Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Life Goes On

I don't know what it is, I guess all the little worries, pressures, and disappointments have finally built up to a point where I'm just not handling it well today.

I've got a sh*t load of work to do today, so I don't even have time to browse blogs today. But I had to stop and write this to get it off my chest and hopefully allow me to concentrate on work.

My colleague has 15+ years more experience than me. Of course she more effective, but I feeling lame and incompetent. For whatever reason, my motivation is lacking. I need to be challenged, and yet I'm not sure what would be most effective to develop my skills properly. It's hard not having a real boss to talk to. My colleague is kind of a surrogate boss, but neither of us really want that type of relationship. There's a big, gaping hole where we're supposed to have a director. Instead, we report directly to a VP in a related department. Therefore, while he needs us and understands what we do, he doesn't directly understand our needs and issues. It's not a priority for him. I know I should say something, but it's not going to change anything. He's a good guy, it's not like he's unapproachable. I just don't know what good it would do.

Besides not feeling motivated, work just seems secondary. It's hard, for me, to enjoy life when I feel like I have no grand purpose (and I'm not talking about God's plan because I'm not really religious). I've lived my life with the vision of growing up, graduating from college, being successful in my career, finding a great husband/companion, and raising healthy, well-rounded children. Those last two parts are missing, and I don't envision they'll come anytime soon. I'm left wondering what the hell to do with myself.

Sure, I keep busy with dancing, hiking, dinners with friends, and all kinds of fun activities. It gets old after awhile. Sitting at home, eating with people and watching a little tv is just as good to me. I know I'll be complaining up a storm once I'm married and shuttling kids around all day, but it sounds so much better than this aimless, wandering life I live right now. Am I that boring? (Do I really want someone else to think for me? Yes, sometimes it sounds good.)

Hell, if I knew my life was going to stay like this, I might take some risks. You have no idea how much I'd like to quit my job and just take off. I'd try things that mean being paid less money. It's that damn financially-responsible component ingrained in mean by my Asian upbringing. If I have a family, I need to save up money. [many swear words shooting off in my head]

And then, when I'm in these moods, I think, "who the hell would want to date someone who's messed up and has low self-esteem?" I feel stuck not wanting to be alone but feeling like I'm not ready to seriously date. Great... just great. The problems are compounding.

What keeps me here is knowing I have people counting on me. I have a huge project that needs to finish next week. I have another that will produce critical results for the marketing team after Labor Day. I wouldn't have the heart to just disappear and leave people holding the bag. And then there's my friend who is taking dance class with me. I'm cooking dinner for people on Thursday who believe I cook great meals. Relatives want me to help them with moving and my brother's wedding. Right now, all I want to do is fill my car's tank with gas and drive any random road that will take me away from everything.

I'd better get back to work...


jayfish said...

why does your life have to stay this way to take risks?

but really, there's nothing wrong with making a change in your life. i moved to california from oklahoma and it was the best thing i ever did. you're still young. you don't *have* the things that tie most people down like kids/spouse.

if you want to do it, do it. nothing's stopping you but yourself. even if it's a 3-6 month hiatus/trip around europe/road trip/peace corp thing, it sounds like you need to take time for yourself.

Anna May Won't said...

i agree with jayfish. what's making you stay? you have no idea what the future will bring you so now's the time to go off and do the "irresponsible" thing.

paint in paris, teach English in asia, go hang out with angelina and gwyneth in africa (jk).

for me, going to china for half a year changed my life. i had so many excuses - money, job, my boyfriend - but they were just that: excuses.

the only real thing that was stopping me was fear.

zerodoll said...

even just a trip by yourself. i'm more conservative than jayfish or doris as far as making drastic changes, but sounds like now might be the time to scout a new job; don't let anybody else's concerns worry you- think about yourself first since you can!

Pandax said...

What's keeping me here... good question. There's a huge sense of responsibility and duty sitting on my shoulders. You could say I'm caught up in what is expected of me. When I stopped working for two years to go back to school, my parents thought I was nuts to give up a good paying job in consulting to change careers (to another job that was not quite as lucrative). They're very practical, naturally as Chinese parents are.

