Sometimes Reality Bites...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Every once in a while I love to take a Friday evening off from the frivolities of Boston and just veg out on the couch with Monty and a movie  Tonight was definitely one of those times, so for the past few hours I've been curled up in bed with Monty and a blanket watching one of my favorite all time movies, Reality Bites.  It's full of 90's awesomeness, the always hilarious Janeane Garofalo, genius dialogue, ("Evian is naive spelled backwards..."), a killer soundtrack, and Ethan Hawke at his absolute hottest.  If that isn't enough to turn you into a believer, I don't know what will.

The gist of the movie is the story of 4 20-somethings who have just graduated from college and are having to face the harsh realities of adulthood; terrible jobs, confusing relationships, and dealing with the unknown. As a mirror to my current mental state, it's a pretty perfect reflection. Lately I've been struggling with the idea that my life isn't necessarily where I expected it to be at this time.  I've had a serious case of the 20-something blues, where I feel more and more like I'm still stuck at the kids table, while everyone else seems to be having a blast at that adult party called life. I'm faced with the nagging question that if all our lives, we've been told that our twenties are supposed to be a time that we can experiment, a time to mess up, a time to find ourselves, at what point are we supposed to have it all figured out?  When does the experiment end and life begins?

When I entered graduate school, I was ambitious and idealistic, and though we were beginning to see the first inklings of our economic problems, I barreled into higher education with the somewhat naive notion that all would be better when I emerged, degree in hand.  I excelled in classes, I learned invaluable lessons, and I emerged to find myself right back where I started. And on top of it, I was exhausted by the idea of entering the very world I'd attended school for in the first place. Was I a more thoughtful and informed adult? Probably. Wiser and more self aware for my experiences? Sure. Without the job that I felt would finally define me as an adult? Definitely.  
Photo Via: The New Yorker
 As a generation who has been raised within the social experiment that says that we're all special, we each deserve a gold star and a baseball trophy for trying, (this coming from the dedicated benchwarmer of Christian County sportsdom,) we now find ourselves facing a paradigm which ties our own views of self worth to that of our achievements and success. We've spent our lives working towards goals set up by our society and by ourselves; seeking notoriety, knowledge, and justification of our choices to be faced with the reality that life doesn't hand out smiley faces for participating, and even those who try their hardest may not be immediately rewarded.  While I'd like to believe that I've achieved a bit of each, the reality is that I'm still incredibly unsure of my path.  For a while, I've seen this as a failure.  I'm not incredibly proud of that, but it's true.


(I know what you're thinking, a twenty-something who hasn't figured out her life...wahhh.)

My whole life I've lived with the motto of "no regrets," and it's worked well for me to this day.  I know that I couldn't have grown into the person I am today without the successes and pitfalls of my younger, (and letsbehonest, current) years, but it's still incredibly scary to face the unknown, untethered and drifting.  I've been through the stages of blame, but I know that my own indecision and uncertainty has certainly played a lot into my current situation. And that's got me thinking. 

It's largely because of my own uncertainty that I was really inspired to create this blog.  My whole life, I've been working towards accomplishments to prove something to myself, and sometimes even more, to prove to others that I was different or that I was special.  I've relentlessly sought the "gold star" for 27 years without ever really stopping to think if it's what I need, or even what I want.  Through blogging I became inspired, and in a way, I've started to really find myself again.  Not the girl who looks good on paper at the class reunion; but the girl who doesn't need the validation of others or a gold star on the paper from anyone but herself. I have some big decisions to make in the near future, but I'm happy to say that I'm finally seeing it as both a challenge and an adventure. I'm becoming inspired in new ways, and though I'm still not sure where I'll be or what I'll be doing in the next year or five years, you can bet on the fact that this time I'll be doing it for me.
Photo via: Google images
***Thanks for listening to what turned out to be a word-vomit filled diary entry... I just had to get that off my chest. I'm so appreciative of all of the long talks and short words with family  and friends as well as encouragement from other bloggers I've received over the past few months, you're all truly special to me!

2 comments:

  1. Everything will turn out just fine Ash :)

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  2. Honest, true and insightful. I love your blog! Hope to see you soon!!

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