I was on the Sky Ride at Canobie Lake Park this summer with one of my dearest friends and having an unexpectedly serious discussion while simultaneously trying to keep my flip flops from falling off and landing on the heads of the unsuspecting park attendees below.
She’s a mom and a homeowner and has her stuff TOGETHER.
I am … me.
However, as we slowly cruised over the trees and pathways in our carriage, she also proved to be a major champion of my me-ness as I tried to explain why, at 36, I feel like I don’t have a handle on life.
“WHATEVER,” she said, “You’re doing fine. You can date – or not. You can change jobs or not. You can rent or not. It’s only up to you. “
Basically, she said, if I don’t like the system that people – including me – are using to measure what I’m doing with my life, I should try out a new system. Go metric, if you will.
“You’re right,” I said. My right flip flop dangled dangerously.
“Of course I am,” she said. “Do you want to go ride a roller coaster now?”
I’m mentioning it now because I’d like to make a formal declaration of a change of measuring system.
If I am making changes as regards to my life, and I ask for advice, I would LOVE to hear what you think. The unsolicited commentary, however, is no fun. Let me ask you: the next time you go out for drinks with your friends, think about how awesome it would be if they all ganged up on you to list the things that they thought you could be doing better.
It would make you want to drown yourself in a scorpion bowl. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.
I am not shy about asking people what they think. Believe me, I know a lot of intelligent people. I respect them. I frequently request their perspective on situations, and appreciate that they all want the best for me.
I love them for that.
But I’m starting not to love the constant barrage, of being told what I NEED – MUST! RIGHT NOW! – to do.
Please allow me to list them:
1. You need to dress like a grown up. Here’s the deal: I’m an adult. If I want to wear some sort of snarky t-shirt and a hoodie every day in my WORK FROM HOME job, I will. And that WILL be dressing like an adult, because I’m an adult and that’s how I’m dressed. If I worked in an office, I would clearly conform to their dress codes. I GET IT.
2. You need to get out more. I go out when I want to go out. If I don’t have every minute of my life scheduled? I’m okay with that.
3. You need to be dating. I’m so tired of this. If I meet someone (YOU NEED TO GO OUT MORE) and am interested, and the Someone is interested(YOU NEED TO DRESS LIKE A GROWN UP)? Then perhaps I will date. Otherwise? I like being single. All of the closet space is mine. The entire bed is mine. You know who I have to check in with? No one. EVER. Um, that doesn’t exactly suck.
4. You need to go back to school/decide what you want to be when you grow up/career career career. I do need to do some career related things. I’m doing them. I’m not necessarily talking about them, but I’m DOING them. Here’s why I don’t want to talk about them: when I’m done spending 11 plus hours a day at work? I don’t want to talk about work. If I DO want to talk about work, then I’ll talk about it. And we can discuss it. But can we not have a lecture, please? It’s not enjoyable, and if you think I’m stressed out now, check my blood pressure after you get done telling me all of the stuff you think I should be doing instead. (Hint: it won’t be lower.)
Look, my life isn’t perfect. As it turns out, no one’s is. I’m working really hard to make some positive, long overdue changes and I’m EXCITED about them. I will ask for help. I will listen to advice. I will know that all of the above come from a place of love and good intent. But I’m probably not using your measuring system for what it means for me to be a success. It turns out that it doesn’t work for me.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some snarky t-shirts to fold and put away.