[a very self-indulgent post about my life choices. tl;dr]
Which is, clearly, not that much of a secret. But it is actually a little bit of a secret, since there are two components of it that I am not revealing just yet.
The fact is that I do, now, have a Five Year Plan and it’s a doozy. It’s inspiring me in a way I have not felt in, oh, about five years.
Five years ago was 2009 — I was 40 and heading into the end of my marriage, the end of the job I had at the time, and the end of an era. In a more positive spin, I was heading into starting graduate school, emerging from a cocoon of grief and poor life choices, starting a second year of really effective therapy, and trying to make better health decisions. To be honest, I did not at that time have a five year plan, I was simply launching myself into the unknown which turned into a fairly comprehensive five year plan totally by accident. I wasn’t in a place to make grand plans, I was simply hell-bent on getting myself to change tracks. And I did.
Ever since I graduated and lucked into the good job I have now at FSU, I’ve been feeling kind of directionless, though. I’ve got an MLIS, a career in assistive technology and disability services, I’ve gained recognition for my grief/mourning blog Patience&Fortitude, I survived whooping cough. But other than “keep going in this general direction” I haven’t felt very motivated about myself.
I’m talking about that feeling of waking up in the morning, looking around, and asking “what am I doing with my life?” and having a ready answer that is inspiring enough to launch you into the day ahead.
I’m in a much, much better place than five years ago, when I woke up and realized I did not have much of anything to live for, nothing that inspired me or gave me purpose. I grasped at straws, and few did not slip through my fingers so here I am. That’s the good news.
But the other side of that is since the year started, I’ve been digging around looking for answers to “Where will you be in five years?” In five years I’ll be 50 years old, which certainly for women is a major milestone outshining the “Big 4-0″ by a long way. Also, my mother was diagnosed with fatal cancer at 50 and died at 52. If you think those “mere numbers” don’t shine bright on my horizon, you aren’t paying attention.
So where am I going with this? Well, those two still-secret components play huge roles in these plans, but there are other aspects that I want to talk about here.
- I want to dance. I mean, really *dance*, like someone who you would call “a dancer.” I’d love to be old and gray at the Urban Dance Camp, which I don’t even know if they let people who are my age attend? But the point is, I want to be ready if they do. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child and took tap dancing lessons for a (very) little while. “Consistency” was not a factor in my childhood in a lot of ways, so I never got to keep taking the lessons I loved so much. Right now I’m hampered by the fact that I don’t have transportation to get to classes for adults, which all seem to be held late in the day during the week in places far from where I work or live (ie not on easy bus routes). So I might go the cheesy way and buy DVD lessons or something. I mean, that’s a start, right?
- In conjunction with that, I want my health back. I was doing well on paleo up until I contracted whooping cough, which derailed my health in a lot of ways I’m only just now, over two years later, coming to understand. About a year ago I went keto and wrote extensively about how much better that made me feel. I mean really, I felt fantastic! I planned to never break that but I got derailed by thinking I could make “exceptions” for sugar which, no, no I cannot.
- I also want to to focus a little more energy on my writing career, both at Patience&Fortitude and also fiction stories I started years ago and abandoned. I may not get far with this goal, but it is important, and so it’s on the list.
Basically, in five years I want to be the person I imagine myself being: dancing, writing, and healthy. I’m NOT that person now.
I’m not in any way going to say these goals will be easy to attain. Especially going back on keto, that will be hard as hell, because I do have a serious problem with food addiction in regards to sugar/starches. (Honestly, I don’t give a flying fuck if you don’t believe me about that, it’s my body, I know it better than you do.)
My birthday is August 15th, and I’ll officially be 45 years old. I’ve got some things to shore up before the Five Year Plan is officially in motion, but I’m laying in preparations.
This is gonna be BIG.