The other thing... I have a mortgage. I like having a place of my own, but it definitely adds a huge level of responsibility.

And, I suppose part of me keeps thinking I'll meet my man any day. If I go away, I'll miss him. There's also this part of me that thinks if I go off and do something crazy with my life that somehow that implies I've given up on my dream. (One could argue I already have since I'm not making a greater effort to date.) I don't like to admit that I've lost or failed.

Maybe once my brother's wedding is over I'll disappear for a bit. I just don't want to rock the boat before I see all the family. You can imagine how fun the rumors and explanations would be there.

jayfish said...

regarding the mortgage, rent out your place while you're gone. i know many people who are in temporary rental places.
no suggestions on responsibility except that i think you probably put more on yourself than you should. i understand that you put a lot of weight on what your family and friends think of you and that's okay but really, if you're miserable because of it, then something's not right.

in my opinion, if you were dead set on meeting your man you wouldn't have removed your online profiles. by doing so, you given up on a large portion of the current dating population. but if you're going out every night to bars, dancing, meeting people in other venues, then i would guess you're okay but i have a feeling you're not getting out as much as you could and really, what better way to meet new people then to move/change jobs/take a long trip?

doing something crazy won't mean you've given up on your dreams, only that you're still looking for what you want.

maybe not tomorrow but you should shake things up soon. as i see it, there's a lot of cobwebs here that are holding you back.

Anonymous Writer said...

I feel like I could have written this post...actually, I have. Many times, over and over again...to the point that I wonder if people just go to my blog and go, "Great. This again."

And in a lot of ways, I'm in the same boat as you. Chinese upbringing, more settled in my career than most people my age (despite recent job shake-up), but missing the husband and kids.

I'm going to take a different track here, 'cause I know the other readers are trying to be helpful, but I know that sometimes, when people say, "Well, why not just go ahead and do that?", something holds you back. Maybe a part of it is fear of the unknown and maybe a part of it is, "Well, I'm not sure what it is I want to do".

Here's my example: there's this one reader who's always sending me emails about becoming a travel writer because he thinks that's what I should do. He goes, "You always talk about wanting to do this" and thinks that I just need a shove in the ass to just pack up everything, quit my job, leave my family and friends behind, and be out there...but the thing is...I don't know if I really want to do that.

And I realize that when you list the reasons you're not going to do any of the things suggested by other people, it sounds (in other people's ears) like excuses...but are they really? Sometimes, it really is a matter of not being ready and not knowing where to go next.

I get what you mean about the "aimless, wandering life", 'cause that's how my life feels right now.

Awhile back, had this long discussion with an old friend who was now married with kids and she said, "My life isn't the way I thought it'd be." And for some reason, it made me realize that, hey, if life's never going to be the way you wanted it to be, then what's really stopping me from doing whatever the hell I want? Or saying what I really feel?

Not sure where this is going now, 'cause I feel like I'm not really writing anything constructive, but...well, I think that when you're ready for that change to shake things up in your life, it'll happen, 'cause you'll allow it to.

(Hope that wasn't too preachy!)

Pandax said...

Strange, my post from this morning didn't save...

Jayfish, thanks for the thoughts. It's important to recognize what matters and what shouldn't.

Anony, you mentioned exactly what I had written this morning. Yes, there are a lot of options, but given that I have no inkling for what I want next, it's hard to say what I need to make it happen.

Some time off to think would be good, but that doesn't necessarily translate into long-term travel (though there are still plenty of places to visit :)). And unfortunately, traveling alone (and being female) is still not as safe as it could be. [sigh] It may be that I simply want to try something different and stay where I am. In that case, I may need to accept having a roommate to cover the mortgage. Why move if I don't need to?

It's a work in progress... and if anyone can recommend a reputable organization through which to volunteer/teach in China for a few months, let me know.