Spoiled Child Syndrome

Last year was one of the most difficult and rewarding years I’ve experienced so far. To say that it ended on a high note is an understatement. On top of all of the regular holiday festivities, we got to celebrate the purchase of our first home and our engagement with all of our friends and family. We were even lucky enough to share it all with our Long Beach friends.

We got to hike to the Hollywood sign

We got to hike to the Hollywood sign

We played some pool at The Stache

We played some pool at The Stache

The boys got a ham covered in caramel and bacon...

The boys got a ham covered in caramel and bacon…

And we had our first post-engagement champagne toast!

And we had our first post-engagement champagne toast!

After such a short and eventful trip, we ended up at home in our pajamas and on the floor with the piglet for our New Year’s celebration. I couldn’t think of a better way to start a year that will surely fly by way too fast.

Our New Year's Eve.

Our New Year’s Eve.

And other than that, Russ has turned into Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor around the house (his latest escapade can be seen here) and I’ve been busy having an existential crisis. I try not to let the whole “new year, new start” thing get to me since I know that I get bored of resolutions faster than the average twenty-something. But I have to admit that when I watched a 3 minute video that someone posted on Facebook about doing what makes you happy, it zinged me a little.

“What do you desire?” were the last four words. And I still can’t stop thinking about how to answer that question.

I’ve always known, much to my father’s dismay, that money is not my motivator. I used to tell him that my career would involve running around in the mud and hugging trees for $5.00 a day as he wrote my University of California tuition check. Spoiled.

Now I find myself in my late twenties, a homeowner, and an almost wife looking back at my jobs that have left me somewhat unimpressed. I have been paid to run around in the mud. I have been paid to hug trees. I’ve been paid to catch ducks, ride ATVs, teach kids about the outdoors, and speak to local governments about their environmental policies. I’ve been paid to do some bomb ass things. And yet, after about a year of each of them, I find myself restless and unsatisfied.

I used to think that it was because I was spoiled. My grandma took me around the world one summer at a time since I was 10 years old. I didn’t pay for college. I didn’t even have a hard time getting a job in my field after I graduated. And yet, every chance I got, I took time off to run around the world and do something even more bomb ass than my job.

So maybe, instead of directing my future career path based on my experience that seems so lackluster in my heart, I should refocus my energies on things that I choose to do. I chose to save sea turtles in Costa Rica, I chose an extended stay in Malawi for the adventure (and a handsome man), I chose to walk shelter dogs on Christmas day and help rescue pit bulls, I chose to write for Girls on the Grid, I choose to contribute to this blog (every once in a while…). I’ve spent more time and money volunteering for a hodge-podge of causes than I have on my wedding. That should say something.

Wouldn’t we all love to chase adventure and write for Lonely Planet or photograph for National Geographic? I’m not delusional enough to think that I can just start getting hired for those types of jobs, but maybe there’s a more specific project for all of this. Maybe there’s a calling so specific to my life, that once I discover it, it will change the course of life for others. Or maybe I’m just so spoiled that I can’t imagine spending my life doing something that doesn’t make my heart sing. And maybe that’s not spoiled at all.

If I spend my life in a way that creates happiness in my heart, then I spend my life pouring positive energy into the universe, and whether or not there’s science or voodoo or whatever to back it up, I believe that positive energy can change the world.

There still won’t be a 2013 resolution for me. And I will most certainly get hung up on wedding details and home repairs and puppy behavioral problems at some point this year. But I feel a sense of inspiration that I lost shortly after I graduated, and I can’t wait to ride that wave to whatever adventure in my career and my life that I choose next.

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