Anybody out there feeling like a teenager again, but not in a good way?
Lately, as I near a milestone birthday, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life. The phrase Older and Wiser makes me laugh because right now, I feel as untethered and generally fucked up as I did at 17.
I floated around after high school. Worked at Jack in the Box, the only place for miles where you could get a taco, repugnant as they were. I did a semester as an English major at Lowell University after a gap year. But because I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted to do, I didn’t continue. At 21, I moved from Massachusetts to California in an LTD Ford station wagon with my mother and all our worldly goods. I worked at office jobs, attempted several writing projects and had a beaded jewelry business for 15 years.
Ever since a traumatic situation when the company I’d worked for for 27 years, and thought I’d eventually retire from, abruptly closed its doors, I’ve been on autopilot. My creativity evaporated amid a two hour daily commute to another job, exhaustion and what is likely low grade depression.
But 65 is proving to be quite a motivator. I’m not setting the world on fire yet but I am searching for the matches. I’m of good health and sound mind and acutely aware that those two things are fragile and could disappear without warning. I want to make the most of the years I have left and take some chances. Risk is a scary thing and change is even scarier, for me. But I think staying stagnant is the scariest.
So, what to do with the rest of my healthy, lucid life?
Find a new job doing something I actually like, that maybe helps people directly?
Semi-retire if an anticipated windfall comes our way?
Going back to school isn’t appealing but maybe a certificate course in editing or library tech?
The trip to England and France I’ve been planning for 7 years?
Join a writing group? Self-publish?
Work part time while making a serious attempt to make my writing pay?
See? Sometimes I envision working at a job I’d love for years to come but sometimes I want to learn something new but sometimes I want to see the world but sometimes I just want to stay home and write…
Like I said, untethered and generally fucked up.
Have you been grappling with how to live the rest of your life, whether you’re 25, 50 or 75? Let’s not wait until it’s too late to figure out what we want right now and make it happen!
Current Reads and Watches
What I’m reading now (paper): See Something by Carol J. Perry
What I’m reading now (Kindle): Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
What I’m binge watching: Schitt’s Creek