Wednesday, January 20, 2016

On Goals, and a Lack Thereof

The problem is not so much 29 and single with no prospects.

The problem is more that most of my good friends are living my dream (stay-at-home-motherhood), and have been for about five years now.

Yep, I know. Still want it.

The problem is that I don't have any goals left besides motherhood:

Get an interesting advanced degree: √

Live in or near a couple great cities: Chicago (outside), Atlanta, NYC, √

Travel to interesting places: A dozen or so countries in Europe, one in the Middle East, and 38/50 states, before running out of money? √

Get published in an academic journal: √

Get published in not-an-academic-journal: √

Present a paper at a conference: √

Work for a(n arch)diocese: √

Work in publishing: √

So! I need to develop some life goals. No ideas how to do this.

I've got some small goals:

Shape up finances to a not-so-terrible place (depressing)

Get apartment to a not-so-messy place (depressing)

Get less terrible at cooking (depressing, and more importantly neverending)

Read voraciously (great fun, but there's no threshold to achieve here)

Maybe do some Shakespeare-related thing for his quadricentenary this year?

I have, in fact, NEVER regretted attending a Shakespeare play.

None of these provide overall motivation, though. None of them help me combat the feeling that I'm just filling time until my "real" life starts.

This would be so much easier if I had any career ambition whatsoever!

Anyway, suggestions are welcome, both for new goals themselves and for how to brainstorm/find new goals.

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hey look! I'm back! And feeling a bit like a different Claire

I think I've reached a point in life when I need to blog again. I consume so much of other people's writings -- mostly stories, but a lot of random thoughts and brief articles, too -- I need to start producing some of my own.

Even apart from that, I find myself in ways I never thought I'd be: 

Living in NYC!

This was taken less than 2mi from my home (by not me)
29 and single with no prospects, and more or less settling down nonetheless.

Fighting various small-but-persistent health problems. 

My faith at a different, quieter, hopefully deeper level, at 11.5y and counting of intentional discipleship. 

An extrovert who has grown into the introvert problem of sometimes being suddenly Done With People while still out with people. 

Someone with a fantastic network of friendships rooted in Christ, who yet still struggles with and ponders about loneliness on a fundamental human level. 

A career woman with no interest in a career, who has trouble finding new life goals to set. 

A person unwilling to pick up and move again, because I've done that far too often already, and because it'd require something really good for me to move away from family again.

A reasonably fervent sports fan! Who knows sadly few fellow fans to discuss them with. A surprisingly common attitude among my friends is: "I love that you love sports! I have no interest in them myself, but it'so so unexpected in you, yet it suits you at the same time." That's quite charming, but doesn't help me suss out who to root for to win the AFC this year, besides anyone who's not the Patriots. (I think I'm going for the Chiefs, FWIW. I like Kansas/Kansans.)

Someone who hasn't gotten her shit together enough to send out Christmas cards in at least three years.

Oh yeah, and who has lost nearly all reservations about using coarse language, except of course in particular situations.

Someone who's not only unscandalized but unsurprised by various parish/diocesan/whatever happenings that cause faithful co-workers twice my age to FREAK OUT. I suppose I'm jaded in a certain respect?

Someone whose perspective has changed on a lot of things. Who gladly acknowledges objective right and wrong, but is more worried about an individual's culpability and vulnerabilities.

Someone who has increasingly seen places where the feminists actually get it right, enough so this no longer scares/disturbs her.

Someone who doesn't (can't) attend daily Mass, but prays Matins, Lauds, and Vespers daily.

Someone who's not in any kind of liturgical choir! Seriously, I haven't been out of a choir for more than a couple months since my age was in the single digits.

Enormously more conservative with both physical and verbal affection than in years past. Much preferring to demonstrate the same enormous amounts of love by implementing in life the great maxim of the visual arts: Show, don't tell. (Ok, tell sometimes, but only sometimes, and probably pretty concisely.)

Who watches a LOT of tv! And keeps pretty current on movies, too. So many great stories to watch these days!

Mostly wears hats for the enjoyment of other people, or to be easily identifiable publicly, and rarely for my own sake anymore.

Travels only a moderate amount, no longer flying someplace at least one weekend a month.

Who has recently begun to experience that horrible feeling -- when an acquaintance gets engaged, feeling fundamentally sad or resentful or frustrated, despite desiring to feel happy for her, who is truly delightful, and good for her.

Not only do I accept dates categorically unless the guy is unavailable, creepy, or far too old, but I straight up ask guys out myself when I have moderate interest! A date is just a date. And how else are you supposed to get in a decent conversation with somebody to see if there's any interest there?

Empathy runs especially high for those whose difficult experiences I don't share, whose sensitivities, whose "normal" others often transgress out of misinformation or obliviousness. I try to be aware of my own shortcomings in this regard, but I'm sure I do imperfectly.

Vulnerable is more difficult than it used to be.

I see others, often friends, speak of their job or their hobbies with passion, and am a bit envious. I don't know how to access equivalent passion/excitement in myself.

Thanks to my very-long commute, I read at least 20,000 pages a year. The vast majority of that is fiction, which is simply glorious!

* * *

I mean, plenty of things are still constant. I'm every bit as Catholic as I've ever been! I'm still broke. Still love stories, and love people even more. Still have great fun planning parties and other events in great detail. And unorganized writing turns into disorganized stream-of-consciousness pretty easily.

Heh. And what I intend to be a small note still turns out to be more than twice as long as I'd intended. Some things never change...
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