Life is messy and imperfect

Life is weird. I could end my statement there because I think it basically sums up exactly what I want to say, but I also have a lot more to share.

I feel like I’ve been walking an uphill battle for the past few months. Nothing felt in flow, there were no signs from the universe I was on the right track, and I eventually ran myself into the ground with an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety.

I had moved back to the city of Vancouver with the plan of beginning a 3-year musical theatre diploma with the idea of living out my abandoned teenage dream on the cusp of turning forty. 

It sounded like a good plan, the perfect plot for the story of my life to follow. But the universe continued to tell me differently by showing me what my measly budget could allow me in a city with a major housing crisis, and helped me realise I’m not prepared to live like a poor teenager anymore.

I’ve been struggling with the concept of turning 40 this year as I’ve spent the majority of my 30’s living like a 25-year-old. I was dating a 25-year old, I’ve been working multiple minimum wage customer service jobs, living in share houses, and feeling like I’m not progressing the way a near 40-year-old should be.

My past therapist said I was likely experiencing some form of midlife crisis, but I think I’ve been in an existential crisis most of my life. The only time I haven’t felt that crisis was during the two years I was dating Tom who I met on the Te Araroa, but the moment we broke up I was flung back into the ‘what the hell am I doing with my life’ whirlpool.

Maybe the answer is finding love and being distracted from my own intense musings. (I’ll admit I spend way too much time alone thinking). But I’ve also spent the past few years trying to slow down, practise self compassion, work through tough aspects of my past, be mindful, and all the other good stuff that keeps the mind healthy. What I’ve come to realise only in the last day or two is that life is just meant to be messy and imperfect, and no matter how hard I try to control it and steer it towards perfection, its bound to fling me in the opposite direction.

I can’t always carry all my shopping bags from the car to my apartment without dropping something. I will misplace my phone multiple times throughout the day. No matter how much I love and care about people, I will say or do things that hurt them. I will travel down dead end roads and need to turn back, and I will try something new expecting to be good and completely suck at it. I am human and life isn’t shitting on me for fun. It shits on all of us.

The day before my classes were about to begin last week, I withdrew from school. I’d spent the previous 36 hours with my dear friend Sue going back and forth on what I should do and the hypothetical outcomes of each various decision. Do I quit now, in 2 weeks once I know what it’s like, or after one year to really give it a shot?

The problem was not the course, although in 3 years having spent over 30k, I’m not sure my brilliant tap dancing skills would have brought me closer to the life I want to lead. It’s hard to say without knowing what that life actually looks like, but I can tell you there is no way I want to share a house with more than five people, exotic animals, a cat hotel, my landlord’s gymnasium, or any other quirky compromise I came across in my months of searching in the city. Call me picky, but I believe I deserve better.

In true Rozanne fashion, I made an immediate pivot and course corrected my life in a new direction. I found an adult musical theatre group to join in a town five hours away, quit my shitty customer service job, and am now sitting by a lake in my soon-to-be new hometown waiting for confirmation on a rental suite I saw two days ago. I’m once again in a new town starting my life over in place where I know no one. Sound familiar?

I guess it’s in these moments of new beginnings, (and I’ve had a few) where I take stock and reassess where I am in life. Am I making the right choices? Is this the direction my life is supposed to head in? Shouldn’t I be closer to friends and family or heading up an international non-profit and saving the world by now?

I certainly don’t have the answers, but the only comforting thought I have is the title of this post. When shit goes sideways it’s okay. When I make the wrong decisions that’s okay too. If I have to learn the same lessons by making the same mistakes over and over again I guess it means I didn’t learn them well enough the first time. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but hey, I’m human.

Somewhere along the line I learned that being human wasn’t good enough. I developed the belief that if I wasn’t over achieving in all aspects of my life I wasn’t worthy of love or attention. I’ve spent so much time trying to rewire that belief system, and I need to accept that if I fail at that it’s okay too.

I’m not sure I really stuck to the theme in my ramblings here but that’s a good indicator I’m starting to let go of that perfectionism trait. If I want to write something and share it with the world, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If people don’t like what I say or the way in which I say it, I’m not responsible for their reactions. I miss sharing my thoughts and my life because of the fear of what people will say or because it’s not worth sharing. Writing gives me a sense of purpose, contribution, and connection. The messier the better I say!

Thank you for listening.


33 thoughts on “Life is messy and imperfect”

  1. Hey Roz, I was glad to see your post. Life is full of twists and turns isn’t it? Wish you the best in this wonderful life. Still working on the PCT just south of you. Take care of yourself, Jack

  2. I’ve been waiting for years to read something from you, and I was wondering how you were doing. I’ve been following this blog ever since the PCT. At the time, it was life affirming and helpful to read about your journey. You have a gift for writing and for expressing stories that others cherish. You’re as much an author as anyone I know, and if you ever put your stories into a book, I suspect that many people would like to read it.

    Hike on!

    1. Aww thank you, Alex! I’m grateful that people spend time reading what I have to say and am always blown away when someone takes the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate your compliments. I hope there will be a book in my future one day!

  3. So good to have you back, so I can live vicariously through your experiences. You can’t say your life is boring. I find it incredibly interesting. So what that you are turning 40, it is just a number. I can certainly related to your messy life, we probably all can. Just keep going and experiencing. What could be better.

    Hugs and kisses,

    1. Donna! I miss you! I can’t wait to visit again soon and have our nightly chats together. Sending loads of love xo

    1. Great to hear from you!! It’s been a while but it feels so good to reconnect. Thanks for your kind words and for continuing to follow my journey. I hope life is treating you well!

