Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Life

I realize I owe you stories about my canceled flight and the crazy man on the subway and maybe even a certain someone I hung out with last weekend, but I have developed a severe, severe case of ... I don't know what to call it. Whatever it is when you can't stop obsessing about something. I know I'm usually the type who writes about canceled flights and crazy men on the subway, but I think tonight I am going to write about myself and some of the little thoughts swirling around in my little brain. Because you're all nice people and I know you'll indulge me just this once if I promise to write about the crazy man next time, right?

OK. So my whole job thing. I have 10 days and, oh, let's say seven hours to decide if I am going to stay with my company and move to a different city. It's a good offer, even better when you consider the sorta-sucky economy. But it really is. Most people are going. When I think about it very practically, I think that I should go, too. And I know they want me to go.

But! Another side, a very, very big side, thinks that, wow, I could quit in a couple of months and still get paid by this company until November. I could take a big leap, the kind of leap I always fantasize about taking but am always too scared/responsible to actually take, and go really hard after my dreams. Because when am I ever going to do it if I don't do it now?

Basically, my dreamer side and my practical side are having a fistfight in my brain right now, and they're going at it so hard I'm afraid they're going to kill each other and then kill me. I guess they can't kill me if they're dead. Whatever. The point is, people will die. And it's never good when people die.

I occasionally have a few moments of clarity interspersed between the "I can't breathe" moments, and I really do have to laugh at myself. Because like EVERY aspect of my personality is coming into play right now. The melodramatic side: "Every time I think about going, I feel like my SOUL is going to DIE!" I cried, with big, fat tears streaming down my face, to my dad the other night. (My accountant dad, who naturally pointed out that my soul might like to buy food and a new outfit every once in a while, too.) The "I want to be the kind of person who GOES FOR IT!" side. The "Yeah, but I'm also the biggest worrier ever, ever, EVER and I might give myself a heart attack first!" side. The "I am so in love with my walk-in closet, I don't want to leave it!" side. The "If I move to New York, I'll have to LIVE in a walk-in closet!" side. And the "I don't want anything to ever change and I want all my friends to be my friends forever" side. That's a huge side. My best friends will always be my best friends, no matter where I live--at least I hope they will--but as far as work goes ... the other day, I was back in my favorite place ever, the art department, and I was like, "I LIKE you people! I LIKE working with you!" And of course they just shook their heads and looked at me like, Oh, Swish, you crazy, sentimental girl, but I do! They are SO tolerant of me. Like, for example, I am so cheesy sometimes--I can't believe I'm about to admit this--but I totally make them high-five me when I get excited about how something looks ... and they DO it! They embrace my quirks! Do you know how hard it can be to get people to embrace your quirks? If I did that somewhere else, they'd be like, oh, my gosh, that girl is the biggest dork ever. But not the people at my work! They just get how I am. I would miss that.

Anyway. My parents are very, VERY firmly in the "take the transfer" camp, probably because they don't want to run the risk of me living in their basement in six months. Most of my friends are in the "take the money and run" camp, probably because they're sick of me talking about the life I want instead of living the life I want.

Here's the thing. In some ways, I feel like I will be fine no matter what. I really do. Like, you know the movie Sliding Doors? (Spoiler alert! If you can spoiler alert something that's like 10 years old.) Anyway, like the movie Sliding Doors, where she takes the different paths and still ends up in the same place at the end? Sometimes I feel like that. Other times, though--and I know how corny this sounds, but I swear to you it's true--I feel very clearly that everything in my life has gotten me to this point, and I'm so close to ... I don't know what, but SOMETHING ... and all I have to do is make sure I don't screw it up.

Maybe it's both things. I don't know.

OK, I am going to change the subject. So, you see the title of my post? Did any of you ever watch that movie? I don't really know anyone who did. But in college, my roommates and I had a massive girl movie night and we rented that movie and OH, MY GOSH. It is not even that good of a movie, it's like completely manipulative and Michael Keaton spends way too much time at the acupuncturist's office, but ohhhhh, did I sob. I cried harder than I have ever cried at a movie in my life. Except maybe Old Yeller when I was little. Maybe. Anyway, I cried big, huge, heaving sobs during the WHOLE MOVIE and for AN HOUR afterward. An hour! My roommates were like, what is WRONG with you?? And all I could do was open my mouth, take a big, shuddering breath and start sobbing some more. I probably had just broken up with my boyfriend or something too, I don't remember, but it wrecked me. I felt like I should mention it since that's the title of the post.

