11 November 2008

29 year old crisis

I'm feeling like I'm at another turning point in my life.

I don't think I'm going to go crazy and quit my job and travel. If I had the money, I definitely would. For now, my travel involves Argentina next month and short trips throughout the country to various ultramarathons.

But I'm feeling what I felt when I had my quarter-life crisis. Laugh if you will, but in my 25th year, my unhappiness overwhelmed me (I was working at a corporate library and finishing grad school and my boyfriend had just moved out) and I realized traveling might have some answers. I do find answers when I travel, a lot more than when I'm rotating around the same cycle of Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-half-day-Friday-freedom on Saturday and Sunday, crammed with cooking, errands, running extremely long distances, seeing friends, cleaning, sleeping, farmers' market, drinks/dancing, etc. I feel so stuck right now it scares me.

I can't see my future any more. I'm sick of discussing career management and career progression. My career is moving really slow. I really do enjoy my job, but so much of the management/HR-talk really frustrates me. I like my work, but meetings, argh, meetings.

My life plan has changed so many times. If you asked me in the early summer what my plans were, I'd have a carefully crafted plan that has changed so vastly. I don't know what my plans are. I don't know who (if anyone!) I'll even end up spending my life with. That basic question has forced me to reevaluate everything. I don't know where I'll live. The more I get into ultrarunning, the more I want to live someplace else – with amazing trails, maybe some forests and mountains. I admit I do love the trails in the northeast, but not sure I want to stay around here. I do need to be close to the ocean or I'll shrivel up and die. My summertime beach addiction means I need to be by water year round, even if I only run by it in the winter – and no, rivers don't care. I need crashing waves. I need a place to surf (even if I suck at it) and to watch the mysteries that spill forth with each rolling wave.

For the longest while, I have talked about traveling extensively – doing a 1-2 year trip around Latin America, Asia, and OZ/NZ. If I want to do this trip, I need to start saving hardcore and re-organizing how I spend my money and vacation.

In the next year, I have plans to go to Argentina (vacation: Dec-Jan), Boston (Boston Marathon: April), Big Sur (Big Sur Marathon: April), PA (Laurel Headlands 70 mile: June), maybe Hawaii (vacation: June), Vermont (VT100 miler: July), Oregon (Hood to Coast Relay: August), Burning Man (August-Sept), Vermont (VT 50 miler: September), not sure where else. Yes, it's a lot (and A LOT of running!). I need to not spend so much and try to save more.

I've gone through a lot of change the past year. Burning Man opened up a whole side of me, reminding me there is so much more to life than the everyday. Spending more time with good friends like Rosa has tapped deeper into me.

An old classmate sent me an email, telling me about the writing and traveling she has done. In the midst of deadlines and too many cc: emails and the subway never coming and heavy groceries and stained carpets and not enough sleep and expensive plane tickets and long, long runs and empty GU wrappers and backstabbing friends, I know there is so much more.

The real question is: can I tap into it and tap into myself now? Or must I exit my present situation to explore and advance?


Unknown said...

Hello dear runner,

I read your note and I see myself some time ago! If you have no kids and that you are free to travel, please do what you whant to do now and forget that HR job. You will learn so much about the real HR life and it will bring you a greater experience compared to simply doing 9 to 5 in New York.

Strange, but I am a runner too and I am considering Tierra Del Fuego pretty soon!

Enjoy life now!


PS: Sorry my english is not very good.

V said...

boo for backstabbers, backstabbers. stupid goats.

V said...

seriously, i meant to write more. crazy that we have been depressed at the same exact time, usually it happens at different times so we can help each other, wtf?! and our worst day was the same, too! eek!

i'm not going to tell you all the old cliches that i hate people telling me, so i'll just say that i'm here for you, always.


Victoria said...

Oh the joy of life. I will say this-- turning 30 was one of the greatest things ever. (I'm 34) A lot of nonsense that I worried about kind of just fell away and I realized that so much stuff I spent time worrying about really didn't matter. It was very freeing. I've seen a lot of other women go through the same 30-year old fabulous transformation, so it's definitely something to look forward to. Are the big things in my life taken care of? Have I met the man I want to be the father of my children? No! Are my ovaries drying up even as we speak? Yes! Is this cause for concern? Probably! Is it possible that my fabulous job might lose funding in the next couple of years? Yes! But I'm much less consumed with worry about it all than I was a few years ago. Hang in there. There's no specific answer for a lot of this stuff, and that's ok. (Really, really annoying, but ok.)

KC said...

I will be turning 30 in a couple months. I am not sure if I would call it "29 year old crisis", but I am certainly re-evaluating a lot of things and looking for something more "meaningful" in life. I really like Victoria's comment about the "fabulous transformation"...