  4. Ooof. I feel very sentence of this my friend, as an also soon to be 40 November baby. I think I’ve been in existential crisis my whole life. And funnily enough had a glimmer a few weeks ago that I was maybe living from a place of deep existential fear that things won’t be ok if I don’t get it “right” – and if I could just find this missing piece of the puzzle it would all somehow click into place. Then I realised maybe there isn’t a neat solution, maybe it is to live in the messiness of it or to borrow Rilke’s words “be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart… live the questions now and perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it,live along some distant day into the answer.”

    Much easier said then done of course haha (when you nail it let me know) but maybe all we can do is be in connection with those on on the journey and try and also at the same time celebrate our intensity too as that’s what makes your writing so powerful and piercing. It takes courage to put your art into the world. Sending you much love x

    1. Sarah! Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this and for touching base. It’s awesome to hear from you. It’s so good to know I’m not alone in this experience, and even though I ‘know’ this rationally some of the time, it’s so easy to forget in those really tough moments. Sending you so much love and prayers that your journey brings you to the answers you’re seeking. I wish that for the both of us!

  5. So good to hear from you. You are a great writer. Keep winding down your path. You are still one of my main hiking inspirations. PCT 2023 for me now after the lost class of 2020. As a fellow 40 year old, I could have just given up after 2020 derailed and my “career” is going fairly well, but that’s not what the universe has in store for me. Thanks for always being honest and open about your life and your feelings. It comes across very well on the page and we all benefit from your genuine and personal experiences.

    1. Ian! I’m so happy to hear you’re persevering and hitting the trail next year. The three-year delay must have been agonising! Good on you for listening to the universe and following your heart. You’ll be hiking during my 10-year anniversary. Can’t believe it’s been that long. Please share your blog with us (again?) so we can follow along! Happy trails! 🙂

  6. What a happy surprise to see your email! Life is always messy and nothing is ever perfect. You’re right where you’re supposed to be. Keep writing and know that nobody is judging you! Your posts have always been such a pleasure to read. You’re a fantastic writer! Wishing you all the best of everything.
    Every little thing is gonna be alright 🙂

    1. Maura, my nervous system was honestly calmed by reading your comment. Thank you! I love when someone tells me with authenticity that I’m exactly where I should be because I spend so much time thinking I should be somewhere else. Thank you so much! 😊

  7. I still love you no matter what! Life is a four letter word for a reason. I don’t know what that reasoning is but… Just don’t give up. I went through all kinds of shit and changed careers at 36. Made it lost it made it lost it made it met you at 52 and 11 years later I’m still going through shit up and down. C’est la vie! Miss you 530-318-6971 if you ever need to talk. God bless.

    1. God love you, Pac Man!! Thank you for your ongoing support and love! You seem to have your shit figured out, but I’m glad to know it was a bumpy ride to get there and I’m sure it still is. Would love to chat soon! I’ll be in touch! 🤗

  8. Thank you for sharing this! The situation you’re describing is uncannily similar to some things I’m thinking about and going through and it was helpful to hear your perspective and musings. This morning it was wearing on me a bit more than normal so I’m glad I decided to open up that email and read your post. I’m still not sure what I’ll end up doing with my situations, but this helped bring a sense of calm and “okay-ness.” Thank you!

    1. Thank you for letting me know this, Andy. God it feels good when we know we’re in this craziness together. You sharing your situation helps me so much too! Thank you!

  9. I feel as though I have been walking in a desert. Chugging along. Thirsty, yet acclimated to the challenge. Accustomed to the dry spell.

    Then….BAM ! A message from YOU, my dear friend, and I realize how parched I have been !

    Again, I see you with a blank page before you….what will she fill it with this time, I wonder ?
    Much love to you
    As always
    Enjoy today
    From Oregon…where
    Lyndella Sings

    1. Oh Lyndella, what a joy to hear from you! There is poetry in everything you say. I hope that Oregon has been treating you kind and there has been joy in your days this year and those past. Keep that beautiful voice of yours singing always!

  10. Wow, I thought of you just this week! Must have been the reason we had heard from you! Giggles! Anyway, my heart jumped for joy to hear from and experience your life. While reading the comments from your many friends, I saw in my mind a picture of people in the whole world , standing in a circle, holding hands and each one somehow seeing, understanding and nodding their heads that “were together in this thing called life” ! I can’t think of words to suffice in response except to say “I get it!”. I am looking into your beautiful being and wishing with all my heart to be hugging you and kissing your cheek. I love you ❤️! From your old friend (88) in San Diego, California.

    1. Aww Barbie it’s so good to hear from you and I love the image you have painted in my mind. We are all in this together but with everything going on in the world today, it’s so easy to forget. Thank you for reminding me and for your tenderness and love. I’m sending you a giant hug in return and much love! Xo

  11. hey pal, nothing new … right? tell you what, Life on the other side of what you experience ain’t that much better, just different. Got my own house, time-consuming job… feel like a stranger in the village I live and the city I work in. But one thing we have come to understand in the years we’ve known each other… life’s never dull 😉 You’re always welcome if you need a place to stay, It’s just a hell of a long way to walk. Hang in there

    1. Hey Heske! Sorry I didn’t see your note for a few days. Thanks so much for your wisdom and for your ongoing generosity! I may not need to live with you but I sure hope to be able to visit again one day! I hope you’re managing to still find time for your writing and the things you love most. You have so much to share! Sending my love and I hope to reconnect again soon! Muk 💕

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