Once in a while, I have my “dark” days when I get a bit depressed and pensive and question the meaning of life. I come home from work, sit on my hubs’ lap and whine about the banality of our existence. Usually, he nods in assent and says “yeah, we live and we die; you can’t do anything about it” and then makes me feel better and cuddles with me.
No, I’m not trying to be philosophical or intellectual at all. It’s just that sometimes, I feel trapped in this cycle. We are born, we go to school, then go to work. If you’re lucky, you meet a “special someone” and spend part of your life with that someone. If not, you go on alone. You work, you take vacations, you go back to work, you get old, kids are born, your kids get old. Then you die. With God’s graces, you may even die after you’ve gotten to experience all the above.
I know life is all about the journey and the experiences you collect along the way. It’s not about achieving one set goal. Life is what you do about it. I get all that. But sometimes, I strive for a life less ordinary. I get restless. I want to do this or that. And the point is, I do. I go out and do something because I want to make my life more interesting. But sometimes, it’s not enough to squelch the voice in the back of my head demanding “More!” Or yelling, “What? This is it? This is my life?!”
Then I get over it and once again take inventory of the many blessings in my life: supportive and generous parents, an overall close-knit family and in-laws; the world’s most patient, responsible, loving, funny, kind, husband to share my life with; a great set of friends who care about me; a stellar education; a job that I love (complete with fun, witty co-workers); hobbies that keep me going (e.g., reading, creative writing, kicking it with my band); and much more.
So I think, what gives? If I’m content with my life thus far, then why am I questioning it? I think questioning life is something all of us go through at one point or the other. In fact, it’s cliché. It’s a way to put your self in check, I suppose. It makes you evaluate who you are, what you’ve done so far, and what you’d like to do and still haven’t. When I question 'the meaning of life', I also end up evaluating some of the choices I’ve made in my life. For instance, I think about the fact that I got married at 24 years old. Sometimes, I feel that I was too young. Don’t get me wrong, this has nothing to do with my hubs and my decision in marrying him (I knew he was ‘the one’ after 3 months of dating him). This particular question is more on my sense of self: Did I even get to know myself and who I am before I decided to share my life?
Another thing I think about is that I’ve always been “the responsible daughter.” It’s exhausting sometimes to always try to live up according to familial standards. I’ve almost always done what my parents expected of me (of course, I’ve had my share of getting in trouble). Sometimes, I wonder where I would be if I decided to pursue the writing career full-force or decided to stay in Los Angeles (instead of promising my folks I’d go to school in NY). Who knows?
I know full well that dwelling on the past is pretty fruitless. I can’t very well change anything and the only thing I can do is learn from it. While I don’t regret the choices I’ve made, I do know that I wish I had the courage to follow my heart back then. What I’ve learned from the past is that sometimes, I can be too cautious. Life is too short to stay in the lines all the time. I want to live more vicariously and take charge. It breaks the cycle.