the frustrations with birthdays

Last week I got asked by a friend “what satisfies you in life? … what is your goal?”

I was having a dark, depressing self pitying ‘post holiday blues day’ and his question annoyed me … ALOT! It seemed too big for me to answer.

He then proceeded to to tell me that ‘it’s not a big question. it’s simple. what will make you happy?”

Which then annoyed me even more. Needless to say the conversation spiraled downward. I became defensive and he proceeded to tell me what my problem was. Which again … spiraled us further.

Friends who love you aren’t scared to call you on your stuff!
I walked away from that conversation genuinely annoyed. Annoyed at him for pushing my buttons and annoyed at myself not knowing the answers to his questions. I really felt like I should know cos everyone on the planet knows (don’t they?) and I was the only loser that didn’t.

Truth is happiness is a state of mind and a state of emotion that passes. It comes and goes. What makes you happy today, may not make you happy tomorrow (hence high divorce rates and why people change their jobs). It’s actually why people change who they are in any given moment – because they’re unhappy so they move towards what they think will bring them happiness … and in some instances satisfaction and contentment will do over happiness.

Ok I know that was not the point of his question and I’m not using the above paragraph to avoid his question either.

But in all honestly, I feel inadequate against the person I think I should be. And this is what makes me unhappy.

I feel like I’m suppose to be married with kids, in a big house playing wife, working is some high paying corporate job doing lots of charity work.

Why am I bringing this up? I turn 32 tomorrow and I feel like I should have achieved more by now.

Once upon a time birthdays meant presents and play time. Now a days it’s a time to reflect on the last 12 months and evaluate what you have achieved (and not achieved) and set goals for the next 12 months. Well this year I’m going to say screw that. I am over playing this game of trying to be better than myself. Who created the damn game anyway?! And why are the rules so lame?!

This year I’m going to just be me. With all my flaws and unachieved goals. So what if I keep changing my mind about what I want to do. So what if I like my single life. So what if I haven’t achieved half of my goals because they weren’t really my goals to begin with. So what if I don’t know what I want to do next with my life. It’s the ongoing continuous discovery makes me who I am and keeps me striving for more. I’d rather fail at many things than give up on everything.

So in a round about way … him pushing my buttons has lead me to the conclusion that there is no point pretending and wishing I was someone else living another persons life because that would mean I would miss all the beauty in mine. Thank you dear friend for annoying me that day. You have given me the best gift one could give on my birthday. Self acceptance.

As to the answer to the big Q’s my friend asked …

“What satisfies me?” … in the dictionary to satisfy is “to meet the expectations, needs, or desires of someone”. So to ask the question .. “what satisfies my life” would assume that life meets my expectations and it never does … it either dissapoints me or gives me more that what I could have dreamed of. The question almost doesn’t make sense to me.

“What’s my goal?” … if referring to life goal … my goal would be create a legacy (most probably art in all forms including writing / film etc-) and be a catalyst for transformation and self expression on the planet.

“What makes me happy?” at the moment directing photo shoots and Jamie Oliver’s truffle pasta.

Strangely enough, I now feel like I can answer the question of ‘what satisfies me’ … knowing I did a brilliant job and being appreciated for my work – @ work and in this new hobby of mine.

So .. to be or not to be … that is still the question.

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Comments
3 Responses to “the frustrations with birthdays”
  1. Tori says:

    Thao
    who says that by the time ur 32 u have to be “married with kids, in a big house playing wife, working is some high paying corporate job doing lots of charity work”. Life is what u make of it and as is happiness…whos to say that every married house wife with high paying corporate jobs are “happy” or “satisfied”, I personally know of allot of people who aint.

    Bdays should mean presents and play time, it doesnt ever need to change…age is nothing but a number, if you we ever have the opportunity to chat in the near future, u will realise that Im the same Tori Pham as I was in our high school days. Nothing has changed…

    Ive learnt never to expect and you wont be disappointed…

    Cheer up dear friend, for tomorrow is a celebration, a celebration of life – and the love and laughter that you bring to people you love and care for. Happy 32nd Thao!!!

    I love this quote from Eminen…

    “The truth is you dont know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride and nothing is guaranteed…by Eminen

  2. Lisa says:

    “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

    – M. Scott Peck

  3. 'a pencilled note....' says:

    C’est La Vie!

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