And speaking of movies, Pretty Woman is on. Hey, I have a heart of gold! Maybe I should be a hooker! Richard Gere and I can save each other after I fend off pervy pre-Seinfeld Jason Alexander's nasty advances and then we'll live happily ever after while Roxette plays in the background!

Orrrrrrrrrr ... not. Sigh.


At 3:11 AM, Blogger House of Jules said...

I just want to tell you that you're absolutely right about it all being OK no matter which you choose (I loved Sliding Doors and I'm not even a big fan of The Paltrow!), but if part of your fear really is that if you move to NYC you'll have to live in a closet... let me also tell you that one of the best things about living in NYC (and I did it for 5 years and miss it every day!) is that you'll hardly ever be home. There's so much to do and see and explore and experience and you'll already have co-workers who are friends, but you'll make even more friends and get involved in things you never dreamed you would; and there's no better city for making you feel like you really can accomplish your dreams, even while you toil away at your regular office job, than NYC. For real. E-mail me directly if you want more info, I could go on for days.
Keep that chin up, Swish!
House of Jules

At 10:16 AM, Blogger flea said...

ok, deep cleansing breath

I so do the same thing, and you know what it's not worth the stress, flip a coin, take a chance, go with your gut instinct and ingnore your brain for once

easier said than done I know (been there)

guess I have no easy fix either, and actually i'm sort of worrying for you now too! ah, what fun it is to be a worry wort!!

I know you will do what's right for YOU in the end

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Monnik said...

oh man, what a tough call. but your sliding doors example is kind of how I like to think life happens.

FWIW, I think people would embrace your quirkiness just about anywhere on this Earth. So don't let that worry you... :)

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Kristi said...

I wouldn't have made a decision yet, either. In fact, I would probably be in the fetal position and crying right now. At least your not doing that. But since it isn't actually me, I can say be brave and follow your dream. No matter how much you love your job and coworkers, you can find another great job. You only get so many real chances to follow your dream and do something you've always wanted. And remember that whatever you decide you have a lot of people that really love and care about you and you will be fine.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger TheReno5 said...

My vote's for taking the money and going after the dream. You've got the talent and the drive. And hey, if you're broke 6 months from now, you've always got a guest room in Reno to visit!

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

Take the leap. You are young and not tied down. There are not many, if any chances given to you like this.
Don't move, take a vacation by yourself! and think about what you want to do and who you want to be.

I wish I had the same opportunity! Do it!

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Andie said...

I feel conflicted for you! I'd be going through the same thing.


You'll still have a friend down here in teh south- and if you decide to ever come this way, I'd be more than happy to show you around!

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Bina said...

Although I don't know much about you; don't know what your dream is; don't know where you live now or where you are being transferred; I can say that most people NEVER get a change to try and live their dream and all people should at least TRY!!!!

Okay, so I watched a video today "The Last Lecture" about a guy dying from Pancreatic Cancer and his whole point in life right now is to get people to live their dreams, NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES. He has three kids.

Anyway, just type in "The Last Lecture". It's long, but you may read about him and totally get my point here.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Bina said...

Oh. Here's his name:

Randy Pausch

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is the saddest movie ever. i saw it for the first time when my aunt was dying of brain cancer. now when i see it 15 years later i still start crying at the beginning at the non-circus part. good luck with your decision. my friend was in the same position last year. she decided to take the money and follow her dream instead. she's now in a job that makes her happier. i hope you have good results as well.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel ya on this - been here and done it. And I'm still in a complex over it. You'll choose the right decision no matter what. Take the leap in whatever direction your heart tells you to go and go for it, either way, its going to be a big step and change in your life but you'll still be the adorable funny Swishy :) Good luck. Cannot agree with you more about My Life - movie sucks, but tear jerker central :(

At 5:05 PM, Blogger TTQ said...

I feel ya Swishy. The vein above my right eye is pumping so hard, I may lose an eyeball. I'm the one in the corner in a fetal position. And if this were skydiving? I'd be the one tied to someone who will take the leap for both of us.

Pretty much makes me coward huh? thought so.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger THopgood said...

UGH! I'm feel'n your pain! Tough one! I say go medititate on it...maybe you'll have an epiphany...or go massage your feet or something...LOL!

