Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where's My Consolation Prize

We all have them.

Days where we are unfulfilled, dissatisfied and maybe a little confused as to where our lives are or are going. When we think, "I'm more than this." Or, "I want more than this."

It's weird to sit and watch people who are famous just for being famous, and not because they have talent. And yet, there they are, traveling the world, meeting glamorous people who actually are talented and spending money to their heart's content.

It's humbling to see others whose names are out in the world because they are making such a tremendous impact on the world. Through new policies or new inventions. By fighting for a cause and taking a stand against that which is wrong in our world.

And then there's me. Us. Those of us who live ordinary lives. We wake up, get ready for the day, drive to work, work - for eight, ten, twelve hours a day - maybe squeeze in a little time with family, spouses or roommates, and then go to bed in order to start all over again.

Of course, some of us live more ordinary lives than others. When talking to some friends about this feeling of living such a "small life", one of them made the comment:
 I feel like that too, and then I have to punch myself in the face and say, "just be glad you have a job, and it allows you do to do cool things and have a house."

I've been going back and forth all day, going over that comment over and over and over. Because, on the one hand, I am very grateful for my job. I've been very blessed this past year. I've done cool things. I went to Florida. I went to New York City. I went home a few times. I've been able to pay all of my bills. And buy new tires and brake lines for my car when necessary.

But on the other hand, I'm not really doing "cool things." And I'm definitely not doing the cool things I want to be doing. Like my friend, whose "cool things" almost certainly involve her travels around the world. I'm not closer to having a house. Or even, a living arrangement that I really want.  Like, being away from BYU housing and a house-full of girls.

I'm still in debt. And probably will be for the very least, the next three years (that isn't including paying back school loans), but that's only if something disastrous doesn't come my way - car, health, etc. - and I cut my spending to the bare - barer - essentials. 

I feel like as a 25-year old, that's single, I should be full of show-cased talent; I should be traveling the world and meeting new, awesome people. Basically, I should be having the time of my life. But instead, I'm living this: wake up, go to work, scrape by, pretend to have fun, go to sleep; repeat, mode. And I'm stuck because, while graduated, I'm not really qualified for more than the office work I am already doing. I can't afford to go to grad school and become a teacher like I am seriously contemplating doing. And I don't want to be in Provo anymore! But I'm too terrified and too clueless on how to get out.

The world is a scary place. And really, I don't know how the people who live in the spotlight do it. I don't want to live some anonymous life, but I don't envy having the camera in every intimate - and not-so-very-exciting - detail. So where do you go to find the balance? How do you escape this feeling of "smallness"?

I don't honestly have the answer. I keep thinking about how the answer in Church is always to go out and serve. It seems like any time you are afflicted with self-.... anything, you're counseled to step outside of yourself and help others. I don't know if that is really the answer. It seems like more of a distraction from the problem and not really a solution.

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