On the nature of my happiness

I find it difficult to exist in a state of happiness. I am aware, logically, that it really is all my state of mind, and that I have the power to change my attitude about something that I consider unhappy about my life, my job, or anything else. Logic and I don’t always like to play nice, however. I’m pretty stubborn, and when I get it in my head that I’m unhappy about something, I tend to latch on to it and obsess about it and carry it around with me everywhere. If someone suggests that I maybe not obsess so much, then I take it as some kind of personal attack. The thing is, I really do feel like I have to protect that feeling – as if I would lose something important if I let it go.

Wait, I’m not being very clear. Let me try again.

Those shoes, that girl, that job.

Those Shoes:
Let’s face it, I second guess a lot of things. I second guess my decisions about what I’m doing on the weekend. I wonder if I’m missing something better than what I’m doing. I’m one of those people, although I am much better than I used to be. My awareness of this aspect of my personality, this habit if you will, has caused me to think it through more and actively accept the choices I make. Last Friday I decided not to go to Games with Adam and spadoink and the others. Making that choice was tough for me because I didn’t want to miss anything, but once I had phoned Adam to tell him I would instead be staying at work for a while and then just spending a quiet night in with Chris, Jinni, Tara and Glen, I was comfortable with it. I didn’t second guess that decision.

Sometimes I wonder if I should have held out a little bit longer on buying my laptop so that I could have had a slightly faster processor, or a better promotion or discount, or whatever. I’ve been training myself not to think that way, because it has no bearing on the reality that my laptop is what I got. I’m happy with it, it is perfect for my needs, and I have no complaints. Same goes for my mountain bike. Never really thought that way about my camera, though.

Last week I started to get depressed over leaving high school a year early because I was so desperate to get away from Iroquois. I started to go through ‘what ifs’ about relationships, my potential career path, and my entire life since then, based on the concept that I did not stay and do OAC credits, which meant I never bonded as closely as some of my friends did after I left, and meant I didn’t go to University but instead pursued college which has turned out to be virtually useless in any career sense. Or has it?

The point is, that was a choice I made when I was 17 – twelve years ago now. Twelve years is a long time for me to be sitting at my desk nearly crying over something that I imagine might have turned out better than what I have now. There is no way I can know that, and regret is pretty stupid over a choice I made when I was 17.

That Girl
Adam is inherently an upbeat, happy, outgoiing, and energetic guy when it comes to his life. This is the man I’ve married. I am inherently a mellow, realistic, shy and low-energy kind of girl. We work well together, we make each other happy, we drive each other crazy. There is no decision there that I regret. I already knew long before I was with him that a boyfriend/husband would not create perfection in my life. He doesn’t always understand me, I don’t always understand him.

That Job
This is where everything comes to pieces. I haven’t been really happy with a job for more than 8 months since I worked at Smoothwater – and I only worked there for a few months, so it probably doesn’t even count. It’s not even that I’m unhappy with the current job I have – I’m just bored. Unfortunately for me, I don’t take boredom well. I think sometimes that I should learn to, and I try to fill my time with things, but sitting at a computer surfing just doesn’t cut it. I taught myself some photoshop, but without a specific purpose in mind I lost interest quickly. I redesigned my website. I designed someone else’s website. I reaffirmed my lack of interest in designing websites. It’s like I’m not interested in doing anything, except doing nothing is even worse.

Hi, my name is Jenny and I’ll be 30 in nine days, and I still don’t know what to do with my life.

It doesn’t really matter in the long term.

7 Comments

  • ashkitty

    September 22, 2006 at 8:32 am

    I have nothing even remotely productive to do but smile and nod. You’re right, of course. And think, wow, it’s been a long time, and yet, life goes on. Well. One of these days, we’ll get together. 😉

  • msfancypants

    September 22, 2006 at 11:48 am

    I don’t think this is a simple matter of “the grass is always greener”, do you? It is in our professional lives that we place so much importance and we should, really. We spend the bulk of our time at work. This is why we struggle to find the right job, with the right pay. Some people can just turn it all off for 8 hours a day, do their jobs, go home and spend their money.

    Personally, I’m with you. What I do for those 8 hours a day is intensely important. Boredom is not allowed. It’s fatal. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that way. It can seriously make us more productive people. We are a generation of people who will change careers a number of times before retirement, but doesn’t that make us better at the things we choose to do because we constantly remain interested? I think it does.

    I’m 36. I left high school with no sense of what to do. Then I took singing, then I took fashion design, then I took acting. I wound up a makeup artist for years. Then I turned to admin work for stability. Then I turned all “computer” and tried to find my niche there. Finally, after all these years, it’s web development. And for every moment I wasn’t sure what I’d end up doing, there could have been a journal entry just like yours.

    I think you know what you want to do. It’s just that you lack the ability to do it right now due to outside constraints.

    Despite my father’s attitude that one should choose a path and stick to it until retirement, I believe the only way to be happy is try things until you find one that fits. Only then can you make an informed choice that you can, inevitably, live with.

  • Jenny Lee Silver

    September 22, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    We’re not even that far away anymore!

  • ashkitty

    September 22, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    I know! Unfortunately a few hundred miles is very like a few thousand when you’re broke all the time anyway.

    I am pretty familiar with the ‘breaking down over old mistakes’ thing, even if we KNOW it’s pointless really. Flunking out of college the first time to hang out with the stupid boyfriend and play RPGs, not breaking up with the boy sooner, doing stupid things that people do when they’re young…I feel sometimes like I ought to be further along now than I am, and with time, there’s no real way to catch up.

    So we just deal. <333

  • cosmorific

    September 22, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    I’m already 30, and I don’t know either.

  • theoldmac

    September 22, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I have followed a pretty similar path (hmmm… coincidence?) and am trying to divert course now so as to not be writing posts like this in 3 years.

    I rushed out of high school only to rush right back into college, only to drop out $20,000 in debt. Since then I havn’t been making any great strides in any direction. I want to get a degree, better myself and my life somehow, but when the odds are stacked against you financially, it’s difficult.

    I started at Harris because I needed to keep my resolution with myself to go back to school this year. 3 weeks into it I realized I already have the job I would get with that diploma, and left (at least with a refund this time). If I’m going to spend time and money on education, University is where it has to be.

    I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything with my life by doing data-entry. The mind-numbing nature of the work also gives me plenty of time to think about how I’m not doing anything productive for 8-10 hours a day. Which makes me feel GREAT and WONDERFUL as you can imagine.

    I guess all I’m saying is you’re not alone and when you find something that works, fill me in.

    Until then, enjoy every moment you can for what it is. Enjoy snuggles with the kitties and the hubby. Enjoy the view from your balcony. Enjoy every sip from your hot cup of tea and take pleasure from every simple act of kindness you give or receive.

    blessed be.

  • Anonymous

    September 24, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    I’m about to be 31 soon and still am not progressed from when we met some 6 1/2 years ago…still struggling with all the same issues, still trying to figure out who is me, what I want, where i’m going