When You Feel Stuck
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It's Monday night. I'm gathering up all of the trash because tomorrow is garbage day. I feel like I just did this two days ago, but no, a whole week has gone by. A whole week of nothing exciting, nothing life-changing—nothing different at all.
I've never led what you would consider an exciting life, but I've gotten myself into a new form of monotony in the last few months. Maybe it's because I work from home more, or maybe it's because I have developed more of a routine: wake up, let the dog out, consume caffeine, eat breakfast, shower, work, eat lunch, work, take the dog for a walk, eat dinner, work, TV/book, bed.
When I graduated college and started my first real job, it used to stress me out how often I was gone during the week, whether I was at a show or hanging with friends. I told myself that it wouldn't be possible for me to have a workout routine because my schedule was all over the place. Now, spontaneity doesn’t really exist for me—every activity basically stays in the same time slot. I still don't work out, but that's not the point.
Sometimes I think about all of the things I might be missing out on by opting to stay home so much. I could make new friends, meet a cute boy, maybe even network—something I’ve yet to master in my 3+ years in the entertainment industry. But after a year of doing those things (making friends, not meeting boys, unfortunately), I wonder if maybe it's time to enjoy being a homebody. I’m 26. Maybe I’m at the age where stagnation becomes normal, and not going out every night doesn’t give me a raging case of FOMO.
I've watched my closest friends complete huge life milestones this year, like getting married, having kids, getting farther in their career, achieving some kind of tangible goal. I didn't achieve much on that level. I got a great new job and a new place to live, but the latter wasn't a choice I wanted to make, even though it ended up being great for me. I've barely made any romantic contact—my last date was over 3 months ago. I feel like I'm the only one who is stuck without something specific to look forward to.
So there’s my dilemma: I’m content with staying at home more, but worried that I shouldn’t be content. I worry that I’m getting lazy, that I’m losing my ambition. Deep down I know that’s not entirely true, because most of the goals I’ve accomplished this year go beyond what I could easily sum up in a Facebook status. I’ve made major strides in therapy and brought my creativity back to life. Despite not going out every single night, I’ve still made new connections that required me to get out of my comfort zone. I became more vulnerable with friends I’ve had for years, and with ones that are still fresh. I let go of a significant amount of bitterness, though being snarky will never stop being part of my personality. I made two solo trips to new cities. I did some cool shit, and I’m proud of it all. But it doesn’t completely erase the feeling of not living up to my own invisible standards.
I think about what I want to accomplish in 2017, and I have some things in mind. But I miss that feeling that I got in college where I was counting down to graduation, to life out in the unknown. Two more years, one more year, two more semesters, one more semester! There’s nothing to count down to once you’re in the real world, because you’re just working every day until you die. JK, but not really. We’re all going to die one day.
It’s hard to adjust to having a goal with no timeline, but maybe that’s the benefit of having this time on my hands. Maybe my goal is to prove to myself that I can still be ambitious without over-exerting myself for no real reason other than thinking that I should. There's an opportunity for growth in this solitude that I need to force myself to utilize. I just don't want to look back on this freedom and feel like I've wasted it.