As a denizen of the self-involved realm of blogging, I have a tendency to do a certain amount of self examination even when otherwise engaged in the most ordinary tasks. Some would say that this kind of behavior is exactly what's wrong with the world today. I tend to disagree. I am pretty sure one of those philosophers or scholars of old once said that the unexamined life is not worth living, and that I am more of this school of thought. After a day spent in-part with a friend who was occupied with the task of finding an end table to go with her new sofa, I got to thinking about my situation, how I got here, and where I'm headed.
Overlooking the professional aspect of this whole picture for a moment, let's look at the life of Lizzle. (The professional portion will come into view soon enough.) Ok, Lizzle is terminally single. Due in no small part to the fact that she gets hung up on all the wrong people. I engage in semi-self-destructive, self-indulgent behaviors. I live in a little apartment in a big city. I don't talk to my friends with nearly the frequency I'd like. I don't go out and drink and laugh until 5 AM on a Saturday night like I used to... And not out of a need for recovery time, I can still hang and recover on a Sunday like a champion. In fact, I've noticed a distinct deficiency in the giggle department of late... And I don't like that one bit.
I used to be so loud and happy and fun. Now I fear that I'm becoming one of those quieter brooding types. Yeah sure, I'll bump and grind on the odd Saturday night without any regard for how I look to anyone else, but now it's because I've been drinking for a few hours, and I'm not going to embarrass myself because I'm alone in my apartment, and not because I just don't give a damn what other people in the bar might think. (Rereading that last sentence makes me feel intensely pathetic and probably makes you think I'm a total alcoholic... I assure you that while I might be a little pathetic, I'm not an alcoholic. And no, I'm not just in denial.)
So where did it all go so very very wrong? I don't know. I know that a lot of people would have me believe that this is just a part of growing up, and that since I'm not in college anymore that it's only natural to start acting like this. But I don't think that's it. Yes, I totally lived every day to the fullest during my college years, and no, I can't believe they actually gave me a diploma for the minimal amount of effort I actually put into it. But I feel like apart from just growing up, and seeing so many of my friends move off to the burbs, I've lost something more substantial. I've lost more than just that spark... I feel like someone or something has snuffed the candle in its entirety. And that bums me out. It's like the death of all that was once fun in me.
I've watched my friends grow up too. They have started to pair off and settle into happy domestic adult lives. They have started their own little families. People I went to high school with have husbands/wives and children. And I am still stalled back on the day I heard the locker room rumor about them getting caught making out in the dugout after class. As much as I would really welcome a meaningful relationship right now, I can't help but wonder, did they just settle because they don't know any better, or is it that they are [gasp] genuinely happy with how things are playing out for them? No matter how long they have been together, somehow I am still shocked when I hear about my friends having weddings and kids, partly because I know that I can barely handle taking care of myself, let alone a small child. (There is a part of me that is vaguely jealous though, because they have things in hand. They have a settled plotted life ahead of them... Whereas I am currently confused and blindly staring out into the void, desparately searching for some sign of life and calling out, "Is there anybody out there?")
If I was saddled with a kid at my age, I could understand how I might lose the compulsion to go out and drink myself retarded on a weekend, but as things are, there is no real definitive answer.
Some of you might be thinking that this lack of fun is due to the recent lack of funds... And at first glance I would have been inclined to agree with you, but upon further examination I find that's not it either... Well, maybe in part, but certainly not as a whole. Although I must say that if it is a contributing factor, I would say that unemployment has been far more costly than originally calculated... And by that I mean it has cost me more in spirit than I could ever make up financially by having a stellar credit rating, (which is also shot to hell). The financial loss I could make up, given time... I fear the loss of spirit is far more insurmountable and far more difficult to replace.
And in my original plan, I had decided that I wanted to be back in school working on my Masters degree by now, but suffering the repeated and incrementally-increasing setbacks that I've seen since my matriculation from undergraduate studies, well, that plan has been put on hold. It would seem that the school of hard knocks isn't quite ready to quit taking my money, and just give me my diploma just yet. (For the record, this school of hard knocks degree is requiring much more effort and lost sleep than my last degree.)
Maybe I'm just losing my damn mind... I hope it meets up with my spark of spirit out there in the void, meanwhile I'll just be sitting here boring and crazed... You think?