Friday, September 25, 2009

Stuck in a rut?

Dear Internets,

A lot of my bloggy friends seem to be a bit down lately. Some have even decided to stop blogging while they try to figure things out.

I'm not personally unhappy, fortunately, although I've definitely been stuck in many a rut before; I think I spent most of my twenties in a state of mild dysthymia. I would worry a lot about where I was going in life versus where I thought I should be (hello, quarterlife crisis!) and end up feeling like a total failure.

I can still get myself pretty down-in-the-dumps when I want to, reflecting on the "mistakes" I've made in life, or doors I've closed that, in retrospect, I would have liked to have left open. In fact, I could probably spend a week wallowing in bed in self-induced misery. (What can I say? It's a gift.) Mostly, though, I've learned to shush the shoulds and should'ves as I've gotten older.

I think one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten was "if you want to be the type of person who has a dog, get a dog." It was quite literal (and terrible*) advice at the time. Now, though, it really resonates with me. What makes a person a dog owner? It's not magic, genetics, or luck. It's buying (or adopting) the dog. "But wait!" you say. "My apartment doesn't allow dogs. Clearly, I shall remain dogless forever." Well, if owning a dog is really important to you, you can move. Can't afford to move? Start saving the money. What's life without obstacles? Pretty darn boring, that's what.

Want to be an investor? Buy stock. Want to be a saver instead of a spender? Start putting $5 or $10 a paycheck into a savings account. Want to learn swing dancing? Take an informal class through a local college. Want to move to a warmer (or colder) climate? Write down a list of all the things you'd need to do to make the move, and start brainstorming ways to get them done. Miami (or Toronto), here you come!

Yes, certain windows of opportunity may close (or be harder to open) as you get older, but we really do write our own tickets in life. Happiness is often just a choice.

I love you, Internets. Be happy.

Love,
Jane

*If you're a broke 21-year-old student with allergies and an aversion to vacuuming more than once a week, and who can use just about any excuse to avoid homework/classes - it may not be a good idea to get a dog. I'm just sayin'.

11 comments:

Kim said...

*raises hand as one of those down-in-the-dumps-people on the internet*

Callina said...

Good advice. I needed to hear it. :)

Hillary said...

great post, lady! thanks!

have a great weekend :)

sleepyjane said...

I just read a post by someone that has the bloggy blah's. It's something in the air, definitely. ;)

Great post, one I needed to hear!

Rachel said...

Guilty of being one of those 20-somethings complaining about being stuck. But...but...at least I know I'm stuck! And I know that while change is not feasible RIGHT NOW it will be in the future so I'm trying to do things that will lead in the general direction of change. Justification is fun!

tal said...

good advice! it kind of reminds me of one of my favorite quotes (thanks to peggy hill): "I don't want a try baby, I want a do baby." that said, i am notorious for being a chicken when it comes to changing my life.

Rassles said...

Here here!

Susan in Lille said...

Amen girl! If you don't like your shorts then change 'em I say!

mrs.notouching said...

Ok then - moving out of my apartment and getting a dog. Also? I am telling my husband that the dog is all your fault.

eemusings said...

"*If you're a broke 21-year-old student with allergies and an aversion to vacuuming more than once a week, and who can use just about any excuse to avoid homework/classes - it may not be a good idea to get a dog. I'm just sayin'."

Freaky! Haha, that is exactly me. Luckily, I don't like dogs :P my flatmate does have a cat, though.

miss petite america said...

just what i needed to hear. how ddo you KNOW these things?!