Nobody Gets a Lifetime Rehearsal

Lately, I’ve been looking outside myself for validation a bit too often than feels comfortable.

While it is natural to want people to like you or think you’re cool or awesome or made of win, you have to believe in yourself first and foremost. I am not telling you anything you don’t already know. Maybe you know it but don’t put it into practice. I suffer from the same affliction, my friend.

I’ve also been thinking about dating. (See my first sentence.) I do not think I am ready to date. The idea ignites panic inside me. But I put up an ad on a dating site then proceeded to not pay to actually use the site rendering it basically useless. I keep getting emails alerting me to so-and-so who has emailed me or favorited me or whatnot but I can’t bring myself to pay the fee to find a date. Fear or logic? You be the judge.

I’ve noticed myself withholding my natural niceness towards certain people because internally I don’t feel like they “deserve” it. Though they have no idea they’ve done something to wrong me. Wrong being entirely relative to my own neurosis and subject to change with the wind. I’ve found myself actively ignoring people but it totally backfires because they don’t even NOTICE that I am ignoring them. Like I turn my phone on silent and no one calls. Ha. Brilliant. Way to show ’em! How’s that passive aggressive tendency working for you, Sizz?

I talk a lot here about trying to be different. And I AM slowly shifting my way of being but it’s soooo slow. I am impatient. I want it yesterday. I read a line in a post that Abby shared out yesterday that totally struck me. It said: “What if we all chose to stop waiting for things to happen, and woke up to the fact that something is always happening, right now?” (Becca Faith Yoga)

Holy crap. YES! That’s it! I am not IN my life. I’ve been so wrapped up in trying to manipulate the time space continuum that I’ve completely lost sight of the here and the now.

Deep breath.

I am six months away from turning 37. I do not own a home. I am no one’s wife or partner. I have no children. I am just now learning to truly love myself. Depending on how you look at this list, I am a failure or I am a success. Who is to say? Only me.

I have been future tripping and it has been, well, tripping me up.ย  Sometimes it feels like time is racing forward. Every day I feel this pressure to go here, get this, do that right this instant, reply to so and so, finish that project, figure out the meaning of life, land the love of my life and somewhere under all the pressure actually enjoy life. How? How in the hell can we honestly enjoy the rushing and the pressures and the go, go, go? No wonder so many of us are cranky. The truth is- I thought I would have a lot of the accomplishments on my adult to do list checked off by this age. I am trying to make my peace with that and still feel good about this life. This life right now. In this moment. This is good. I am okay. What is my hurry?

“Oh how I wish I were a trinity/So if I lost a part of me/I’d still have two of the same to live/But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal/As specks of dust were universal…” – Love’s Recovery, Indigo Girls

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31 thoughts on “Nobody Gets a Lifetime Rehearsal

  1. Once again, a post from you that comes at a perfect time for me. “I am not IN my life.” Yeah, me either.

  2. “This life has been a test. If it had been an actual life, you would have received instructions on where to do and what to do.” – My So-Called Life

  3. I know I’m ten years younger but I also had Life Goals I wanted to achieve and they just weren’t happening. I was very depressed with my lot in life and could not find a way out. I can’t say I had a magic formula and ta-da! I was fixed because actually I just got VERY lucky and fell in love with a guy who loved me back and all the stuff I hadn’t achieved didn’t seem to matter for a few years. Now I find that old stuff creeping back to haunt me. Why haven’t I done that yet? What if I never get the chance? What if this is it? I am so unbelievably loved-up and happy with my other half and yet there’s always something missing. I think it’s that stuff you have in your own mind that you think if you have/make it to then you’ll be a better person for it. I don’t know whether that stuff if gotten will make everything perfect but I suspect not. What I’m trying to say is: you’re right: live the life you’re in now and don’t worry about what society, friends, family, you think you should have by this time and just enjoy what you do have.

