Navel Gazing (Fair Warning)

It’s 2 am, and I can’t sleep.

Part of it might be the absurd amount of food churning in my stomach (I got a little too friendly with the chocolate fountain at Darden prom). Another part might be that my feet are throbbing (dancing my face off in high heels…looks good, feels horrible). But I think the real reason is that I’m just generally feeling restless right now. And this blog is way cheaper than therapy.

About every 6 months I go through a mild crisis of self where in some form or another I start wondering if I’m living “correctly” and doing things the “right” way. It’s stressful but the introspection (i.e. mental masturbation – almost as much fun as real masturbation!) is always interesting. The topic on the agenda for this mid-year freak-out is whether the way I am naturally inclined to live my life is no longer the way I should be living my life. If this makes you want to slam your head into a table until you lose consciousness, feel free to check out lighter fare in this post or this one.

Most people who know me would say that I’m the one who is usually up for anything, and the more ridiculous the better. It’s the ridiculous experiences that make the best stories, and I love to have stories to tell. And not just any stories, either. I want the conversation-stopping, choke-on-your-food from laughter, “this is something that would only happen to you” stories. And I’ve done a pretty good job of being an experience collector (with an overdeveloped sense of the absurd) over the years.

There are definitely upsides to this approach to life. For one, it’s fun. Second, I am 100% confident that in any given stage of my life, I have gotten the most out of it that I possibly can, and that’s a pretty cool feeling; I rarely feel regret that I should have done more, because I have a strong innate sense of whether or not I’ll feel bad about missing an opportunity, and if I will, I make sure not to miss it. Third, going and doing has been my way of figuring myself out, of defining personal boundaries and learning who I am and who I’m not. Sure, some things I perhaps didn’t need to do even once to figure out that I wouldn’t ever do them again, but those mistakes were valuable, too. All of this is good.

But I worry that I’m too old to still be approaching life this way. And even more than that, I worry that I’m not taken seriously because of it. At this stage of my life, shouldn’t I be…calmer? Shouldn’t I have my boundaries figured out and solidified by now? Shouldn’t I pick one or two hobbies to do consistently rather than trying a bunch of new things just for the hell of it? I have passions I dive into deeply, but I get equally excited about doing interesting, random one-offs. A BYOB pole dancing class here. A trip to a Scientology center there. Three hours ago, I agreed to train for a race using the Zombie method (no joke — it is a running training program where you pretend you are being chased by Zombies to motivate you…I KNOW, DOESN’T IT SOUND ABSURD?!)

I know I’m a serious person. I have depth. I think about and can speak intelligently about a wide variety of socially relevant topics. But I worry these things don’t come across when I meet people. Instead, I worry I seem like a good time gal. Someone who is always up for fun. Quick with a joke. Bubbly. Friendly. But not the person you take seriously. Consider for career advancement. Marry.  I guess there is a part of me that feels like I need to grow up, calm the crap down, stop doing things for the stories and start…like…being a legit adult. One who can talk politics. And cook a meal that looks like a meal and not like something that fell from above. And whose furniture matches. And who seems polished and sophisticated.

I like to think there is a way to meld these two worlds, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |
  • Knut Holt

    The navel is actually a sexually sensitive point that can be used during masturbation, for example.

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