Monday, July 15, 2013

Living happily in the middle.

I had a conversation with friends not too long ago about goals: big, small, daily, life, career.

With boyfriend around (i.e. Ambition Central), its pretty easy to feel guilty for being essentially goal-less at the moment. Not to mention, our short term roommate's new motto "everything is free...if you're rich" rings in my ears every time I buy something. But when I really think on it, without influence, I still don't feel bad. There's the occasional moment (usually around my birthday) when I start to get nervous about my life...like, "really, Ellie, what are you doing all the time??" Generally though, on the daily...I think just hanging out is good enough.

My goal today: sleep in, exercise, and read a magazine. I feel like that's do-able.

Gryffindor and me nappin' it up...him sporting some highly attractive gray sweat pants
My fortune from Hong Kong Clay Pot (update on last weekend coming soon)

After college, I wrote a list of goals. The last thing you want at 24 is to become an adult and be a "loser". We all know them, and yeah...bummer. So, I wrote down the essentials and a game plan to get me there. Then I really stuck to it. I learned a lot about myself. For starters, I'm not lazy and I'm really, very resourceful. I also learned that its amazing what you can do on your own. Even if you don't start out believing wholeheartedly that you'll succeed, every little success along the way adds up to an actuality that...wow, I really can do this grown up stuff. I also figured out that it doesn't take that much to be happy. My whole life people have been making it sound so hard. You really just go out and discover what makes you happy, then do it. Please let me know if I'm missing something here?

Now that I've accomplished all the goals I had before (and got out of loser territory, whew) I feel like the difference between where I'm at now and where I could be in 3 years isn't going to make or break my success in life.
I've always thought of myself as an optimist overall, but comparing my thoughts on monetary goals with most people I know: I'm a total pessimist, doubter, d-bag. That, or I'm lacking any kind of career-related self-esteem and taking it out on everyone else. Or, both. I just don't think I'll ever be rich. I'm not motivated, I don't care enough, I think it's way too hard and way too stressful, and most importantly even if I was -- I'm not sure I'd be happier. Being rich is just unattainable and unimportant in my eyes. It should be noted that I'm the odd one out on this.
Furthermore, between now and rich...eh, its not like pushing myself like mad just to make a few thousand more a year is going to pay off. I'm not gonna have a baby to provide for in a few years, or a wedding to save up for, or a vacation house in the Hamptons I've been dreaming of since I saw MTV cribs at 13 years old. I mean, somehow I'll manage to live happily without that new Bugatti. Honestly, I'd rather travel in Costa Rica for $2k and have the daylight to walk my dog in the park. Fancy stuff is not the most important thing in life and the fact that I get off work at 4 in the afternoon and have not a damn care in the world is pretty satisfying.

Sorry if that got a little rant-y. Maybe I've just seen too many unhappy people, so I know that when you're happy -- just do that, then. I do agree with most that having some kind of goals are important. Progress makes you feel good after all. Also, I'm pretty sure there is something to this writing things down concept. Want to know a secret? I read in a blog a few years ago that you should write down what you want in a partner, then just accept being perfectly happy as a single lady until the one with all the essentials actually shows up (if he does, that is). I loved that, so I did and with no expectations (since, lets be honest, most of the guys I'd dated were actually way off when I sat down and focused on what I really wanted). And what do you know, he came along. So. without further ado, my new official set of goals:

  • Certified Pilates Instructor
  • Stay in touch with friends
  • Masters degree in something (still figuring this out so stay tuned)
  • Start teaching a hobby painting class for adults with an interest
  • Buy a mixer and get good at baking