Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Anyone out there?


Wow, I came across the blog recently and was perusing old posts, where I was when I started this blog some 10 years ago? 

So much has happened in these past years, but some have remained the same. I continue to make art, create, day dream. 

I have gone from an adult to a middle aged woman trying to find a place in the world that is aligned with who I am.

I continue to dream with a sabbatical, a break, a fugue...

I have a new pet soul mate, whose love fills my heart as much as my Shushu once did.

I also continue to journal, to write and write and write to empty out the thousand thoughts that cross my mind per minute.

I have not grown wiser and more knowledgeable with age. If anything, I realize more and more I know nothing.

One thing that's become more palpable with age is the fragility of life. How ephemeral and unexpected it is. Let's enjoy it, then.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Pursuit of Happiness II

I seem to be writing here less and less. Honestly, like many of my hobbies and pursuits, I have a hard time being consistent.

I postponed my "exit plan". Nonetheless, I have not changed my mind. I have, however, struggled with freeing myself from the golden handcuffs. All the words of wisdom and responsibility keep popping on my head... leaving a good paying job, health insurance, benefits... all while, feeling like I am becoming soulless and more and more anxious about the lifestyle I am leading.

My therapist (whom I see on occasion for anxiety) has told me the "American Dream" can be a luring one that can get one astray from what's important in life. And I was glad he supported me on my plans to quit and take a year off for myself.

Aside from doing nothing and some elusive plans, I really do not have a definitive plan for my escape. Just that I want to feel free from the shackles that I feel hold me back right now.  I am also planning a backpacking trip to South America with my little brother. Aside from that, I just want to exist without plans or expectations.

I feel a bit crazy... how can someone have a good job, good pay, good benefits and feel so utterly dead inside? It seems that every step up the corporate ladder has left me more empty than the step below, but I still feel the pressure to be successful, to conform. And still I feel that I am not the conforming type and that I only have this one life to live...and what a shame it would be to live it under someone else's terms.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Pursuit of Happiness

This is it. My quit-the-rat-race date has been set. 8 months from now.

I have a Plan A, B, C and D for what I will be doing to support myself, but almost all plans include one fundamental item: autonomy. Except for plan D. Because if it all fails, I can always get another job (Plan D). Considering that my original plan was to take a year off, the fact that I am now thinking about being my own boss is pretty amazing.

This year has been especially hard on us. My hubby could have been seriously hurt in an accident and almost lost his job, we lost both our senior fur babies, we saw a close family acquaintance pass in her early 50s and 3 months later her son suddenly passed, only 1 week after turning 40. My anxiety has gotten beyond control. 

I look at my life and recognize my mortality is an absolute certainty. Therefore, how do I want to exit it?

At first, I really thought I was going through a mid-life crisis (you know, soon turning 40 and all). I was missing my teens and the feelings I had then. 

I felt I was becoming the most boring adult. But what I was really going through was a shift of how I saw the world. How I saw success, career, money, consumer goods, health and expectations. And I realized in all this turmoil, the one thing I wanted was time. Time to live, time to do nothing, time to choose, time that was on my terms and my choices. 

I had to re-evaluate my concept of success and failure. I had to accept that my most important decisions came out of, not incessant research or preparations, but instinct. 

Now, now, instinct does not mean I have not looked at the risks, pro and cons and if this all absolutely fails or if I have to change my target date (life does tend to happen with little consideration for our plans). 

In the past 7 years, I have diligently saved money and paid off my debt. I have a low expense lifestyle. I have a spouse who shares similar views and desires (it is easier to change things as a team). I have saved about 2 years worth of expenses. 

I try not to think about it too much. Otherwise, I will tell myself how absolutely insane it is too leave a good paying job. But recently, when I was listening to a CD about our Declaration of Independence, that this feeling really hit me. The most unalienable rights I can grant myself are exactly the ones I feel and want in my heart:"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".  I want to live life to that standard, because otherwise, why bother?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The World without You

Shushu, you left and with you a piece of my heart is gone. Words will never be able to describe everything you mean to me: my friend, my companion, my confidant, my soulmate. The purest most Unconditional love I have ever felt. You gave me the most amazing 16 years and for that, I will be forever grateful. I hope I will see you again, because the world is a little less colorful without your grumpy face in it. I love you forever dear friend. 🐶💔 Ana

Monday, June 27, 2016

"I quit" day

It is 10am and South Florida's sun is scorching.

I sit in my car waiting to go see a client and there is no desire, passion, good will... Only dread and the knowledge I will have to put on a fake smile and pretend I care.

It was in this moment that I decided to put on my calendar a quit date. That's it. In 12-24 months I intend to quit my job. I have really know defined plan aside from the financial steps my husband and I set for our escape plan: pay off the mortgage, pay off his credit card, I want to have enough money saved  to cover 2 years of expenses.

Everything else is a possibility. It is scary and liberating at the same time. I am a planner, a ever recovering worrier, and safety is my second name. But I have also been looking at life from a very different perspective. From the perspective that life is absolutely finite. People die everyday and even if they live a long life, I am talking here we maybe have another 20 years of prime in our lives.

I really don't want to work my butt off to realize all the money I saved is going to prescription medication and that I am too old, too tired, or even too destitute to really live. I want to live now. Today. And the main drag in my life right now is work.

Althoug I am way too young to think about permanent retirement, I am not too young where I have my whole life ahead of me. I am in the halfway mark. And what if I die never having lived?

I understand that we are in a privileged position. We have no kids, I have no debt, and our carriers have been successful enough to allow us to save more than most people. I sometimes have a pang of guilt about doing what I feel is right but perceive as somewhat irresponsible, but the truth is everyone I know make decisions I would probably never make because it is better for them. Well, my instincts, more than my brain, have always been so right about the major decisions in my life and I can just go with my gut feeling now.

There is a certain peace in knowing this is not forever, that I am ok with saying "peace out" and not having any plan of what I may do after just that I need a break.