Advancement

Some people think of advancement solely as something you do at work, like “advancing to a higher position.” I’m trying to think about advancement as something I’m doing with my life, not just my career. If I concentrate solely on advancing at my career, where does that leave me as a person? Sure, I might have a nicer desk or a packed social calendar, but it doesn’t make me a better person.

For me, a large part of advancing is becoming a happier person. I want to enjoy every day of my life like it’s my last. Sure, that might not be entirely possible, since I’ll have to choose between short term and long term happiness-inducers in some cases. For instance, if I couldn’t get fat, constipated or hung over (all of which make me supremely unhappy), I’d eat a wedge of brie and drink a bottle of red wine every single day from now until the bitter end. So in that case, I’ll have to make the choice to treat my body with love, instead of falling in love with food. But that’s OK – perhaps splurging now and then will punctuate my happiness more fully.

Things that I LOVE doing that I don’t do anymore:

1) Watch girly movies, foreign flicks, and documentaries

2) Go to art museums and study every.single.description without caring how long it’s going to take

3) Dancing

4) Listening to live Afrobeat, Latin Fusion, and Kirtan music

5) Reading until way past my bedtime

6) Singing out loud in my own home

7) Filling my fridge with delicious vegetarian meal options

8) Putting on sexy outfits and feeling like a millon dollars

9) Visiting graveyards and just enjoying being there

10) Going to cultural festivals

11) Traveling

12) Practicing/learning about my spiritual path

13) Having the house to myself for days at a time

14) Taking weekend road trips to the beach

15) Going outdoors with loved ones during the summer

16) Learning about wine & winemaking techniques

17) Going out to a new restaurant every week

18) Doing physical activities with my significant other (gym, dancing, running, biking, camping, etc.)

19) Camping

20) Laughing every single day

I had a serious talk with The Man last night about where I want to be in my life, and what the holdup might be. Our world views have become so different over the six years we’ve been together, and I’m not sure if I’m going to get through to him. He’s so very unhappy about where he is in life right now, and that he can’t afford a house or kids. Meanwhile, I’m unhappy that I’m stuck with someone who’s so focused on the future that he can’t see what he’s missing in the present. I don’t want to get old waiting to have fun, especially being a woman and realizing that the kind of fun I want will essentially be over once we have kids. I want someone to go on adventures with, and he’s so busy waiting for the train that he can’t see the beauty in walking. I’m having  a hard enough time being positive and forward-thinking on my own, and I just don’t have the energy to brush off his attitude anymore.

So we’ll see. It just feels like it’s time for me to make the call. I’ve been waiting for close to two years for him to snap out of it and realize he can’t spend all of his time focusing on things that he can’t control. But I don’t think he’s going to. I don’t think his belief system allows him any flexibility to believe that better experiences are possible just through making a concerted effort to create those experiences. And I don’t feel like getting dragged down with the ship, honestly.

This is something I’ve been examining from all angles for years now, and the only thing I can do now is just start living my life the way I want and hope that he catches up. Otherwise, maybe our paths will have to diverge. We’ll see. I don’t want to break up, though I can’t say I’d mind being alone again. I like alone – it fits me well. I’ll miss the way he makes me laugh every now and then, and the moments when he’s happy and it feels a little like the old days. Those moments are so very few and far between, though.

Now I just feel heartbroken thinking about how lackluster my life has become; I wish I had made the choice to say something years ago. Maybe I could have fixed us. Or maybe not.

 

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