Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quarter Life Existential Crisis No. 82

I have weekly minor freak outs where I question where in the world I'm going with my life. It's not like I'm a loser with no direction - I think the problem is having too many different directions to go toward.

My friend Nicole recently told me about a book she's reading called "The Choice Effect," and it's about this exact problem with my generation - we have too many options that it's actually a disservice to us. We're constantly left to make decisions, decisions that we may later question and wonder if there's a better one we could have made. This is why I've always said I wish I could live 5 different lives - that way I can experience different career paths, different relationships and different places to live.

Unless you're a staunch Buddhist, this is probably never going to happen. I guess the only thing to do is find out what we like best and just go for that - and accept the choices we make. Of course there will always be regrets and things we wish we could have done, but rather than looking at what I haven't done, I should instead look at what I have done. And for someone who's only experienced a quarter of her life, I've done a pretty fair amount. And I have so much to look forward to.

As for my career, I'm not quite sure where that will take me. I love doing PR, but where exactly do I see myself doing it? I guess I'm not supposed to have that all figured out at this point. I didn't graduate college all that long ago. Now, if I were bringing this up 10 years from now, then that might be problematic.

As for where to live, I love Sacramento. Sure, it's not the same as San Francisco (my #1 love), but it's a stone's throw away, and I can always visit. Living in the city may happen for me one day - who knows? But staying close to my family - my Grams especially - is very important to me. I think I've grown a bit restless here in Roseville. The 'burbs are a bit stifling when you're not in that whole housewife, husband, 2.5 kids and a dog phase in life. I like that it's clean and nice here, but for the love of GOD, why is everyone white, middle class and Republican? I need some culture, people. A friend of mine may move here next year, so I'd love to get a house in East Sacramento or something with her. I'll save the 'burbs for 10 years from now.

As for relationships, I don't pretend to have them figured out. Right now single life is treating me really well. I like doing my own thing and being independent. The only thing I worry about is getting too comfortable in that lifestyle that it'll be hard for me to accommodate someone else in my life. For so long, I always told people, "Oh I'm definitely a relationship person." But honestly, I have no clue how to have a normal one. I guess there's no manual on how to do it. It's just something you go with the flow and do. I do see myself getting married one day, and I'm excited for that. I'm just not counting down the days like I used to. I know it'll happen eventually - no need to force it.

All in all, I don't think life is ever "all figured out," even on the day you die. No one is a pro at life - we're all just as lost as the person next to us. That's comforting to me. No one knows the future, but if my past and present are any indication, everything will turn out just fine.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You Give Love a Bad Name

I used to be the biggest hopeless romantic this side of the Mississippi. A true product of the Disney princess era, I fantasized that my love life was destined to turn out like all of those pop songs promised.

And then I woke the hell up.

It wasn't that long ago that I held certain beliefs about love and romance. I believed love would cast a spell on me and magically make life brighter, better and more worthwhile. This isn't to say love can't make life better (hell, I'm sure those feelings make you feel higher than a kite) - I just don't think being in love solves all of life's problems or is the ultimate, holy grail of a goal. And the Beatles lied - all you need is NOT love. It would be nice to have some sanity too, but I don't feel like this love business is really allowing for that.

Who am I kidding? I've never really been in love, so I'm no expert. I've loved people, but I've never had that definite this-could-be-something relationship with a guy. Sure, I was infatuated in high school like every 16 year old, and yes, my college relationship had me going crazy there for a bit. Post-college relationship was more like going on a third date for about 8 months straight. But none of it felt like real love.

I bring this up because I recently found out a good friend of mine discovered her boyfriend of a few months is actually married. And just a few days after this heartbreaking revelation, she wants to work things out with him.

After witnessing an infidelity issue in my family a few months ago, this is a touchy subject with me. Not to mention, I'm no stranger to watching people I care about let their significant others treat them like shit, justifying it along the way.

It's frustrating to watch, and it's even harder to be a good friend and act happy when things are "resolved." I know it's their business, but when someone I love is hurt, *I* am hurt as well.

