With each step I take on this new path of life that I have found myself on, I find that I’m becoming more and more convinced that I’ve made the right choices. The path I’m talking about is one where I’m making my creative pursuits and passions in life a priority and letting my “career” take a back seat and just letting it be a job.
Last night I had a Meetup with my sister who is turning 30 this week. We talked about her career and life and also my daughters future as she is at the precipice of making some big life decisions. My sister got her undergrad and has always worked hard at every job and now is in a good spot at a good company that she loves. She’s finally to the point of having flexibility and freedom to add some new things into her set list. She talked about taking classes at UNO and I’m like “yes!”
I said “life is long” and you have to do what makes you feel full and happy. If you run the daily grind day in and day out without embracing new experiences opportunities to learn, you will lose years of your life. “Years”. Do you know what it feels like to look back at your life and see so many wasted years?! It fucking sucks!! Regret is a nefarious beast and it will haunt you for all the rest of your days.
That might sound exaggerated but it’s not. That’s how it feels. So now when I talk with people about it I’m an advocate for just “going for it”, whatever IT is. Of course everyone has to travel their own path and most of the time they have to learn their own lessons, but it never hurts to nudge and be supportive. I’ve been round and round my own head about my darling daughter and what lies ahead of her. HS graduation is coming up quick and I want to see her make good choices. What that looks like exactly is not easy to sort out.
She wants to go to a 4 year school but beyond that it’s all fuzzy. I guess it’s a place to start, and if she’s like my sister, she can just get her undergrad and then figure it out as she goes. It worked for her. My path was very different and though I’m left with regret, there’s no reason I can’t continue on the path I’m on now and make the most of the time I have left. Cheeses, that sort of sounds like time is running out.. which it is, but like I said “life is long”. And I have half a life left to do the right things.
I’m still figuring out what exactly that looks like but I know I’m on the right track. I’m learning a lot from my MFA program, and it’s altered the way I approach my writing. I can’t predict if I will pursue publishing more or use my degree to get a different job that is more aligned with my passions. Those were never among the goals when I started. At the time I just needed to make a change and had a desire to become more educated about writing, the writers life, Poetry as an expressive art form, and frankly to just exist among like minded people that have also committed to the path. Yeah, that last bit is key!
It’s the people, relationships, and conversations that are the most valuable. My Poetry may never be the same again, but it’s just the product of my efforts. My life is the real work of art and the people we choose to spend our time with have the biggest impact on shaping that.
My little sister also mentioned the decision to be at peace with letting certain people drift out of her life. That she’s narrowed her crew to those that matter and, once again, she seems more wise about life at 30 than I was. I guess we all take our own time to learn life’s important lessons. We can’t spend too much time thinking about that as it would just be more time wasted. We have today to do with what we want and as long as we keep moving forward on the path, I’m confident that will serve us well.
Thank You, Happy, More Please,