I had breakfast with a dear friend today (you might remember Marianne from my “How to Make a Vision Board” post from oh-so long ago) and we were talking about what to do with our lives.
Let me back up.
There can come a time when the twenties are long gone, and you’re pretty established. You’ve gone some road under your feet in your career path, you’re in a long-ish term relationship, and if you’re not married yet, it’s safe to say you’re committed. Kids may be in the picture, or not. If they’re not, you’re feeling that stress about having them before it’s too late to have them. (Or, in my case, having a second one before it’s too late.)
Around this time, a big restlessness can occur.
I am very accustomed to this feeling. It’s what made me pick up at 28 and move to Japan. It has made me walk out of jobs. It has made me consider really wild possibilities. A couple of months ago, I interviewed with lululemon Japan. We were very seriously considering the possibility of undoing everything we’d worked for and starting over (again) in a foreign country, one C and V haven’t even been to before.
It got close, but thankfully, for all of us, my Japanese wasn’t good enough to land me the role.
What did happen while I was considering it was that I was smacked in the face with how good we actually have it here. So what was I running away from?
What does this restlessness mean? It can happen in relationships too, can’t it? We want a change, a switch; we want to discover something exciting. We wonder if we’re wasting our time.
I think it’s normal. I even think The Big Restlessness is good. “The unexamined life is not worth living,” right?
But here’s what I think.
If, on the day to day, you’re happy, you’re thriving, you’re self-expressed, you’re in relationships where you’re appreciated and nurtured; you do work that lights you up most days and makes you feel valued; your house has happy trinkets all over it and has that lived-in, happy feeling…you’re alright. No need to shake shit up. Always continue to grow: take new stretch roles at work, take a night class, teach yourself to sew (or knit or breakdance or whatever), learn a language, travel with your family…always expand your horizons, but don’t throw away what you’ve toiled for.
If, on the other hand, your relationship sucks, you’d rather pound your head on the desk than go back to work, or you’re googling “how to disappear without a trace” more than a couple of times a month…maybe it is time to listen to The Big Restlessness and take a leap.
Because if this is the only life we’ve got, we have to take some risks, right?
There are also times in life when you’ll be stuck in the Waiting Room (capital letters, because it’s a metaphor). I’ve talked about it on this blog many times throughout the year. I am actually currently in the Waiting Room. I am waiting for some things to happen in my career, and C is also diligently working on some things in his, so that we can take the next step as a family. And I feel SO incredibly restless.
But that doesn’t mean I should run. In this case, it’s actually imperative that I stay the course.
So which is it for you? Restless, need to make some moves, or are you in the Waiting Room?