady decline for years.)
My soul belongs in the mountains, so this ocean thing is kind of a tricky analogy for me (I want SO BADLY to make a “fish out of water” pun, but can’t seem to work it in properly, so you get this parenthetical instead. You’re welcome.); I feel like my whole life is somehow caught right on that line between sand and sea, being pulled both ways at every moment, trying to straddle two competing forces and stay upright. I’m not just talking about a split between my home here in Arizona and my heart-home in Salt Lake, although I’m sure that division is a contributing factor. I feel like I’m waiting for something big to happen, waiting for forward movement, just waiting. I feel anxious and kind of discombobulated most of the time, restless even, not sure what to do or say. Sometimes I’ll be on the verge of a weepy break-down for DAYS at a time. This is…not a normal state of being for me, I feel cramped and irritated in my own skin. This lack of confidence is a really uncomfortable admission for me, and I wish there was an easy fix…emphasis on the EASY part.
I know, I know. Life is not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. Any major shift or movement requires a lot of consistency, small and progressive goal making and achieving, and a long-term goal to work towards. Maybe that’s my problem right now…for most aspects of my life I do not have a long-term goal, no guiding star to help me navigate. So here I am, stuck in the waves, without any real direction or urgency for getting unstuck.
The Cheshire Cat says that if you don’t know where you want to get to, then it doesn’t much matter which way you go. So, here I am, all Alice in Wonderland-ing my way through the days and weeks (and months?) feeling like I’m wandering in circles and starting to tire of the endless journey. The last few weeks I have kept thinking about ways to pull out of this wander-y funk, and I tend to gravitate towards extravagant grand adventure type solutions. (Road Trip to Prince Edward Island! Or Alaska! Hike a Dozen 14,000′ Mountain Peaks!! Spend a Year Doing A Thing To See If It Makes Me A Better Person!!) Each suggestion seems more maniacal than the last. But, really, my restlessness in daily living will be right here waiting for me when I get back.
I need some long-term goals, Life Goals that can help reshape and redirect my actions and modify my behavior. That’s a very fancy way of saying: I Need A Plan. I hardly recall a time in my adult life where I didn’t have a solid idea of where I wanted to be in two or five years, but suddenly when I try and conjure that up, I draw a blank. I mean, I’ll be here, in this house in the desert, with Blue Eyes and (on occasion) his kids. But that’s all I’ve got. And, truly, that is not enough for me. A healthy marriage and a safe & comfortable home is a really solid base, for sure. But I need more than that.
For my own sanity, I need to fix this. I need to find some long-term goals that will stretch me and be something to work towards. I am actually kind of embarrassed to admit that I don’t have any solid long-term dreams right now. Embarrassed and sad, I am legitimately weepy. I don’t quite recognize this version of myself, the sort of sedentary content-with-the-status-quo person.
Do YOU have long-term life goals right now? In your relationship? With your family? Finances? Work life? Personal life? Athletic life? Academic life? What do you do to remember how to dream big?
It’s kind of a short-long term goal – say the next two to three years – but finishing my degree! I have an associates, but my bachelors journey got disrupted years ago for a myriad of reasons. And although I’ve been gainfully employed and a degree doesn’t technically matter (besides saying you’ve completed it) in my line of work, to really move along in the company they want to see you’ve at least completed it. The company offers a little bit of tuition assistance, so I’m hoping to take advantage of that. It’s a matter of needing to have time to do the research – and whether I try to take the plunge ASAP to get the most out of 2016’s tuition reimbursement, or take my time and start later this year or next. Since I’ve decided I want to go back, it’s a matter of getting financials in line and figuring out the specifics – biggest being what school (as the major has to be along my business’ goals, that makes a big decision for me).
I’m excited but nervous. Excited because – I’d be a full time, eternal student, if just I had someone to pay for it all for me + my bills. I love learning. Nervous because – it’s been several years since I’ve taken formal classes. Do I remember how to write a paper? And although I’ve always done pretty well academically, since I have to get a certain grade for my company to reimburse, I have this not 100% rational fear that somehow I’m going to totally bomb the classes and be stuck with a bigger bill than was anticipating, plus then my company thinking I’m an idiot. We’ll see!
I went back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree in my late 20’s, and it was HARD. Dah, it was hard. I feel you.
Lol long term. My life has been so… Short term… For lack of a better word(s), that the idea of having something long term to think about makes my head hurt. First was being a kid (school, etc), then a college student (4 year grind), then graduate student (2 years baby!), with the goals being to graduate at each step. Now we are (fairly newly) in Turkey and you already know all the drama about why we can’t make any big plans right now… Much like you, I alway feel like I’m waiting for something. Like I can’t make a life decision until something else is clear. I’m pretty tired of it… But at the same time, when I’m not running on a set plan (like how your undergrad should have you out in 4-5yrs) I don’t know what I’m doing.
It’s hard when you are no longer part of a program or institution that helps you set your goals and also the steps to accomplish them. Seriously, though. It’s hard. And you probably understand that better than anyone right now.
Hmmm long term goals? No. I mean, I guess a long term goal is to save up enough money to build out our house….but that won’t happen until the kids are out of daycare. Another goal is for my husband and I to travel to the Galapagos for our 10 year anniversary without the kids (anniversary is in 2.5 years). But I think that for now, just trying to survive with two kids come July will be the biggest goal of them all.
Oooh, the Galapagos would be SO wonderful! I’m a huge Darwin nerd and would LOVE to spend some time wandering around those islands!!
On Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 12:04 PM, Feisty Harriet wrote:
I’m just in survival mode, but I don’t have any big plans or long term goals. Maybe I should?
Yes. This. Survival mode does not lend itself to bigger, longer-term plans. You’re exactly right.
On Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 3:06 PM, Feisty Harriet wrote:
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Wow. What a powerful post. I think the thing I’ve been struggling with a little… a lot… is coming to the end of my time in a very unusual five-year organisation which was set up for a PURPOSE and which I have poured almost everything into for the past 4.5 years. I have changed so much and now it’s all over and I’m not really sure what I want now or who I am. Long-term goals… I have some fluffy vague ones but nothing I can work towards with a passion and vengeance and I’ve floundered my way into a new job which I’m not really sure is what I want to do. Urgh.
Transitions and limbo is such an uncomfortable place for me to be. Blergh. I hope you find something soon to pour your heart and soul into!
On Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 2:54 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote: