The other night, I sat on the couch with my husband feeling helpless. Three years ago, I was hustling! I was working a full-time job, spending all my lunch breaks hunkered down in my car writing a trending article for Elite Daily. After work, I’d come home, clean the house for an hour, start dinner, do homework and spend the rest of the night – 4 or 5 hours – working on my internship and later contract work for Mogul, an online platform where I dreamt about getting hired. I was getting four hours of sleep per night before waking up and doing it all over again. I barely spent any time with my husband — then fiance — and my mother’s cancer diagnosis played a backseat to the empowerment I felt following my dreams.
Sunday night, after finishing my homework and sitting down to a nice cup of tea before bedtime, I looked at John and said, “I don’t really know what to do.” My contract with Mogul ended in March of 2017 and after a stint as a front desk receptionist moonlighting as an Office Coordinator, I landed my first role in my field. Even though I may not be writing every day, I have the option to. Even if I may not love every aspect of my job, the people I work with, the environment — the opportunity to have pink hair — is the job I’ve been waiting for. It’s creative.
I’m not working toward those “big dreams” anymore because now I have them. I wanted the job in my chosen field; now I do. I wanted the freedom and flexibility to work in a stress-free environment; now I do. I wanted my husband to double as my best friend — he does. I wanted the perfect partnership — we have it. Aside from my father’s cancer diagnosis and impending radiation, which I’d want to be eradicated regardless, I have all the things I craved in my early twenties.
But I feel like I’ve plateaued. Where do I go next?
Life could always be improved. From our finances to my health, to the mountain of laundry piled in the bedroom, there are concrete things I could work on. But, personally, I’m not sure what I’m fighting for. When I was getting little to no sleep, working a job I hated, I was still fueled by the desire to make it. I was going to be someone someday. Now that I have it, I don’t know how to springboard myself to a different level. I’ve been so depleted and so focused on getting here that I never gave much thought to what was going to sustain me in the long-run.
I lost a chunk of myself when my mother died. I toyed around with painting, providing a getaway from writing the same sentence over and over again, ala Jack Nicholson in the Shining. I liked painting but it never became a tool of my enjoyment. It was a deviation from an old path that I tried to make anew.
Writing had always been my first love, but when you write all day, that fire begins to dwindle. It doesn’t provide the same flame. It doesn’t burn as bright. I come home, sit down at my computer and sometimes get so lost in my thoughts that I’m preoccupied from the words on the slab of digital paper. My words — like my mind — is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo just trying to piece together something cohesive.
I always thought writing would take me to that next level. And don’t get me wrong — it has — and it will. But, in the interim, I need to figure out what steps I need to take to get back to feeling like the closest version of myself. I need to feel good again. I need to feel inspired. I need to feel like the world is filled with endless possibilities as I did when I didn’t take “no” for an answer. I just need to re-establish what I wanted from the world before it all turned sour.