My life has never been boring. I have always been staunchly in the middle of chaos. It has made my life feel more exciting, dramatic, but it has also made my life impossible at times. Frantic. Like I’m about to lose my goddamn mind at any moment because why can’t anything just be calm and peaceful for one hot second? I must have had some lingering belief that A Big Life had some element of drama to it, otherwise I would not have stood for the shit I allowed myself to care about or concern myself with.
See, I’ve always wanted A Big Life. I have avoided mundanity and routine so completely, because I believed that I would get sucked into that mundanity and become a zombie, waking up years later to a life I hadn’t actually lived. And, I have never been someone interested in sleepwalking through my life. I have never wanted to be small, in ambition, stature, or life. Ordinary and average were not going to be adjectives used to describe me. Never.
But, I think I’ve had it confused. I’ve misunderstood what it means to have A Big Life. I don’t think it has to be chaos—although it certainly can be that, from time to time. I don’t think big lives need to be dramatic. I think there is room for mundanity within big lives. I think what I’ve realized is that there is no achievement large enough that I will enjoy if I can’t also find some sort of enjoyment in the mundane crawl toward that achievement. They say it’s all about the process and I think they’re right. That process is sometimes a bitch, but I can’t imagine any reward is worth using misery as its currency.
I think about this a lot. I’m about to be 30 and I’ve done a lot in my life so far. I’ve started businesses, traveled to interesting places, fallen in love, gotten married, made writing into a full time job, moved a bunch, met cool people, etc etc. I’VE DONE THINGS ALRIGHT. And, I want to do more, but it’s sort of hazy now. I used to be quite certain about how my life was going to go. It was exhausting, though. I know it’s the American Thing to want to be super industrious and create wealth out of grit and the will to work one hundred hour work weeks, but like, is that happiness? Is that REALLY the goal? To just accumulate a bunch of wealth, buy things with that money, and then work even harder to keep it all? I don’t think so! I feel like this is something that has been fed to us from our little corporate greed machines.
Sometimes I get into a weird twisty place with myself where I start realizing everything I’ve ever been taught about the world has been someone else’s perception of the world. That kind of fucks with my mind when I start thinking about that. Essentially, everything is an illusion. And, if that’s true—which I strongly believe that it is—what the hell am I doing wasting my time doing anything that does not feel true to me? How am I not constantly trying to find the truth of my own desires versus trying to measure up to what a cultural perception of success or a Perfect Life looks like? I’m the one that has to live the damn life, shouldn’t I have some say in how it unravels?
All of this is to say that lately my life has been miraculously and brilliantly boring. I was on the phone with my friend the other day and I was like, “I don’t have a lot to say about my life because IT’S BORING. IT’S ACTUALLY BORING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PROBABLY EVER!” Which, if I had told 23 year old me that 29 year old Jamie would have a boring life and be really into it, she’d be like, shut up and take a shot you idiot. And then I’d be like, shhhhh 23 year old me, you know literally nothing yet. And she’d be like, I know EVERYTHING! And then I’d laugh because, hahahahahahahaha, okay.
My life is boring. I have no present drama. My marriage is great after some rocky times. Deeper love can be regenerated and born-again, which is good to find out. I’m creating shit I care about while working alongside people who are talented and thoughtful and inspiring. I’m going to Costa Rica for three weeks next month. I enjoy quiet evenings at my apartment where I write my ~deep~ essays, one of which you are currently reading (hi!). I have time to think, to savor my life, to make rough outlines of what’s next, to actually breathe. This is a rare time and it might only last until the end of tonight, but for now, I am allowing myself a moment to just sit and be grateful for what I have. This boring, beautiful life where I’m still figuring it all out (and will be doing so until I die) and I’m open to learning and growing and I have people I love and things I care about doing and it’s happening, right now. This is it. This is the moment. And, from where I’m sitting, it’s not too bad.