  4. Loving this post, Sizz. I remember a time when I was totally into myself. And bettering myself. And not really wanting to be with anyone. And I think it’s ok to have passages like that. But, to spend years of your life that way, always working towards something, putting your life on hold until you achieve that something … well, I think there comes a time when a line has been crossed. And that’s when you’ve got to figure out a way to balance yourself … to be happy with the small strides and have room in your life for others … without losing site of that ongoing self-improvement. The question is, where are you?! =)

  5. The constant, nagging need of being a driven person is enough to make you insane. I know this, I AM this. This morning, in yoga, my instructor suggested that we embrace our imperfect practice with great joy, and then carry that into our day. That really struck me, because although I am aware of and fine with my imperfection, I hardly ever forgive myself for it. I hardly ever take joy in it. So I’m about to turn 30 (three days) and more and more by the minute, I feel like all the things I “should” be doing or achieving mean less and less compared to what is happening right now. My imperfect life.
    You said it, the something is now.

  6. I have a couple of comments, but you may not like what it is I have to say. Firstly? I think the reason you do not pay to upgrade the Date Sites is because you KNOW, they will not result in anything serious. They won’t. You can’t mail order Mr. Right, even tho that seems like such a terrific idea. Mr. Right has to find you.(and when he does, you have to discover him back)

    Secondly? You know how all these people you know have already been married, and gotten divorced? You could have been one of those people, if you had stupidly jumped the gun and married one of your Mr. Wrongs. It’s easy to marry the guy who is near and fatally flawed, because all they have to do is show up and stay close by. It’s EASY to get married, or into a sucky relationship– it’s harder to be patient and smart, and choose someone who you can respect and will go the distance. THAT’S why you haven’t gotten married yet–because you are being smart, and trying to choose wisely. I think it’s admirable.

    I think YOU are admirable. Don’t be hard on yourself for wanting good things, and wanting love. When you are least looking for it, the universe will send you the guy you are looking for. He’ll be patient and kind, and generous as you are, and be worth the wait.
    *Hugs*

  7. i love that idea that the something is happening right now. i just wrote about the same idea of living in the moment. i think giving yourself permission to take a time out on life, when you want it, is awesome. you don’t anyone an explanation either!

  8. I know what it’s like to think everything is “temporary”, you’re not “there yet” (and I am saying this although I married, but I don’t have a house or kids!)
    Sometimes all we need is time – and how much time is different for everyone.
    Patience is one of the greatest virtues.

  9. Awesome post. I felt the same way. before I got married in 2006. Thought I’d be an old maid with lots of cats.

    John Lennon said it best…life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.

  10. I am 43. I’m not married and don’t have kids. I’m not dating. Ok. So I did buy a place earlier this year. Bottom line is I woke up one day and realized that I like now. Who says that I have to do all those other things? The only person whose opinion matters on these things is me.

  11. I used to worry about how I was in my thirties and hadn’t gone at the same pace as people around me who were married with kids and a house and etc. etc…

    Then I started to notice that for a lot of them, the race was over. I mean that was it- now they’re just kind of going to work and coming home and there’s the family vacations and the kids sports games and birthday parties and then do it all over again.

    I like the fact that I am 35 and have a huge list of goals to take on. I don’t think that my friends would see their lives like I do, but that fact that I see it that way just tells me that it isn’t for me yet.

    So what if you’re 37 and don’t own a house or have kids? My cousin Richard didn’t get married or have his first child until he was in his mid forties. Maggie in my class is 58 and is learning a new career. Big deal. Who’s keeping score anyway?

    I don’t agree with bully, though. There’s no rule that says finding someone on the internet can’t work. Why not? I mean, YOU’RE on the computer, right? I think you’re pretty cool. Statistically, you can’t be the only one.

  12. Do you think that some of this might come from what most of us were taught about “real life” when we were kids? I know that I was always taught that “real life” was being married, having kids, owning a home and working 9-5 every day. It’s hard to be satisfied with your life when it doesn’t match what you’ve been taught to think of as “real”. Maybe you don’t need to change what is inside of you so much as adjust your expectations? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, if you’re not ready to date yet then don’t ๐Ÿ™‚ Why spend money to actively make yourself miserable and on edge?

