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.