I Don't Know What I'm Doing With My Life
“So what are you doing? Like, why are you here?”
“I’m taking some time off, you know, waiting until the end of the summer to find a job.”
“But like… what are you doing?”
I don’t know, okay? I don’t know.
I had this great fantasy of what would happen when I got to Long Island. I would be a beach queen, a mermaid princess, and my hair would be effortlessly wavy and full of salt water, and I would get beautiful tan lines and start running and bike a lot and read classic novels and have some quality time with myself, and I would be swept off my feet by the beauty of life and everything that had gone wrong the past 8 years of my life would just fade away.
And then I’d get a job in the city and a beautiful apartment and a dog and a closet full of stilettos and this time off would have been so good for me that I would stop fucking up, and I would stop making mistakes, and I would stop being so hard on everyone, and I would let things go, and I would stop worrying, and I would stop being reckless and making the wrong choices, and I would stop being so impatient, and I would stop being so hard on myself.
And that sort of happened.
But mostly it hasn't.
There are things no one tells you. There are flaws in the fantasy.
Taking time off is hard, and even though I’m a beach queen mermaid princess with bronzed shoulders and a newfound love of bike rides and boardwalks, it’s hard watching my friends get jobs and start their life. And while I know that I needed this time, while I know that I’m lucky to have it, it's still hard.
And it’s hard trying to explain myself. Not because of stigmas or whatever--I mean fuck stigmas, I’ll tell you all about my problems if you give me 6 hours and a bottle of tequila--it’s hard because I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s hard because I don’t even have an answer that I like yet.
It’s hard because when I don’t know what I’m doing, I feel like I’m failing.
It’s hard because I don’t like change.
It’s hard to accept that my hair is always full of sand and sea water because it used to be full of hairspray and heat protectant.
It’s hard to accept that though I used to be ready and out the door by 8:30 I am now rarely awake before then.
It’s hard to accept that I walk everywhere now, when I used to roll my eyes at walking to the Walgreens 25 feet from my apartment.
It’s hard to put your life on hold for yourself and to move and to change and to start over.
And it’s hard to know that change doesn’t happen overnight.
I made mistakes last weekend. I’ll probably make more in the future. I’m still hard on everyone. I still worry and I’m still reckless and I still make the wrong choices.
I’m still hard on myself.
I am learning to like classic novels; Jules Verne has captured my attention.
I am learning to see the beauty of life. The ocean and her crashing waves have a certain allure at 2 in the morning.
I am learning to move on from the past 8 years. Sometimes, I even turn around and look at the future.
“So are you looking for jobs?”
“Yeah, I’m looking.”
“But what do you want to do? Like what have you been doing?”
I don’t know. I don't know. But that's okay.
[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]