  13. I too did the dating web site sign up but didn’t pay. I took it as a sign. And I too need to live in the here and now and not the what could/should/would have been. So easy to say, so hard for me to do.

  14. If there is one thing I have had to accept and embrace about myself, it’s that I don’t do things the way “everyone else” does them. I march to the beat of my own drummer. I didn’t even realize it until it was pointed out to me as a kid/young adult. You don’t know how many times I’ve been chided for it, and all the chiding growing up made me feel “weird”, self-conscious, like I was living life wrong. But what I realized is that it WORKS for me. For ME. That trait is what made my life what it is today, and I’m happy. And I literally wake up every morning and express my gratitude for every single thing I have in my life and for my experiences and for knowing who I am.

    Like you, I get horrible anxiety about dating and relationships. Hell, this new relationship? I’m going to be nuking it soon (post probably to come on that, sigh). But, after seeing the rest of my single friends (including my ex of four years; we broke up one year ago) get married this year, I panicked and got pretty low. I had wanted all of that stuff so badly…I was missing out. HOW? Now that I’m in a relationship, I’m all, CAN I BE SINGLE AGAIN, PLZ!? I walked in the door the other night, without my boyfriend, and said to myself, “I think I still want to have a baby ALONE.”

    I don’t know what my point is. I relate to you, I guess. I get it. Follow your gut. That’s what I do. And my logic/reason usually validates the intuitive decisions I make. Acknowledge the truths you feel about yourself; I think of it as the bottom line of who I am. “Is that your highest truth??”

    I’m excited for you. Good things are coming out of this learning climb, and you’ll have many, many more! You seem like a wonderful, energetic, healthy, aware and progressive soul. xo

    PS: The meaning of life = 42. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Sarah

  15. I hear you. I’m turning 37 next week and I’m so not where I thought I would be by now. But for some reason I’m content with my life and have finally accepted (to some extent) that some things are not in my hands and if I let them be, they will just happen whenever they are supposed to. It’s that easy, go figure!
    On the dating bit. Have you tried plenty of fish or OK Cupid? These sites are both free and I was on them for a while and seemed to liked them, at least better than Match and a whole lot better than eHarmony (which I actually don’t like at all). Try it, maybe the fact that it’s free makes it feel like less of a commitment and just something you have there, on the side. You never know. That’s how I met Jason, not really looking, but having the door opened.
    You go Sizz! You rock girl, it’s a matter of believing it.

  16. It appears you have picked my brain and, with one or two differences, pulled out a post that I would have written today. No lie.

    Rather than catalog all the similarities, or offer advice (which would be a lot of the same stuff I would need to take anyway), I’ll provide encouragement. Here goes:

    All we can do is recognize ourselves for who we are, try our best to accept that person, and work to bring that person that we are, that we love within ourselves, out into the world to share with others. It seems to me that you are trying your best to do that thing. Keep up the good work.

  17. This post gives me chills… in a GREAT WAY! I love those moments of realization, when a kick in the pants gets me moving!

    I know how you feel about the timeline, and I know that it’s easy to say “don’t let it get to you.” But seriously… don’t let it get to you! Life is so much more than checking boxes off a list!

  18. First off, I have to say that Bully is wrong about online dating. I know I’m biased because I met Mr. W online – but I truly believe that if you’re clear on who you’re looking for and you stay true to yourself, you CAN connect with the right kind of people online.

    Second, do you know ANYONE who feels like they’ve done all the stuff they wanted to do – at any age? Because I don’t. My friends who are married with kids and have houses say they wish they would have traveled more. Everything is a trade-off and I think we always believe we’re going to be further along than we are, so we might as well all stop measuring our worth against these milestones.

    I’ve struggled with this for YEARS, wishing I was married or had more money or whatever. And then, this year, I sort of took stock and realized that my life is pretty darn cool and that some of my settled, married, kid-blessed friends are probably even a little envious.

