I’m not entirely sure how to capture the thoughts and feelings that are on my heart at the moment. So, I will start with a story that I think scratches the surface.
A couple years back, when I was living in NC, I was out at the local bar. I was in the midst of weight loss and myself on my own specific diet. Hot dogs with no buns and Apple Crown at this particular establishment. Before I could order, the bartender spouted of my usual. I was surprised. She said to me, “you’re predictable.” I don’t know why, but this deeply hurt me. I actually wanted to cry. I mentioned it to one of my friends and he was in agreement. He then told me I was an alcoholic, so I’m not sure I could put stock in his opinion. I remember being vastly irritated by the situation
So, I’m sitting at the bar tonight having dinner and a drink and I overhear the conversation of two ladies next to me – something that didn’t take any considerable effort. One of them mentioned predictability and it brought this memory to the surface. Then, I thought about how I’ve been feeling the last few weeks, hell the last year – bored, depressed, lonely, melancholy – and I started seeing the truth of something I would like to deny.
I’m predictable. But why? What’s made me this way?
I don’t think it’s intentional, but simply a rut I’ve gotten myself into. As a child, I did (mostly) what I was told. I was expected to be ladylike (though I love cursing and being in comfortable sweatpants). I was expected to be the best in my class (which I was to the detriment of my health). I was expected to adhere to the strict specifics of religion (though I didn’t believe any of it). I thought that when I was removed from this situation, that I would be a completely different person. A risk-taker. Someone who was wild and free. A person who brings the fucking ruckus to a party (I was told this once, actually). In some respects, I have changed. In others, I’ve stood absolutely still and let life and people pass me by.
This past weekend was a four-day weekend for me. I did absolutely nothing. I had no one to call or hang out with. I had no plans. I was restless and agitated and sick of being with myself. I fell deep into depression (partially spurred by PMS) and was miserable. Ironically, I went out briefly Friday night with one of my friends that I had missed seeing. After a couple hours, though, I didn’t want to be there anymore. It could’ve been that we hang out there all the time (predictable). It could’ve been the cacophony of a bowling alley/bar (which I can only handle so much of). It could’ve been that I was watching a bartender I like work with his girlfriend (a bartender who, mind you, confessed his feelings for me only a couple weeks ago, but I know nothing will ever come of it and here I am in the same situation I am with every guy – waiting on them and their bullshit). It could’ve been any or none of those things, but I went home. I spent the rest of the weekend pretty much with myself.
Some time Sunday or Monday, it occurred to me that I did the exact same thing last Labor Day weekend. I had gotten so caught up in work and reaching a major milestone that I hadn’t taken any time for my personal life. I hadn’t thought about it. I spent four days alone binge watching Hulu and Netflix and wondering how this had happened. A year later, I’m doing the same thing.
What happened to me? Or rather, what didn’t?
It’s not that I’m not a risk-taker. Hell, I’ve jumped out of a plane. I just don’t seem to find any risks that I want to take.
It’s not that I’m a loner. I love my friends. But when the depression and the introversion get me, I would rather be at home.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy working. Well… usually. It’s just that right now, I’m not overly fond of my job and I’d rather not be there.
It’s not that I want to be home alone in my apartment. I just don’t put any energy into thinking about what to do instead.
It’s not that I don’t want to date. It’s not that I think I won’t find “the one.” It’s that I’ve been so hurt by the last couple guys, so deeply hurt, that I don’t want to put the energy into dating right now. I’d rather meet somone organically.
I realize that all these things that it’s not and it is contribute to monotony. To predictability. Some people might envy this. You shouldn’t.
You know whose fault it is? Mine and mine alone.
It’s my own fault that as much as I love to write and be creative, that I don’t search out other like-minded people and go to that open mic a friend took me to once so that I can connect with people.
It’s my own fault that I go to the same restuarant because it’s easy even though it gives me no new fare, no new experience, and doesn’t help me lose the weight I so desparately want to shed.
It’s my own fault that I chose a career that I didn’t really want just for the money and that I’ve been in it for almost ten years because it’s relatively comfortable, even if I have transferred to locations across states.
It’s my own fault that I watch cartoons all day long instead of picking back up my long-time hobbies of going out to or watching movies or reading a good book, I’m killing brainn cells instead of feeding them.
It’s my own fault that I’m not making new friends because I’m stuck in the past on the things I’ve done wrong and the friends that I’ve lost. (I wrote this poem to describe what waiting on people you think will be in your life forever ends up like. Also, Lauren doesn’t drink vodka anymore. It results in bad decisions that result in rumination and anxiety.)
It’s my own fault that I’m sitting on my bed writing this article to you about how I seem to be doing nothing with my life. It’s not that I’m doing any wrong. But, I’m also not doing anything. That is a problem.
So, what should I do? Perhaps all the things that I keep thinking about doing. Get more tattoos, travel to foreign countries, read my poetry out loud, share more of myself with others, explore new places and things, make new friends. After all, I live in the happiest place on earth (Orlando). There’s plenty to do.
There’s plenty of life to live and I’m not living it.
So, I’ve gotten a few new tattoos, I’ve moved to a new apartment, I’ve redecorated to create a more inviting, cozy, bright space, and I’ve buzzed my head. But that’s certainly not enough.
Time to fly.
What would you do if you realized it was time for a change? If you realized you had been stagnant (or currently are) and you needed to get yourself out of a rut? I’d love to hear your thoughts.