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Grate Expectations

Submitted by Bonnie Sludikoff on February 1, 2011 – 12:04 amComments

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It’s so easy to feel alone in the belief that your own “You are Here” sign is an unattainable distance from that “You Want to be Here” sign glowing in the distance. Lately, I haven’t even been able to see that neon spark. Nonetheless, I still find myself believing for that miracle.

I shared some of the lofty goals I have for my life last night, in a conversation that took place in my friend’s car-.  A car that would affectionately be described as past-it’s-prime.  My friend had his own struggles to compare with mine, and they weren’t ones I would particularly want to trade for. But instead of feeling discouraged by my friend’s struggle, I felt renewed by his perseverance. And unlike myself- currently struggling to find my way and feeling insecure about whether I’m really doing anything right, he seemed plenty confident in my current direction.

So I have to ask myself- is it an issue of standards, or if it just whether the glass is half empty or half full. I hope it’s not standards- because frankly, I’ve been able to keep them high this long and I hate the idea of backing down now. As for the glass- as of late- I’m guilty of not only seeing mine as half empty, but being aware of the crack down the side and the hole at the bottom where drops sometimes slip through.

Sitting in a car without windows at 1am has a way of getting through to you- if nothing else- by the wind hitting you upside the head. Luckily my friend was less violent in his approach to giving me permission to feel okay about things being as they are. He’s not the first to share the same sentiments. Not even the first to share them this month.

I suppose I shouldn’t scoff at the 12 pounds I lost this month- even though I worked my butt off following a diligent plan and failed to reach my 20 pound goal. I suppose I should be grateful to be starting a brand new job tomorrow in this difficult economy, in spite of the fact that I’m apprehensive about whether it will be a “happy” career move. I suppose I should feel accomplished at the 450+ fans I’ve acquired for my non-profit in 3 months in spite of sending well over a thousand messages about it. I suppose I should smile when people ask me how I am or what’s new. But lately, it’s difficult to pretend that my expectations are anywhere close to being met.

I have always relied on that spark to guide me on my way, and these days, I find myself driving in the dark. Even in my childhood I recall that sense of direction- that extreme and unwavering confidence in my chosen path and my ability to know how to put one foot in front of the other and just go. I’d never have thought that in my late 20s, I’d have to grab for a foothold in the mountain that should have been flat and steady plains. I’d never have thought a lot of things about what my late 20s have become. And now, as I look into the future and see 30 coming up- (OK it’s two years, but still I know I’ll blink and it will be here!)- I feel unbearably pressured to stay on task.

It’s a lonely place- feeling like some of the odds are stacked against you- and looking around thinking ‘why is it so hard for me and so easy for everyone else”.  But maybe it just seems that way. Last night, before my long conversation, I was in a room full of Harry Potter fans watching part one and when Dumbledore said, “It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live” half a dozen people scrambled to type the quote in for their facebook status.  I guess we all need to be reminded to keep our feet on the ground every now and then.

Maybe my “You Want to be Here” sign is just recharging so it can shine brighter than it used to. I don’t know. But I know that even though I don’t see the things that I “Erised” at the moment, I will find the wisdom to carry me through.

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  • Erin Farrell

    I can 100% understand where you're at - especially with the driving in the dark bit. I, too, used to have such a clear direction of where I was going and how to get there. I hope your glass is overflowing soon!

  • I feel you. No, really. I'm RIGHT there. Where you are. Only without the job. And far, far less weight loss. And no non-profit to feel proud of. But still...pretty much there. ;)

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