Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind in the darkness that you know you cannot fight. Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before. Let your soul take you where you long to be.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Age Inappropriate?

For those of you who know me, you know that I am one big ball of anxiety and stress. You know that you will never see me drinking with friends at the local bar, you will never see me out at a restaurant on a Saturday night, you will never see me relaxing at the river on a hot day. For those of you who don't me...well you probably don't know me because I am never out with friends at the local bar, i am never out at a restaurant on a Saturday night, and I am never relaxing at the river on a hot day.

My therapist said something to me this week that nearly brought me to tears. She said that the life I lead is age inappropriate. I am not living the life a 26 year old should be living. Not only am I just a high stress person, it is actually inappropriate behavior for anyone my age and I realize how much damage I am actually doing to myself.  Now of course, there are people my age who work more hours than I do, who have better jobs than I do, who make more money than I do. She isn't really referring to those kinds of qualities. Instead, I have the weight and amount of stress of someone who is middle aged with a family and a mortgage and a low paying salary. I don't live the life of a young girl in her 20's who is FREE to do as she wants, to move around as she wants, to play as she wants. I don't date. I don't have a lot of friends. I live my life in such a hurry to be better than what I am and am so tied down that day to day life is miserable. Why is this? One reason is because I have such high ambitions- I so badly want to make it to the top that I am terrified I will fail if I don't attack it now.  I don't want to look back when I'm 40 and unsuccessful and think "man I wish I made better use of my time in my 20s."  I don't want to waste one minute of my career piddling around. Yet, real careers are hard to come by and I still don't have one. ironic for all that work I apparently put in, right? Another reason is I have soooo many diverse interests that I want to do EVERYTHING! Part of that is the ADD talking, part of that is the grueling schedule of the American society. But mostly I have prioritized everything to be just as of high importance as everything reality, meaning I haven't prioritized a damn thing. These are all pressures I put on myself and have been for the last 5 years, if not my whole life in some respects.

But I don't know how to be anything different. I don't know how to not care, relax, and play. I don't know how to not worry that I may not make a fabulous career for myself and say "screw it" and go to the river instead. I don't know how to not care that my dog didn't get proper exercise for the day. I don't know how to not care when I eat poorly.

So let's look at all the things I place of utter most importance, all of my WANTS in order to be happy. I would be on a successful (meaning, progressive) path as a film actor. I would be going to auditions, booking some, not booking others. I would be paying dues, doing the grunt work, knowing that one day, I will receive a great opportunity. I would have the body to go with it (you can call me superficial, but to me it matters). The red carpet figure---- weight does play an important role in the career of an actor and dancer. I've never had that body, and I deserve to desire it. I would have opportunities to pick up and move if I desired to spend some time in Africa photographing wildlife or live in a more concentrated film community. I would have opportunities to float around to volunteer my time to work with wildlife and conservation. I would have a savvy home that is mine filled with my family of pets, where dinner parties would consistently take place. I would have a self sufficient job that I knew, if nothing else, I could make into a career if I needed. Why waste my time being a waitress when that will never get me anywhere in the long run. Heck, I would even take on hobbies such as rock climbing and aerial silks, and, would you believe, travel?!! Can I make all of these wants fit into the same life or are they too diverse?

When I look at the past 5 years, I know that I have made progress in some important directions. I know I am slowly chipping away at my dreams. But what good does it do if I don't enjoy the process? If I don't enjoy the journey? But, how do you get anything accomplished if you don't consistently work on the little things? When I look back at the last 5 years, I definitely remember some happy times, but I definitely feel sad. Sad that I didn't enjoy my early 20s. How can I make it that when I look back on the next 5 years, I will be satisfied? Seriously, I have no idea. My day-to-day schedule is so jam packed with things, I feel, are urgent and need to get done. It's not as simple as just "being less busy" or "cutting down your to-do list". Those are obvious solutions I have already tried. Do other people not have as many important things on their plate? Do they not have as many responsibilities? Or do they just know how to balance it better? Seriously, is there a secret no one told me about??

One year.  That's it.  One year. In one year I will make an evaluation.  Will I be moving to pursue an acting career or will I change directions to pursue wildlife conservation?  In one year I will have the body I want.  In one year I will be happy, fulfilled, and living an age appropriate life.  In one year, I will be making the salary worthy of my talent, age, and education.  Okay, now how do I make this happen without making each day dreadful?


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