Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Decade of Development

I wrote in this blog about a decade ago. In it I mused about the meaning of life, apparently feeling a defecit in that area at the time. I was in my 30s, in a relationship that was not progressing, in a career that was not making me money and I wanted more. I was a decade past some huge personal losses in life, making everything seem that much more urgent.

I was bored with my life then, longing for prior days of travel, recalling storied adventure and generally reorganizing the recurring threads of my life into a comprehensible, consistent pattern. I was questioning, but hopeful. I was expressing my angst in an attempt to be free of encumbrances. I broke up with this boyfriend at the time, moved out into my own home and started scratching off goals on my to do list.

For awhile I thought I wanted to be a psychologist. I worked on a master's degree. I greatly enjoyed studying the topic of psychology and memorized every study on every significant topic I was interested in. I cured myself of being a lifelong "avoidant" in relationships and I was ready to find someone more adventurous than my prior boyfriend.

Then I got practical. I got an MBA, enhanced my professional skills and I made more money. Then I got a fiancé and I travelled the world. Then I established smaller goals involving health, connection, art and adventure - a fine tuning of self-actualization rather than the heavy building I had been doing in the few years prior. Then we greatly improved our home environment.

Somewhere along the way I had what I wanted so I finally stopped whining about meaning in life and started to actually enjoy it. We finally got to the point where we were able to "skim off the cream" of life and it had been a long time coming for both of us.

I moved away from the atheism I had been flirting with, back toward the center. I put away the cynicism modern dating had wrought, and I moved storied adventure from the past back to the present where it belonged. I felt empowered, capable and accomplished - the way I should have always felt had I not been sidetracked in my 20s by extreme religion and death. Still, looking back at the deaths I faced, I am glad I had religion to get me through.

People say aging is bad, but I have been far happier in my 40s than in my 30s. If you are finding yourself in a place you don't want to be in, it won't resolve overnight.  Change is a process involving correct identification of the problem, enacting a solution, living into and through the solution and fine tuning from there. It takes time and it happens in chunks - sometimes in little pieces. Soon you look back and those little pieces create something big.  I'm still fine tuning, but I am in a much better place than I was 10 years ago.