Hey! I promise this isn’t some depressing blog post about the state of my life right now. But this is a topic I’ve been wanting to write about for a while and as we close out the year, I needed to get these words out.
Well, it’s another year and I don’t know where I’m at. Celebrating my birthday, the end of the year, and the end of the decade, by reflecting on last year’s goals and a bunch of arbitrary ideas I once had. Another year gone by, but where am I, what am I doing, what’s next?
It feels as if time has gone really fast, but also slow. I’ve stayed busy, but also bored. My dreams seem simultaneously closer than ever before, but also further away. My life feels as if it’s on pause.
It’s hard not to reflect on your life when it’s your birthday, or when we’re nearing the end of the year (or the decade!). A quick Google search for this blog’s title phrase (something I’ve wanted to write for years) brings up a lot of stories about depression and a quiet, seeping anxiety. I guess that could describe part of my mood, but I’m not so certain.
My life feels as if it’s on pause, but I think that’s also how our lives are just designed. How else do you measure accomplishments besides a bunch of arbitrary goals? Goals that you sometimes meet, you sometimes don’t.
We measure so much of ourselves based on external factors, things we can’t control. A life on pause doesn’t have to be sad or a mark of depression. We go through so many phases of our lives, it’s important to take moments to pause when we can.
But it’s when your life is stuck on pause, unaware to yourself—that’s maybe a sign you’re lost. But, just as when traveling to a new place: sometimes it’s good to be lost.
I moved to New York City with a lot of hope and even more drive—an eagerness to succeed. Something a lot of new New Yorkers probably feel when they first move to the city. It’s the “big city” where dreams are supposed to come true. A tired trope. But a real one.
Since moving here, I’ve experienced the usual ups and downs of moving to a new place, of restarting a languid career, meeting new people, and trying to redefine myself in a new setting. It’s been a year and 8 months since the move; and now, celebrating my second birthday here, I’m feeling a lot of the same things I’ve felt since first moving here, but—thankfully—with fresh motivation.
When I first hit one year living in New York City back in the Spring, I was happy and still excited; there was still so much potential and I felt I hadn’t even cracked the surface. As I near a full second year living in the world’s most exciting city, I’m still happy, still excited, but a little lost.
Maybe it’s the paradox of choice. That idea there’s just too many options on what to do and what to achieve. Too many ways to make the most out of my life in NYC that figuring it all out for myself and finding my own way—it’s always going to be a challenge.
Overburdened with too much potential, where do you even begin?
Sure, I’m lost right now. We always get lost a little bit. But it’s what we do when we’re lost that marks what’s next.
That’s how I’ve been feeling the last month, these thoughts that I’m stuck on pause—still happy to be at this point in my life, but still anxious about what’s next, and wondering what else I should or could be doing.
I’ve always loved, and even craved, change. That excitement to do something new, to meet new people, to discover new passions and new places. That craving for always something more is fun, but it isn’t always easy.
The thing about a life on pause—it’s sometimes chosen and sometimes not. If you have the physical, mental, emotional, and financial ability to put your life on hold voluntarily—to neither move forward nor backward—and you *want* to, then you’re certainly going to be in an acceptable position.
It’s when you feel like your life was put on hold *for* you, without your consent—that’s when it sucks. But that’s when it’s important to remember that you are your own person; you’re often able to take those individual actions yourself to attempt to achieve the change you want.
Yes, there are limitations, but when you start to act and to do and make your own moves to get out of a funk, things do actually start to change.
So, even if recently my life has felt a little stuck, a little lost, a little “on pause.” It’s alright. I know where I stand; and even if I’m still a little lost on what’s next and where I’m headed, I know that there’s something there. But this moment of pause right now: not only is it needed, it’s necessary for whatever comes next.
A life on pause is okay. It’a important to have goals and to re-evaluate those regularly.
I’ve spent a lot of my life looking for friends and companionship, looking for love and attention. I’ve placed an inordinate amount of my own personal expectations in the hands of total strangers. (Hello, I’m a blogger.)
It’s partly why I’ve recently felt stuck. Instead, I know I need to just focus on myself, to commit to doing what I want on my own time, my own attention, out of my own control. Trusting others works to a point, but that always leaves room to be let down. Better to trust yourself and be the own change you want.
And that’s how you get out of a funk. How you push play and start moving forward.