After watching Julia Robert’s self-indulgent dramatization of Elizabeth Gilbert’s 1st world problems, I never thought I would read Eat, Pray, Love EVER—especially after reading Bitch Magazine’s commentary on Eat, Pray, Spend. However, I broke my promise after experiencing a nasty break-up that left me wanting to join an ashram and consequently began planning for a trip to India (it also helped my friend is getting married there this Xmas).
At 24, some of my “fast track” friends are getting married or moving in w/ significant others, or starting to house hunt in suburbia. This is when I began to doubting myself. No, you’re not suppose to have everything figured out by 24 or 34 for that matter but a part of me wonders if I will “get there” or “make it”. This is where Mary Slaughter’s article decrying why women still can’t have it all tugs at my subconscious and send me ruminating about the whole work-life balance for women.
And this is where my friends and peers tell me to take a chill pill, have a drink, or smoke a jay. “Don’t worry about it. It will just work out” they say. I know that I’m not like the suburbia, high-school sweet heart friends who settle early and start nesting together nor do I want that (hey nothing wrong w/ the traditional middle of America way). Fact is: I’m never one to choose the safe or stable course. But rather, I’m embarking on a long and hard (not better) journey, working in the start-up world, pioneering an industry that didn’t exist 5 years ago, where every day is one big de-bugging triage full of trouble-shooting and problem-solving. I love the high that comes from building a technological platform and shaping a customer’s experience through strategic thinking and disruptive technology. Yet I also bemoan the fact that I don’t know if this “will all work out.” The start-up world is high risk and high return; everyone is riding on this sense of possibilities. You keep working towards something that you hope is attainable yet don’t know where’s the top of the mountain or if you’ll ever get there. This is where Elizabeth Gilbert would tell me in her soothing voice and white-privileged tone to “enjoy the journey not the destination” dear.
Elizabeth Gilbert would probably tell me to travel across the world in search for love, have one-night stands w/ swarthy strangers, and practice celibacy at the most untimely circumstances. I live in a city where men have Peter Pan syndrome replete w/ pretty options. Like NY, SF is not much better when it comes to the dating scene. Having dated my share of programmers and brogrammers, I’m done w/ “man children” and nerds who became the nouvea-riche in search of filling their social deficits and status repressed from all those years in front of a computer instead of interacting w/ human beings. Yeah, still bitter right now.
So here I am at 24 w/ no idea or clear trajectory except that I want to continue building disruptive technology, learn to code, go to business school, live in Norcal once and leave before it makes me too soft and live in New York once and leave before it makes me too hard. I always ask myself what would Bo from 10 years tell me? She’ll probably tell me that getting out of an unhappy relationship just opened a whole lot of doors; that the small chips will fall into place once I lay the big pieces down; that working on something hard and something you LOVE will pay dividends; that great things will happen when you’re not busy planning for them; that having your heart broken is a part of growing up and surviving; that having “FOMO” (fear of missing out) is technologically induced modern day comparing w/ the Jones’; that “YOLO” (you only live once) should really be spelled YLOO (you live only once) grammatically; that worrying your 20s are not living up to what you want in your 30s is a waste of time; that once you’re in your 30s, you’ll look back fondly on your 20s and wished you hadn’t worried and stressed so much about your future b/c the best gift you have right now is a sense of possibilities.
Recently, I’ve learned to become happier by sometimes masking my sadness and anxiety. Everyone has a mask on—the public face we show. I think when you mature into an adult, you learn to keep that mask on even if you’re not feeling so hot inside for the sake of other people, professionalism, and just “keeping it together” like the Jones’. What I realized is that pretending like you feel good actually helps you feel good so you start feeling better about life, work, boys et al. “Fake it till you make it”, right?
So this Wednesday a.k.a “Wishful Wednesday” I wrote a list of happy things that make Bo happy.
Happiness is something we have to work at. For some, it comes easier than others b/c they may have won out on the “cortical lottery”. However, for the rest of us, it’s something we can all cultivate with focus, intention, and some nice coping mechanisms. It’s always like to have a reservoir of psychic energy. What’s on your list?
this could not be more true.
Submitted by Michael Keller:
WNYC and The New York World collaborated on a project to map and report on New York City’s privately owned public spaces, aka POPS, to figure out how public these public spaces are. Through zoning incentives, New York’s city planners have encouraged private…
Note to self: hide ye phone after having two glasses of plum wine. Don’t end up drunk texting cute boy from high school who came to visit you. He’s emotionally attracted to girls (you) but physically attracted to boys (not you). Got it? Yeah, it’s pretty fucked up. If only he was straight, he would be perfect. And please, don’t reply that you miss him too.
In other news, I got a cute burgundy Zara blazer for my presentation in front of the effin’ company Thursday. For some reason getting new foundation, Chanel Perfection Lumiere, makes me feel ready and literally put on a biznatch preso face. Lynn Jurich, here I come!