So in today’s talk-about-myself session, we discussed a variety of topics, namely my issue with stress-related binge eating and my fear of doing things that might make me happy. The takeaway and assignment was to pause every hour to a notification that would remind myself to “try, it might be fun.”
I have so much damn anxiety about everything that the simplest activities become overly challenging and complicated. It’s frustrating because it really hinders my relationships, professional opportunities, and damages my health. Most of it, clearly, is all in my head, but that doesn’t make “it” any less real. It is real, because it effects what I do every second of the day.
She asked me to think of my life if I just did what I wanted to do, versus caring what other people think. Problem is, I have no idea what I want to do. My entire life has been based on what other people want. It would have been nice to grow up in a household where my parents supported one being average as opposed to being special, just like everyone else versus an asset to brag about. But that wasn’t the case. Yes, I’m 30 now and I should get over it, but therapists are in business for a reason.
But what would my life be like if I could do anything and not care what anyone else thought? Geez, I really don’t know. Maybe at this point I would take some of my life savings and move somewhere more affordable, get a job with a flexible schedule and take art classes. I’m not sure I’d really do that or want to do that. I wouldn’t be happy dipping into my savings when I could be earning six figures a year. I’d always be berating myself for giving up the income and security later in life. I don’t know if my fantasy of living in Santa Fe and becoming a waitress actually makes any sense. I love living in the Bay Area because of the climate and the energy. Could I find a place I loved differently but equally anywhere else?
I feel like if I did that one day I wouldn’t be able to tell my parents. I’d just make up some story about how I’m still working for my startup years later… or I’ve started working for some big corporation where every single asset I write is published under other people’s names. I’m just an anonymous well-paid stable sufficient healthy regular worker who everyone loves and who will never ever be fired. But in reality I’m working for $3 an hour plus tips in Santa Fe, dipping deep into my savings to afford healthcare, and taking figuring drawing classes on the side. They’d never have to know.
That said, I would. I’d have to know what I left behind. The opportunity to save $50k per year… and instead trying to make enough to break even. Being some sort of half starving artist with a savings to prolong pre-starvation purgatory. What kind of life would that be? I never felt like a true artist, the one who gives up everything to create. I’m not really talented, or that talented. I could learn, but even then — I don’t think I’d ever want to paint to sell my work. Artists who paint for a living have to create what other people want. That would be much, much worse than a career in marketing. I don’t think I’d be any good at it.
Try, it might be fun. Well, if I say that about every whim I have I’ll try a whole bunch of things and end up… I’m not supposed to be thinking negatively about everything but I do. Because I’m a practical person. So maybe I shouldn’t try everything. But I could try something. I just want a hobby that I can commit to which inspires me and makes me feel like my life is about more than work and sleep. Because really right now that is all it is. Which is pretty pathetic for a childless 30 year old.