Friday, March 30, 2012

34 year old-itis

If you had told me ten years ago that at age 34, I would be where I am now, I would have panicked.  I would have thought that by this age I surely would have it all figured out.  I'd have a perfect career, kids, a big house, and a perfect marriage.  My reality is that my house is just big enough, and it gives me agita to pay the mortgage, I don't have kids, and I am just figuring out what I want my career to be at an age when some people are mid level in theirs.

I have spent years processing the guilt I have accumulated over the road I have been traveling down since graduating for college.  I had in my mind an image of what I was supposed to be doing, and for whatever reason, I did not tow the line.  I couldn't stomach letting the grind of a corporate career ingest me, chew me up, and spit me out 40 some odd years later when I retired with barely enough steam left to make to the finish line.  Call me unrealistic, but I wanted more.  I still do.  At 34, I am owning the fact that I have tried on many hats, and have had the courage to take them off when they didn't fit.  I have heard it all.  "You never stick with anything." "What are you getting into now?"  "When are you going to buckle down and settle for something."  I always felt defensive when I was told these things.  Ashamed almost.  Why couldn't I stick with something?  Why didn't I buckle down?  The truth is, I would never have been able to "settle for" anything.  I get destructive when I feel like I am settling.  Angry, sad, unfocused, unproductive.  Woe to the employer who hired me for a job I felt like I was settling for. 
I'm not ashamed anymore.  Yes I have job hopped.  I have impulsively jumped at opportunities that have not worked out.  I have made decisions that others have shaken their heads at, and maybe even felt angry about.  I haven't acquired all the trappings that are the mile markers to a successful life.  I am a late bloomer.  I am someone who is getting it right.  Lately I have thought of myself as comparable to a bee.  Does a bee continue to attempt to draw pollen from a flower that has long since been sucked dry?  Of course not!  It moves on the the next flower and the next one and so on until it hits the jack pot.  So I am a flower hopper and I am good with that.  Eventually I will get it right!