    Bottom line: You’re right – you have to enjoy what you have right now. And I actually think you do a better job of that than you give yourself credit for.

  19. I’m cracking up because the “ignoring them and they’re not even noticing” thing TOTALLY applies to me.

    We’re brilliant together ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. i totally know about these artificial deadlines we put on ourselves. sometimes i panic thinking, i’m 37 and haven’t become the successful writer i’ve always imagined (the palpitations are already starting). this gets especially bad when i hear of rockstar writers who are younger than i am, or of people i know from college or grad school who have made it big.

    you’re so right that we’re the only ones to say whether we’re successes or failures. it’s completely arbitrary so why not think in a way that makes us happy? letting go of needing external validation seems to be key, but, i’m finding, really difficult. i guess being aware of it is the first step!

  21. Try not to judge things by where you thought you would be. I doubt any of us can honestly say, “I am exactly where I thought I would be in my life at this age.”

    Try to focus on the amazing things you *do* have and the things you *are* doing. Too often we make ourselves unhappy by focusing on the few empty spots instead of the many full ones.

    I know it’s hard; but I know you can do it.

    Instead of us all being our own worst critic we should try and be our own best cheerleader — and a cheerleader for those around us! So ….. Congrats to you Sizzle on everything you *have* accomplished, everything you *do* have, every time you *didn’t* settle and everything you *are* working towards. You, just as you are right now, are amazing. Believe it and keep going!

  22. Dude.
    First of all? I have said three times today that the idea of going on a date makes me want to throw up.
    Second, P has been checking in with me and making sure I do things that are FUN for me. Because I spent too much of the past year hemming and hawing or passing up opportunities instead of just saying YES. And also, going along with things that are NOT fun because of guilt. Phooey. Saying yes to fun is making me happy. And at the end of the day, THAT’S what I want to be able to say about my life. I was happy. Ef the rest of it. (which is not to say ef everyone else, I’m hardly the type of person that has fun at someone else’s expense so I’m not worried about that)

  23. Pingback: I’m So Inarticulate Right Now « Wafelenbak!

  24. Today I want to come over and shake you a little bit. I want you to stop thinking about all the things that you aren’t and realize all the things you are, right now, this minute. You can have it all and deep down I think you know that and the knowledge ticks you off a bit.

    Life isn’t a race. If you are chasing something; I promise you, you will always be running. I’ve been there and the chase only leaves you tired with very little to show for the journey other than knowing you are capable of wasting time.

    So what if you gave up the worry and just had fun? I think you should date, I think you should laugh, enjoy people and live it up! If not now, then when?

    And PS. we already all think you are very cool! Fantastic even!

  25. there has to be a break from that stress….because even though we don’t realize it…working on ourselves is sometimes the most stressful thing we can do. we feel like we can’t screw up. there is a fine line between becoming the person we want to be, and leaving it up to fate.

  26. Just sticking my head in here to say– I have indeed met some really interesting, nice, and wonderful people online. I also realize in hindsight that sometimes the people we connect with online are because of something we both need or are working on at that time.

    I met my Spouse on a blind date, and we sure know what the success rates of those are, eh? I guess the hardest part for me then was allowing fate to work it out, and trust myself to be in the moment, and love. After that? Good old fashioned sticktoittiveness! LOL. Fate is funny, but it IS at work for us all.

    Someone as awesome as Sizzle can be snatched up like a hot biscuit.I just want her to be happy in her life partner, cause it is a partnership for sure. Good and Bad days both. *smooches*

  27. wow, I can totally relate to your post. I spend way too much time navigating my own life based on what other people think of me, vs not caring and just move forward being me. Sometimes I look at my life and think, “wow, it’s enviable” because I’m not tied down to children and mortgages, but on other other hand, I feel like I missed out for some weird reason. Like I missed to boat and there aren’t any more ships coming to pick me up. Stranded on an island, if you will, still caring that that people will think less of me.

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