Saturday, October 5, 2013

Change for the Good

I wonder what it's like to have a life of monotony, everything mostly the same, year after year. There seem to be a lot of people who live this life, and I don't get it. I know there are, because there are those people you run into and you genuinely ask them how everything's going, what's new, etc... And it's just the "same old same old" every time! 

Are they telling the truth- is it possible- that literally there is nothing new, exciting, difficult, or scarey going on in their life since the last time we had this same encounter, or do they, for some reason, not feel connected enough to share what's really going on, perhaps? 

In some ways, I long for that type of life. Standard, average, predictable. Just like I've kind of always admired people who pick a career (yes ONE career!) and stick with it their entire life until they retire from that career. It seems so... safe.

But I still can't figure out how it's even possible. It is so contrary from how my life has developed this far. Over the course of my 25 years, I've lived in six vastly different cities, pursued eight broadly contrasting careers (which I attribute to both opportunity and my deep magnitude of and then quickly waning interest in), and I'm in my second marriage (attributed to entirely different reasons than my career changes).   

Now, before you think of me as totally unpredictable, trigger-happy, and impulsive, I will add that there are a few things that I have unquestionably dedicated myself to long term: lasting relationships, my husband and soon to be daughter and other future children, lifelong learning, happiness, and making the greatest impact.

An interesting note I learned from the documentary "Happy" (available on Netflix): the happiest people are the ones who do not carry the same routine every day, and that even making minor tweets to our average day, such as taking a different route to work, or brushing our teeth in the opposite direction, actually makes us happier. In fact, doing even little things a bit out of the ordinary is excellent brain exercise. I was having a discussion with my Mom about this today and she pointed out that those who live a life of monotony stop seeing life altogether, and the beauties all around. It's like how our noses get used to a particular smell, and we can't smell them anymore. How scarey!
My husband and I have both admitted we love change, and we've come to be okay with that. Neither of us are the type to commit to one job or specific career path for the duration of our lives. We moved from Southern California to Northern California last year, and this year decided we want to go back, so we're turning right around with all of our stuff, and a years worth of experience backing up our decision. In some ways, there's guilt there, and a question of whether we're running from something or not. We've considered all aspects of our decision and feel confident about it, though.

Despite our love and almost ironically predictable desire for solid life transformations, by our mid-twenties, we can honestly say we're pretty proud of the experiences we've had; we built and sold a company, volunteered for a wide array of different causes, got married, and we're expecting our first baby here in a couple months. We've had a crap-load of fun along the way, too. Most importantly, we haven't settled into a life that is just okay for us. When we don't like something, we change it. When we're not happy, we address it. Yes, sometimes it's hard to uproot everything that has seemed familiar, it can be a lot of work, but ultimately, once you weigh all of your options and find a path that is totally do-able and would bring you greater joy, it's a sin against yourself not to do it. That's why, we try out things we've always wanted to do, we get out of situations that we're not happy in, we don't live in neighborhoods or cities that are just okay. And we make it a rule to never regret our decisions.

For those who make choices and stick with them for years and years on end, I state: they have a brilliant way of "getting it right the first time" and I admire that. It's either that, or they are too afraid of saying they want something else. I may never know for sure what the alternative feels like or the reasons behind it. But I am looking forward to having some pretty bad ass years ahead. 

I dedicate this post to my amazingly un-boring husband, Greg Muender. Thanks for telling me that "we'll figure it out, we always do." 

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