I"d like to answer this but the migraine I have now won't let me think that hard. Ping me in a few days?
2007-11-23 12:52 pm (UTC)
My life is now very much my own. I struggled for a long time to figure out exactly who I was, and what I wanted my life to look like, and how I wanted to live. It was a long and very difficult process, but through therapy, love, and hard work, I succeeded.
Is it the life my parents wanted for me? Who the hell knows. That would have meant that they cared enough about me to have opinions.
Is it the life I thought I was supposed to live? Probably not. But then again, I've never been sure what "supposed to" would have looked like. I guess if you look at it in a more abstract sense, I'm living a thoughtful and people-filled life, so perhaps I am.
The temporary life? No, this is most assuredly and happily very real.
Stumbled onto or carefully constructed? Both. Random events have shaped my life and been a vector for change. What I did with those events, and how I integrated them into my life was conscious.
Good questions :)
My life, definitely, for good or for ill.
Not the life my mother intended, and she specifically told me that singers were weak and lazy and that anyone who chose that route didn't deserve respect. *laugh* I didn't choose music to thwart her, though, I chose it because I can't choose something else.
Somewhere I still believe the life I'm supposed to live involves being in a tour bus or a hotel room most of my existence, but oddly enough it never involved being famous. I'm getting a bit long in the tooth to think that will ever happen for real, but it might. *shrug*
The life I'm living is a direct result of the kind of person I am and the choices I've made, for or against stability. There was really no stumbling, just a kind of crooked path due to priority shifts along the way.
I've never been a different person, or constructed a hard and fast life plan, but my life is okay. It's not perfect (duh), and there are circumstances that should change for me to be 100% happy, but every day I do small things to help that happen. If my life isn't what or where I want it to be, I'm responsible for fixing it. Slow, but worth it.
Edited at 2007-11-23 05:09 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely living my own life. A lot of the choices I've made along the way (leaving Columbia, the community I've constructed, moving to California, the people I've dated, plus a fair amount of things they don't really know about) are not ones my parents would or did approve or understand, but I've ended up in a place that fits pretty well into their ideas. I think they rather expected that I would do something more spectacular in the way of a career, but I don't think the fact that I didn't (or haven't yet, who knows) bothers them.
In many ways, I find it surprising how much my life today is exactly what I wanted and predicted for myself when I was in college. I have a fantastic marriage with a gorgeous, wonderful guy and we live with our beautiful baby in a lovely home and socialize with many of the people I thought then would be my friends forever.
The sense of a temporary life was much stronger before I married Jason and before I had a child. This is definitely my beautiful life. It has its ups and downs, its satisfactions and discontents on a micro-level, but overall it's just what I thought I wanted and turns out to be fairly splendid.
Now if I could only write that damn novel :)
It's definitely not a life I planned... and to say I stumbled into it is not wrong, but of course I am very much complicit in where it is; my life is very much the result of choices I make and made.
It's definitely temporary, in the sense that tomorrow and next month and next year and next decade will be different lives. But it's also stable, in the sense that next year will follow quite naturally from this year.
It certainly isn't the life my parents wanted me to have, though my surviving parent has come to terms with it well.
All of that said, it doesn't seem quite right to say it's mine.
I guess the best way I can say it is that I share a collective life with a number of people I know.
If I lived the life my parents wanted me to live, I'd still be a clerk at UMass, making $17k/yr., moving around every 6 months to find housing, and scraping money together for food.
They definitely disapproved of me dumping my 'State job with a pension' (ha!) to take the job at FTP Software, which led to a long successful career in tech!
Hard won, fucked up at times, deep flawed in others, fantastic and delightful when I stop and think about it; simply and exactly what I want at times, and a complex blend of the wants and needs of partners and friends at other times, but mine none the less.
I take full responsibility for it, but not full credit.
Still, I do think it's fair to call it mine.
None of the above-- I'm not sure anyone wants it all that much.
And yes, it's temporary, but it wants change, not permanence.
At the moment... it's as much Jet's life as mine, and a bit of John's thrown in as well and I'm actually finding slivers that I actually own for myself. That... surprises me and delights me each day.
It was, for the longest time, the life my parents wanted me to live, but were aghast at my actually living it to the level I got to. It was odd to realize they didn't even understand where it was I'd gotten to, even though they'd pushed so hard to get me there. The management and communication parts of it were so foreign to them as to be nearly frightening.
Now, though, my retirement is what my parents abhor. But I'm starting to find out what I actually chose through them and what I can now choose for myself. And I'll admit that I stumbled into this part of my life, totally unexpected.
I realize that it's all mine, in the end. Even when I make my choices in order to please others, they were still my decisions. Still... it's better to be aware, now, when I choose to give part of my life to help out others that it's really my desire to do so. Different than just pleasing them, too. So it's something new for me that's been pretty good.