I'm a big proponent of "if you're unhappy with you're life, change something". I quit jobs, I break hearts, I move. My hair changes color, my wardrobe gets replaced, I redecorate. I have a hard time settling. I do better with ideals than reality and potential than actuality.
I'm trying to learn to lower my expectations, and I don't know if I like it. Trying to find the places where what I want and what I can have realistically meet.
I want to be a pastry sous chef in New York. I don't want to work 50-60 hours a week. Being a sous chef in New York means working 50-60 hours a week (at least). Do I really want it? Do I love it enough? Because there's no doubt that I love being a chef. There's no doubt that I'm a great chef. It comes to me easily, it always has and it always will. But do I love it enough to give up every aspect of my life for it? Am I still driven enough? What do I want my career to look like, if not this? With what exactly, am I unhappy? Would I be ok with the hours if I got paid more? Would I be ok with the pay if I worked less? If the number of hours were the same but at different times, would that be better? How do I change this? Where's the reality vs ideal intersection?
I want a relationship. The real kind, with talks about the future and cooking dinner. I can't have that right now. I know I can't. My schedule doesn't allow it, but it doesn't stop me from wanting it. And then I wonder how much I want a boyfriend or how much I just really want a best friend here or how much, ideally, I want them to be the same person. I wonder if this is a flaw in my self sufficiency. Do I want a relationship because I want somebody to go through life with or do I want a relationship because I'm trying to fill some void, some part of me that just doesn't know how to be alone? I'm pretty sure I don't think having a boyfriend would magically fix the other things with which I'm unhappy, it just seems like having someone would make them more bearable. But pretending that I can have someone, trying for something more when I don't really have the time, only seems worse. There's a boy, I like him, I only see him a couple of times a month. Maybe I need to just realize that that's enough. Maybe that's where "want" and "can have" meet.
I really want to do volunteer work. I miss the girls in the group home. I started the application for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and got a call back, but then I never had time to return the phone call. If I don't have time for that, I don't have time to be in a child's life. I refuse to be another adult that lets them down. Maybe this is something I have to let go of, for now. Maybe I need to look into it a little more or find out about the CASA program here. Maybe I just need to tell my work that this is something for which I need to be able to make time. I kind of think this needs to be a priority for me to feel fulfilled and happy.
I'm trying to learn to be kinder to myself.
To tell myself I'll never be that preculinary school weight and that's ok because I'm not 18, part of my job is to eat things and the general consensus seems to be that I have a pretty fantastic ass.
I'm starting to realize that if I'm going to stick with being a chef and I'm going to work this much, it's ok for me to budget a massage in every month because my body fucking hurts. All of the time. In fact my current plan is to start stockpiling all massage groupons because there is no amount of fancy, orthopedic association approved shoe wearing that is going to fix my wonky joints and pronated ankles when I'm standing 10+ hours a day. It's not a sign of weakness, it's just a fact, my body needs more care than I'm giving it. Related, I can't go running on city streets. I just can't. It's too hard on my knees and I need to be ok with that. I'm not sure what the replacement activity is yet, but it really can't be that.
I'm staying in New York, but I'm not moving into Manhattan. It just makes more sense financially for me to live in Astoria. I can keep replenishing that savings account I completely depleted, I can maybe afford to buy more plane tickets home, or plane tickets elsewhere. Somewhere I can see the stars. I really miss the stars. Like, near tears in the planetarium the other night, miss the stars. Compromise, I want to live in New York but I don't want all my money to go to living in New York. Some of that money will get spent on repainting and refurnishing. This isn't really settling.
Maybe, maybe I'm starting to learn that when I reach my goals, when I accomplish my dream, I need to take some time and sit with it. I need to congratulate myself, instead of moving onto the next thing or deciding another aspect of my life isn't good enough. For a while, I was so focused on gaining back humility that I think maybe I need to gain back a little pride.
Maybe, like always, I need to find the middle way.
It always comes back to that.