When I was twenty-four I had a quarter life crisis. I remember sitting on the couch in my apartment in Sylvania, Ohio weeping uncontrollable. I was miserable because I hated my job, I was single, and all of my college friends were getting engaged. Like I do in most of my times of despair I phoned my mom who let me cry it out and then told me to pull my head out of my ass and so something about my “miserable” life. I’m not quite sure she was looking for me to move to New York a year later but that’s what I did.
Now, just 3 months into my thirties and I’m feeling it. Last night after a terrible work day, week, month, year I came home to lay in bed. I woke up four hours later and couldn’t fall back asleep until after midnight, of course, but thankfully there was no weeping. Just an evaluation of my life and what matters in it.
It’s hard to mope about my life when there are so many people in the world who are worse off than I. For instance, I just found out that Haiti was hit with an 6.1 after shock. That is a tragedy. The fact that the Western Worlds poorest country is suffering pain on a scale of this magnitude is a real crisis.
The fact that Massachusetts just elected a Republican to take over the remaining 2 years of a seat held by Ted Kennedy for the past 40 years. That the balance of Democrats to Republicans in the Senate continues to slide, the issue of Health Reform and the possiblility of the rights of more happily married gays and lesbians being striped in Vermont. That is a crisis.
There are so many things that I am passionate about. I’d love to be more active in state politics. I’d love to volunteer for Lambda Legal or my LGBT Center here in NYC. I’d love to wake up every morning like I did today-CNN.com, a cup of strong French Press Coffee and my computer typing away about things that matter to me. When the Quake hit Haiti I told Mirs that I wanted to get on a plane and volunteer with the Red Cross. She told me to do it. I’d love to do it. Unfortunately, I cannot. There’s the Quarter Life “Thing” +5 main issue. My life and how I’m spending the majority of my time working and not feeling impassioned.
When I think about how I got here and what I could’ve done differently I’m not quite sure that I’d be feeling any differently, unless I was getting paid to write. This is what happened last night. I came home from work feeling frustrated and confused and literally saying “I hate my job, I hate my job” when it clicked. This is what being an adult is about. I remember watching my parents come home from work with a look that I couldn’t quite understand. I wanted to talk and play and they wanted me to go play with my sister far away from where they were. If it was my father after we’d left his presence the small of tobacco would find its way through the vents and hallways of our house until I could smell them in my room. I knew that if I waited a bit more I could go back down stairs to watch TV or talk to my mom in the kitchen and their tight, pinched faces would be softened.
As a non-smoker (or non-inhaler, there is a pack of Nat Shermans in my purse) and as a thirty-year-old who’s discovered that if I don’t stop having just one (two, three) beers after work I may turn into an alcoholic I get what those pinched faces were about. I’m sure that when my father gets his fat checks and while packing for trips to Europe or the tropics he hates his job a little less, but I’m not quite certain that he actually ever loved it-I should ask him. Does anyone ever really love their job?
Mirs and I watched Office Space on Sunday night and I cracked up through the whole thing. I’m wondering if maybe, just maybe, I can find my own hypnotherapist so that I can imagine that I’m at home writing my novel, blogging, or working on a short story every day of my life instead of what I’m really doing for 40 + hours a week 5 days a week. Fishing’s never been my thing.