If you haven’t hit this time in your life yet, I’m sure you will soon enough. There comes a time in (nearly) everyone’s life where so much has changed that they have to take a step back and really ask themselves, “Where do I go from here?” Its not a question of anxiety or depression, but one of wonder, curiosity, confusion – of trying to find yourself when the calm finally follows the storm.
Life has changed a lot recently, and though I’ve written about it and mulled over it before, I feel like I’ve come to that point where it’s time to review it as a whole. Maybe it will help me prepare for new year’s resolutions. Crazy to even be thinking about that, but January isn’t that far away.
When did life really start taking a lot of twists and turns? I’d say the start of it was 2013. I was living away from home, starting my first decent paying job, buying a new car – really #adulting. Then I brought a new member of the family into the fold – my dog, Callie. Then I had my accident at work that, although seeming small at the time, ended up being a big, life changing event. The next few years were wrought with Callie’s medical emergencies, my struggling with my increasingly painful injury, and a romantic relationship going further downhill. 2015 brought big changes as well – moving out again, without a romantic partner (just a roommate), starting a new (and hopeful) relationship, struggling financially through surgeries and recoveries. 2017 brought one of the biggest commitments I would ever make: buying a house. I also had my biggest surgery yet that year, and moved into the house during the end of my recovery. Right at the end of the year, I started a new job, in hopes I could find one that wouldn’t be so hard on my injury. Then 2018 seemed like it was going to start leveling out our lives for us – I had a new job, Brandon started a new job, we were settled into our house, Callie had been stable and well on her medication for many years. Brandon and I got engaged that year and began wedding planning, so that was really the highlight of the year. Our roommates moved out in the summer. But then 2019 came along, ready to stir things up again. Wedding plans, fired from job, then wedding and honeymoon (while trying not to dwell on the unfortunate circumstances), then having to find a new job and start over…found a new job, starting over well, I think…then Brandon finds out he may lose his job (thankfully he’s being picked up as a contractor, so he will not lose his job).
So we’ve now gotten to this strange place in our adult life where we are actually doing better than before, which is really something to be grateful for considering everything that has happened. We are more financially stable, we’ve been able to make some really nice updates to our game room while still paying all the bills and keeping money in savings. We’re discussing what house project to tackle first now that we have money put away in savings. We’re entertaining the idea of a second dog for a companion for Callie. Do I not know where to go next because things are going well? Is it that you get so conditioned to expect bad things are going to happen and what you have to do to deal with those bad experiences, so when good things happen and life is on track you just lose your place? Is it that things going well means you’re actually given choices, branching paths, so you can choose to go left, right, or continue straight?
So when you do get to this point – and I hope we all do – what will you do? Will you stick to the familiar, straight path, the one you’ve been forced to continue down for so many years out of necessity? Or will you pick the one less traveled, because you can? Because you finally reached a point in your life where its OK to try some new things, to take some risks? Will your heart and head ever come together to make a choice, or will you stay at the crossroads indefinitely, never knowing which way to step?
I don’t know that I’m ready to step yet…but I’m getting there. With my 30th birthday just around the corner (yikes!) I feel like I need to be ready. I need to be ready to decide how my next chapter is going to start.