What Am I Doing With My Life?

Wow, I finally have some free time! This is unheard of! =D

And yet, this statement is ironic. Very ironic. I’m always, ALWAYS doing something–usually work, but also online college work (I’m almost done with my 2nd semester!), house work, freelance graphic design and writing work, and as of recently, moving work–painting our new rental condo in exchange for our landlord holding the unit for a month for us, and of course the joys of actually packing your crap up to take to said new rental condo, then awaiting the exciting day where we unpack it all and rearrange it in our new living space. Which is very exciting! But also a lot of work. =3

Now, if I were to say that list slightly differently, I’d sound pretty freaking impressive. =D “Ah yes…I’m working as a full time tattoo artist while going to school part time for graphics design. I’m also currently doing some freelance graphic design for a marketing company and have just finished writing an e-Book. My boyfriend and I are finally successful enough that we can afford a nice place to live, and will be moving out of our ghetto as shit neighborhood with our drunken, yelling neighbors, into a more reputable neighborhood. GO US.”

Even reading that back to myself, I feel pretty impressive. =D However, I’m also on the inside of all this information, and I see what the first paragraph states: a lot of fucking work. Work, work, work, work! Work equates to things that I should do, things I kind of want to do, but that require an extra effort of caring that makes them more difficult and less fun to do, especially when there’s a lot of these things going on at once. Because even though I absolutely LOVE my job, really enjoy school, love the fact that I can make money off of freelance work, and even though I’m BEYOND EXCITED to move out of this seedy neighborhood…it becomes very overwhelming and less fun to me.

Often, when I have little conversations with myself in my head because I’m crazy and introverted, and I work through my problems by coaching myself like a weirdo, I ask myself what I’m doing with my life, and I reply back to myself with the impressive version of the large quantity of tasks that I’ve taken on in the past several months. Part of me feel successful and proud of myself for accomplishing so much–but then I ask myself again, “Seriously. What are you DOING with your life?”

Sometimes, the answer is disheartening, because somewhere deep down, I know that there’s a chance that I’ll lose myself in my acquisition for success, in my mission to make myself be a productive member of society that people admire and look up to, that I admire.

I often fear that I’ll forget how to see the world through the eyes of a child, how to be truly creative just because I see the world in a different way. I’m afraid of forgetting how to laugh, forgetting to connect with friends and to do things that make me happy. And I absolutely hate the feeling when I’m at work, doing a drawing for someone else, and I have a spark of creativity that could turn into a wonderful idea–but then, I have to stuff in back in my brain to “save for later” because there simply isn’t enough time for me to indulge in my own ideas. THAT. SUCKS.

Sometimes, the answer to what I’m doing with my life is this, as I shake myself to try to get the stupid out…”You’re forgetting to HAVE A LIFE.”

Why, what do you mean self? LOOK HOW ACCOMPLISHED I AM, SELF.

“Let me tell you why you’re an idiot. You’re forgetting to make time for yourself and the things that make you happy, even simple things such as going for a walk and enjoying the sunshine, to complex things like creating a work of art for no other reason than because you fucking feel like it.

You’re not making time to REST, and so you’re going through your days in a haze, not really being present for them, because you don’t have the energy to really invest in the happenings of your day. You’re trying to go too fast so you can get things “out of the way,” assuming that you’ll have more time to yourself if you stuff all of your obligations into one large slot of time–but in reality, those obligations never go away because you continue to create them, and you’re actually just burning yourself out.

When you burn out, you don’t want to do the things that absolutely need to be done, let alone go out of your way to invest your time in things that you actually want to be doing. You’ve got it completely backwards! Don’t you know that investing at least some of your time into your own well-being and happiness actually BOOSTS your energy and creativity, making you more capable to handle all of your life’s obligations, and making it easier to allow yourself to be part of what’s going on around you? GET A GRIP, SELF.”

Ohhh boy…I’m right about myself. GREAT.

“It’s true though–when you don’t take time to consider the things that you truly value and that are part of you, then you’re doing yourself a great disservice and making things even harder. You may lose sight of who you really are and what you really stand for…you might give in to the materialistic, shallow plight that the Western world just loves to be part of. Are those people really happy? Do you want to be part of that, or do you want to live your life to the fullest, in the way that you believe it should be lived?”

I don’t want to be a sheep who focuses on shallow appearances, materialistic success, and who wore it better. I thought I did once, but I don’t. I want to make something of myself, but not for everyone else–for me.

“Good. Then start managing your time a little bit less stupidly. It’s okay to be human. Embrace it!”

So, as a message to anyone who might read this…ask yourself what you’re really doing with your life, and don’t answer the question with the successes that other people can measure, like your finances, your career success, or your family. Answer it instead with personal successes, and whether or not you’re measuring up to your true self. Ask yourself if you’re happy! If the answer is yes, you might be on to something…but what if you aren’t happy (and you don’t have to be 100% happy, nor do you need to feel like a complete failure to believe that your life is going in the wrong direction)?

It’s OKAY to take a vacation…I guess…I wouldn’t know, it’s been years since I’ve had one. It’s OKAY to prioritize that movie night over a work deadline sometimes. It’s OKAY to look out for yourself and your own well-being before looking out for others–sometimes, that’s the only way to get anything done anyways.

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