I can't wait to hear what you decide...the suspense will kill me!

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Patti said...

my scientific thoughts: no ever regrets taking a risk, a leap of faith, do they? at the worst you'll have a great story. at the best you'll have a great story while affording to drink high-end vodka.


At 6:01 PM, Anonymous kristabella said...

I LOVE Sliding Doors!

I would have already made the safe choice to take the transfer because well, I've been unemployed twice and I don't like it. And I'm also not good with money.

But, you are so right that WHATEVER you do will work out just fine.

Go with your gut, lady. It will never steer you wrong.

Good luck!

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Trish Ryan said...

You're going to be fine no matter which you choose. You just are. I know that's utterly unhelpful when it comes to making the decision, but maybe this will be the subject of your next novel: take a character, name her Swishy, and give her the life you don't take.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Mary Ann said...

I really do think you'll be fine no matter what, especially if you listen to yourself more than anyone else.

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...


I was reading this post, keeping my thoughts to myself because you know what my thoughts are, but for those of you readers who don't, I'll share them with you:

I want Swishy to come live with me! To follow her dreams but to follow them by living by Manic!

Anyway, so, reading through your post, keeping my thoughts mostly to myself, and then you say, "So, did you see the title of this post and no one's ever even seen that movie..."

I scroll up because I forgot what the title was and I see it and I yell...



What's my point.


xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo a thousand millions times as if you were a sister of mine.

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Tanya said...

I'll be praying for you. Things will work out.

At 12:46 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Are you the type of person that will be kicking yourself in 10 years and asking "What if?" That's what you have to ask yourself.

No matter what do you'll make the right decision because it will be your decision.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Beth said...

first of all, I saw My Life, and bawled my eyes out too! It was soooooo sad.....so sad.

Now, in all of my wisdom, I'm tellin you to go for it!!!! GO FOR IT!!!!! Swish, if there's any regret in my life, and I don't have many, it's that I didn't do anything for ME.....I've never lived alone. Never. I wanted to go to California and "be somebody"....never did it. I wanted to go to law school...never did it.

GO FOR IT!!!! Go for your dreams girl!!!! You only have "one life to live" so why stay "young and restless"? Go with your "Passions"!!! (See? Yu could end up like me, naming soap operas!)

Really....go for it. Do what makes YOU happy...not mom and dad, not friends, not bloggers, (cept for me! ;) ) Do what your heart tells you to do. NEW YORK NEW YORK!!!!!

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Karen said...

My closest friend went through a major job upheaval last year -- he was laid off after 17 years -- and while it's not really like what you're experiencing, I wanted to say that it provided the kick-in-the-pants he needed to make a major change he'd been thinking about. He had been talking about moving to Florida and getting a job there for the last few years, but was unsure about doing it. Luckily he got a generous severance when he parted ways with his previous employer (and he's a fanatical money-saver), so he was in a position to take the plunge. He thought about staying in the city he'd lived in for the past 20 years, but decided he probably wouldn't have a better opportunity to change his life. He was pretty scared at times, but it's worked out great. He found a great house and good job that is challenging but enjoyable. Anyway, don't know if that helps. Personally, I would be scared to death and scrambling for the safe alternative. Don't know if that helps either. :) I wish you all the best whatever you decide though!

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I hope you are able to make the right decision....or rather, the decision that is in your heart.

On a completely unrelated side note - Last Chance! My Pay It Forward contest prizes are ready to go out, and I need an address to send it to if you are willing to accept. Otherwise it'll likely get rolled into my Boob-A-Thon prize fund. :)


At 11:37 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Can I just say ditto?

I have a big practical side. That side is also friends with a big list making side. I am SO one of the people who sits down and writes down all the pros and cons. Then, I don't count them up. Nope. I assign weights to all of them and add up the weights. Wow, that sounds really sad... but it works for me!

And I can't just ditto... you'll know what to do. There's a little voice in there that's not shouting but just calmly stating what is the right thing for you. You just have to get all those other voices to shut up so you can find and listen to that little voice.

Good luck!

At 12:02 AM, Blogger Eileen said...

Yowza. Hard choices. I think you're right that no matter which way you go you'll come out all right. One thing that might make your practical side feel better- if you take the money and run- what are you going to do with your time. Not in general- but setting hard goals, timelines, deadlines. Tell yourself you focus full out, full time on your goal for X amount of time and if by then you need to get back to a day job then you'll start looking in say mid- September which still gives you MONTHS of focusing on your dreams.

