my least favorite personal question(s)

Yes, folks, I have returned. My tail is between my legs and I am embarrassed. My last post was over 2 years ago and, here I am, returning again for a 3rd shot at blog marriage.

I am not going to rant about why I left because, honestly, life happened and I have no other explanation. 2016 was a literal blur. We bought a house, changed cities; I left the warm embrace of Google and excelled in my new job in the always amped “startup world”; my sister (and best friend!) got married. 2017 began. Family health drama continued, exacerbating my physical manifestation of anxiety; Alex and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary and decided to make forever a real thing (and had the best weekend celebrating); my beautiful sister had my even more beautiful first niece and I now understand baby fever…because I have it. Suddenly it’s November and despite only being 28 years old, I’m starting to understand the crisis that comes upon those that are approaching their 30s. I’m quite literally freaking out about life.

Those of you that are close friends of mine (who am I kidding, you guys are probably the only ones reading this) know that my least favorite part about living in the Bay Area is the fact that where you work is largely thought to be what shapes your worth. It’s quite literally the first question someone asks you––assuming they aren’t asking for your name––and the passion and vigor with which you answer dictates how the rest of the conversation will go. Social situations are essentially interviews and sometimes feel akin to what I would imagine fundraising roadshows go. Suddenly you are the CEO of your life, albeit a life wholly centered on your career and nothing else.

Progressing further into my “late 20s” has only made my annoyance in these interactions more pronounced, and that is putting it kindly. I mostly choose to entirely disengage but if I am not successful, I can’t help but take the question personally. Is my job really all that you think I am? What happened to truly getting to know someone, understanding the things that get them out of bed in the morning? Maybe it is their job. Am I wrong that my vision of life and satisfaction in that life is not fully substantiated on what I do day to day? THIS IS MY BRAIN.

It gets worse.

Naturally, I tried to tackle this phenomenon head on by trying to ask the meaningful questions of those around me. Also naturally, the questions then get turned on me. My new least favorite questions are: What are you passionate about? What would you be doing with your time if you had all of the money in the world? I have no answer. Or, I suppose I do as long as sleep, and snuggle with my dog are acceptable responses.

Here’s what I’ve realized: I have spent my entire life doing exactly what is expected of me. Excel in high school, get into a great college, go to said great college, graduate from college and get a great job, continue great job for as long as humanly possible. Never once have I taken a chance on anything. Truly. I am my own harshest critic and this I take as a fact: I have always played it safe. I despise this about myself.

But, at least I know. Now I can consciously give myself permission to be uncomfortable and make choices that are different or unexpected. I can’t say that I’ll make them right away, but acknowledging that the door is there is something in and of itself.

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