Reader Poll Monday

Short but sweet. Fewer questions but longer answers. And in case ya’ll didn’t notice, I like to ramble!

1. Comparing your life as it currently is to the way it was a year or two or five ago, are you more content? If so, why? If not, why?

My life has changed a lot, but not at all, in some respects. I’m still a workaholic who can’t prioritize a personal relationship to save my life. Maybe I just haven’t met the right person. I don’t think any of the past ones were, so I’m not looking back or anything. But yeah, there’s that definite void of a true tag-team partner in this crazy odyssey. I’ve just wised up and gotten past the “bad boys” and am now looking for better-quality people.

It’s strange insofar as the person I am. I feel like I’ve become more comfortable with who I am, but I’ve learned to hide her more efficiently. I think, to some degree, I’ve always worn my heart on my proverbial little sleeve, but I think that shirt went through the dry cleaner’s one too many times and that heart has sort of gone into hiding. I’m more anxious than I was years ago. I used to have this grand worldview that everything would work out in the end. And while, I know, I’m far from “The End,” I can’t help but wonder if this is intermission and if so, did I waste that time not working toward any solid goals? Because I didn’t expect to be so tired and even disenchanted at such a young age.

But that’s the thing. I’m disenchanted, of course, with lots of things. And not to complain about work, but it doesn’t afford me enough time to pursue non-work interests. So I have a very hard time defining my identity as something other than what it is in relation to my role there. (OK, here. I’m writing it at work because it’s 7 p.m. and I ain’t near done yet but I found a hole in my schedule wherein I can do some personal thinking.)

What I’ve found, to cope, is to have what I call built-in downtime. We don’t really hang out and do happy hours and stuff, but we do really enjoy each other on the team and if we can swing a few minutes to talk, we love it. So basically yeah, I goof off for a few minutes here and there during the day. It’s nice and it’s great for trust-building. But if I ruled the world, it’d be done in a bar instead. Which was what I did years ago.

So, am I more content? Not at all. I’m more restless. I know my life will unfold the way it is meant to, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing time away sometimes in that I want to get to the “good part” faster.

2. What do you hope the next year will bring? Do you expect things to more or less stay the same? Or do you see big changes? How do you feel about that?

If I didn’t have the hope that life would be better next year, I wouldn’t be here. Not to intimate in the least that I am suicidal, but I can absolutely see how someone would get to the point where they’re ready to end it all. Once you lose faith that there’s got to be something bigger and better out there, you don’t have anything left.

That said, realistically I see myself in the exact same place — job, apartment, rut — next year. But do I want to be? Oh hell no. I want to work less and play more. I want to be in love — really, truly, head-over-heels addicted to someone who’s equally enamored of me because they’d be nuts to let me get away. I want to rush home to either see that person or to enjoy the fact my apartment will have finally been unpacked/decorated/furnished. I want to call my friends and suggest going out because I haven’t been so supernaturally drained from work that I actually have something left to give to them at the end of the day or week.

I’m telling the universe that I want everything it has to offer. I’m tired of thinking that the things “everyone else” has are not meant for me. I want those “normal” things, too. I am capable of so much more than I’m doing and giving. And the right people will finally wise up and figure out how to tap into that potential and benefit from it. I’m not purposely holding out on anybody — all they have to do is ask.

3. What would your ideal life situation be? Do you feel that it’s within your grasp, or merely a pipe dream?

A perfect segue. I am very relational in nature. Big pictures are the only pictures I can deal with. Details bore me and routine frustrates me. Which is why I flit from job to job, and person to person, with ease. I interview each, exhaustively, and move on to the next day’s story.

But I’m tired of that. I want to get to know someone or something really, ridiculously well. I crave comfort. I hate having a meltdown and not knowing who, if anyone, to call. I hate having my car acting up and not feeling like there’s anyone I can contact for a ride if I needed one. I’ve gotten rid of the people who feel like I owe them my firstborn if they do me a menial favor, but that doesn’t leave many others. I’m fine with that, most days. But other days I wake up and go, yeah, I really wish I could just have a hug right now. A real one.

Here’s my pipe dream. I don’t sleep much in general, and never around anyone else. And I think y’all would be surprised how absolutely uninterested I’ve been in *that* not just lately, but for a long time now. Not to say that I’m not a sexual being. I am. TRUST ME on this. But I’ve done the emotionally detached thing for way too long. And I’m through. I want to care that this person is here in the morning. I want to not be plotting my getaway excuses in mid-thrust. I want to know that if I fall asleep, I haven’t “lost” the game. That’s a level of vulnerability I haven’t achieved yet. Maybe I never will. But I hope to. And I will probably fight it kicking and screaming, but that’s half the fun, I suppose!

I want a reason to go home at night. I want a reason to stay in a particular city. I want to be able to use my ridiculous overabundance of nurturing skills to give someone else everything it is that I also want for myself.

4. Ask me something.

At what point in your life do you think you would look at it and go, “Yeah, this is what I’ve been working my way toward”? What will you have achieved that you can say, “I did good, damn it”?

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