The Death of a Dream

No, no, I'm not talking about my dream to go to Africa, I'm doing that in January. Nor am I talking about my dream to backpack through Europe for a month with my husband, that's getting done in March and April. I'm talking about my dream for my Steelers to have a repeat Super Bowl appearance and win. Yes, that dream was squashed big time with a shut out from the Ravens. You thought I wouldn't mention it, didn't you? That I'd hide in my little cubicle hole and pretend that I had never heard of the Pittsburgh Steelers? Nope, no fair weather fan here. I still love the team and am looking forward to their incredibly awesome comeback next season! My Vikes are crawling to their death bed as well, but I figure it all works out for me since if either of my teams did make it to the playoffs, I'd have to miss the first couple of games since I'll be in Africa, and I truly doubt I'll be thinking of football while I'm there - though I am a football freak, so I wouldn't be entirely surprised if I were thinking football either.

Nonetheless, the death of my Steelers dream has brought on a lot of doubts and questions about my own dreams. See, I have a problem, I'm not one of those people who can just be happy doing something they don't hate and living an uneventful life. I need to be doing exactly what I love and living a busy, meaningful life to be happy. I married a man who is more like what I first described, not that he doesn't like to have and eventful life or wouldn't love to do something he loved, but he doesn't have to in order to be happy. I'm insanely jealous of him. I stress about my decisions because I know my happiness is dependent on them, such as what if I go for my Masters in Social Work and end up hating it and wasting those years and money? When should I have children? If I have one soon, will I not be able to fulfill my dreams? If I wait, will I be miserable waiting and have that unexplainable yearning in my womb that I'm not sure if any man will ever understand? Sometimes I feel as if my body wants a child more than my brain does, am I crazy? Why can't they get on the same frickin' page! How do you know what will make you happy if you haven't done it yet? What if you get into it and it doesn't make you happy? Some things, such as children, are not reversible, nor would the graduate school refund my money I'm sure if I'm unhappy with that decision. I'm sure I want to help people and I absolutely have to change professions, and I'm sure I want children, but I get so freaked about the when and how and all those other important details that make decisions impossible.

I'm sure it's normal to have doubts when making such life changing decisions, I just wish I had more faith in myself while I were going through it and wouldn't waffle so much. I'm so sure of my decisions when I first make the decision, but as that decision gets closer and closer my heart starts to beat a little faster and my self-doubt inevitably creeps into my brain. Will I be a good social worker? Will I love it or hate it? Will I be a good mother? The questions go on and on and truly there is no answer to them but experience, but going for it and finding out the answer through living it. I don't like those sorts of answers. I like answers that are written in a book. Answers that you can see and anticipate. Answers such as, when you push this button so and so will happen.

How do you get through self-doubt and learn to believe in yourself when going through tough times and huge changes? How do you feel pride and happiness in your life even when things aren't exactly as you'd like them (in job, family, love life, etc.)? I hate being dependent on my life situation to be happy, I wish I could just be happy no matter what, like my wonderful peaceful hubby, who I sometimes would like to murder for his contentedness that, again, I'm insanely jealous of. I've found that when things get tough and stressful I just implode and wrack myself with an amazing amount of guilt and self-doubt. I'm really sick of it and wish I could tackle changes like I imagine an old frontier hero heading out to the wild West would. All sun-chapped face and cowboy hat, with one foot on a rock, chest sticking out, hand over the eyes and looking into the horizon of the unknown with nothing but courage and self-confidence twinkling in the eyes. Why can't I have that much confidence and adventure in my spirit? Instead, I'd like to crawl into a hole and go into hibernation until it's all over and we're moved, the decisions are made and it's calm again.

Yes, I know, I'm a horrible coward, but possibly the only thing I pride myself in right now is that I'm still going through with my original dreams and plans. That I trust myself enough to trust the decisions I've already made (or I'm too chicken-shit to change those decisions). I'm not going to run away from my dreams, even though I think going after your dreams is far scarier than never realizing them. It's like in The Alchemist when the boy asks the shopkeeper of the crystal store why he never follows his dream and the shopkeeper answers that he didn't want to let go of having the dream and that he felt that he would have nothing to look forward to if he fulfilled it. But then, truly, the shopkeeper is only living a half life.

So I will buckle down, look for the signs that I'm headed in the right direction and do the big move, go to school and hopefully it will make me happy. If not, then I'll have to come up with a whole new plan with a whole new headache and a whole new slew of anxiety attacks. Blah.

P.S. I just realized that the last time I had a major breakdown like this with big decisions I was totally ragging, and surprise, I am again (sorry for those of faint heart - though if that's the case, why the hell are you reading my blog?) What the hell, should I just shut down all thoughts and decision making for one week every month? I'll be seriously annoyed if hormones has anything to do with my breakdown. That will be TBD in, hmm, about a week or so. I'll let you know if my whole perspective changes once the monthly leaves me. On one hand that'd be great cuz, you know, I wouldn't be freaking out, but on the other hand it'd just straight piss me off that my emotions are so controlled by hormones. Fuck hormones! Man, it sure does stink to be a woman sometimes. That's why I sooo am Not looking forward to the whole pregnancy bit, I've heard that's a wild hormonal ride. Joy.


Hubby said...

I didn't know you were JEALOUS of me. Sometimes I get frustrated that I am so "go with the flow", and I get jealous of you for having so much passion and fire in your gut that you just have to do what you love. I guess we're all individuals and this is what makes the human race so interesting, we're all different.

mai wen said...

Haha, I didn't know you were jealous of me, I thought I just drove you nuts! I guess that's why we get along so well! :)

Lisa R-S said...

You two are so good. Maybe it is what makes you two such a good team. Maybe the monthly doesn't change your feelings or decisions just makes them more intense.

mai wen said...

I like that perspective on the monthly, in fact, I feel like I've said it before to the hubs, haha, but I can't remember. You know how people say having children makes your brains fall out, I feel like that about my monthly. :)~ Man, I'll be in Real trouble when I have kids then!


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