Just a thought.

At 12:12 AM, Blogger Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

Have you already made this decision? My two cents...

"Every time I think about going, I feel like my SOUL is going to DIE"

That is the sentence that speaks the loudest.


And...if you've already made the decision to go...woo hoo! What a great time to be in New York.

I am excited for you and your new adventure. Have fun. Don't second guess yourself. Know that whatever decision you make is the right decision for you at this specific moment.

At 1:16 AM, Blogger Swishy said...

Can I just say how amazing each and every one of you is? I feel so lucky, in a way I'm not sure I can explain. In fact, I KNOW I can't explain it. I'm just sitting here thinking, like, what did I ever do to deserve such ... I don't know. Niceness! Thank you so, so much. You are all so smart and so kind, and I am such a lucky girl to have all of your good vibes and support. Thank you SO much!

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Angela Williams Duea said...

I loved Sliding Doors! But...I'm here to tell you to go for your dream! Who knows what will happen next? You've been offered a gift and I say, take it!

At 8:07 PM, Blogger AlaneM said...

Whatever decision you make will be right.
My momma gave me a mug long ago (after I made a hard choice) which was called don't look back. I think it's by Mary Englebright and it had a picture of a Y in the road - there is a road sign & on one side it says 'your choice" (or allong those lines, it broke a while back) and on the other 'no longer an option'
Whatever choice you make don't look back & wonder what if...you have to dive in with everything you've got. If you live with doubts you will drive yourself crazy...I should know, I'm crazy myself :)
I will pray for direction & peace for you.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger AlaneM said...

Oh yeah I forgot...
PLEASE blog about the crazy person, I LOVE it when you blog about the crazy person!!

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Drewpy Drew said...

Life is weird. No matter what you choose to do, you are choosing not to do something else. It's true in every thing you do. If you turn left, you don't turn right....

Maybe it's time to follow your bliss or maybe you need security to be happy.

Look to your heart. None of us really know what its like to be you, so don't listen to us. Look to your heart.

I know its weird to give advice telling someone not to take advice, but it does make sense in a strange way.

Peace out.

At 11:34 PM, Blogger Midwest Gent said...

In the end, the decision you will make will be right. You will be watched over and support by those around you and guided through the rough time if there are any.

I will leave you with these words from a T-Shirt I remember from twenty years ago - "Don't Die Wondering".

At 4:25 AM, Blogger Barrie said...

I absolutely hate big decisions like this. Because I'm constantly rethinking, second-guessing, revisiting. But, I think when it comes down to actually making the choice, you'll know what to do. In fact, I'm sure of it.

At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Ree said...

Well, you KNOW I know what you're going through, so when you figure it out, let me know, eh?

Until then, {{hugs}}

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Sue said...

OK, so I am a little behind in checking my bloggy friends' posts, but just had to put in my 2 cents.

This would be a tough choice for anyone, I imagine. The thought of having the whole summer off with pay would be very enticing. The fact that you are not tied down by kids or anything would be a sign that this would be the time.

My practical side would say, "stick with the sure thing." The older I get, the less I want to listen to my practical side though.

Do I sound like a mini wheat commercial? Sweet on one side, healthy on the other? LOL.

Maybe you could start a fund, "live vicariously through Swishy for the next 6 months". Just send $19.95 a month to subscribe to her blog and you too can get first hand info on her trip around the world!

At 8:19 PM, Blogger CruiserMel said...

Swish - I am a big believer in the Sliding Doors theory. Whatever will be, will be - wasn't it Doris Day who said that? And she was cute, like you. So stick with your thought that you'll "be fine." I didn't help, did I?

And "My Life"? Awe-some. It made such an impression on me. I even told my shrikologist to go see it! (whoa, tmi) I found it at Target a year ago for something like $2 and snatched that thing up like it was a mis-marked diamond ring for $10. It's great for when you just need a good cry. Matter of fact, I haven't had one of those lately, and I haven't seen the movie lately....

Good luck with your decision, but whatever you do, you must keep up the blog. That's an order.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger Jenster said...

There's no right or wrong answer so you win whatever you choose!!

Though I like the idea of you living in NYC because it's so close!


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