The main justification these people seem to have for why they put up with it is that 4-letter word: love. Call me crazy, but love shouldn't hurt. It's not love when someone completely F's you over. If "love" is what these people suffer from, then count me out. To me, it seems "love" makes you stupid.

I can only say that my limited serious-relationship experience has not taught me what love is - it's taught me what love isn't.

Love isn't lying to someone repeatedly
Love isn't physically or emotionally abusing someone
Love isn't cheating on someone
Love isn't living a double life and hiding it
Love isn't a physical attraction
Love isn't drama

Again, I'm not an expert at defining what real love is, but anyone with common sense would agree with my above statements. It seems like people who claim to be so in love are equivalent to drunk people - when you're sober, you tell yourself you would never do x, y or z, and yet when you're wasted, x, y and z all seem like good, rational ideas.

News flash: good relationships don't normally start off rocky and magically work out, as every romantic comedy would like us to believe. Sure, there are road bumps and issues that arise, but it doesn't have to be this big, drawn-out drama with obstacles the size of Alaska in order for it to be true, passionate love.
I really hope all of us, including my dear friends and family, will eventually sober up and stop allowing selfish assholes to get away with douche baggery. I'm not innocent when it comes to putting up with a certain degree of assholeness, but in my defense, I was either in high school or the offense was nowhere as egregious as these latest betrayals I've witnessed. I'm stating right here and now that if any guy ever screws me over that badly, I need to leave pronto. Please shake me furiously if I somehow become one of these pod people who are blinded by so-called love.
My only thought on what real love is - it's probably a lot more boring than we thought. Unfortunately, writing a pop song about love being run-of-the-mill and ho-hum just doesn't seem like the way to sell records.

P.S. This post isn't meant to come off cynical, and I don't think all people who are in love are what I would classify as these pod people. I'm just pointing out those who let love rule their lives and get in the way of their better judgment - they prefer that wild rollercoaster of emotions as opposed to a steady, sustained, rational relationship (maybe because that's too dull, I guess?)

I still believe in love and know that it will happen to me. I'm just more pragmatic about it now because that initial excitement and honeymoon phase we all experience in the beginning eventually wears off, and before you know it, you're annoyed by the guy's TV shows dominating the DVR queue and missing the days when you could sprawl out in bed and not worry about taking up too much space.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Value of a Good Friend

I've always considered myself pretty lucky in the friend department. I don't have 8 million friends, but rather a small group of quality, thoughtful people.

And then many of them disappoint me all at once because they apparently all got the memo that it was Asshole Day, and I did not.

Things today are much better than they were, but the other day was probably one of the worst I've had in a long while. I know we all have misunderstandings or tense moments with our compadres, but all at once was just plain shitty.

Basically, I've learned that good friends don't pick small fights with you via text like we're in high school. Good friends don't choose their boyfriends over you. Good friends don't flat-out criticize things you like in order to boost their self-esteem. And good friends don't put you at the end of their priority list because they're too busy concentrating on themselves.

My friend Nicole came to visit me this weekend, and it was just what I needed. We did nothing but just talk and eat great food. She hasn't been feeling well lately, and she lives more than 2 hours away, yet she drove all the way out to see lil' ol' me for less than 24 hours. Now that is true dedication! I appreciate effort like that, and I wish more people were better about keeping their word.

No matter how often I get mistreated by friends, I still feel solace in the fact that my sister will always be there. Talk about the definition of a best friend! Yes, she's my blood so she's stuck with me, but we choose to be friends beyond siblings. She is someone who has my back no matter what - she doesn't ever make me feel bad about myself, and she makes me feel like an important part of her life. There's no one I love more than my sister!!!

On a side note - anyone else notice I'm losing my mojo when it comes to blogging? I haven't felt on my A-game in awhile, and I'm not sure why. I think it's because I might care a little too much about what people think. As I write my blogs, I constantly wonder what so-and-so will think of it or if I'll piss someone off. I don't want to let that hold me back anymore, so I'm going to try from here on out to write more honestly. And I really do want to keep my entries more positive too. It's easy for me to bitch, yes, but I don't want to keep being a whiny baby every time I write. I'll work on it!