Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Perfect Happy Life

One of my greatest fears is waking up one morning and realizing that I have somehow walked onto a life path that I was pressured onto because of society's norms, because of responsibility, because of the examples of the good American citizen climbing the career ladder with their white picket fences, mortgaged homes, bank accounts full of money for their children's university degrees and 401Ks for retirement.

In an early Chengdu morning after walking for an hour along the river of fishermen and retired people exercising by the way of sword tai chi I arrived at the downtown shopping mall to a closed doughnut joint that wouldn't open till 9 am. I guess in China, doughnuts are not really a breakfast before work food yet. After spending hours eating doughnuts, drinking coffee, writing, drawing and watching the western pop music of Britney, Madonna, and Christina Aguilera, videos that after living abroad for 4 years seemed extra shocking, I walked back to the PC office along the main drag bombarded by shop after shop, by restaurant after restaurant, a never-ending street of consumerism. I had a whole day to "waste" waiting for a TB test to be checked and waiting for my 9:20 pm train to depart. I sat in the PC office reading books about personality traits defined by genetic coding and personality characteristics defined by learned behavior: What color is your Personality? by Carol Ritberger and Finding Your Own North Star: claiming the life you were meant to live by Martha Beck.

It was a perfect day: walking, observing people, writing, drawing, reading, watching music videos, eating sushi buffet for dinner, experiencing life at a slow pace full of the things I love to do.

Some people say, "Jennifer you are crazy for wanting to stay in Peace Corps for 5 years."

After reading and taking a quiz in the book Finding Your Own North Star, I have realized that I am living the life I am meant to live. I am on my true path, a path guided by my true nature, the joys of the things I love to do, to see, to experience.

Sometimes though I doubt this life I am leading and start worrying about my future, the career I am told that I must have, the money I am told I must make, the security I must save for retirement and poor health.

I haven't figured out how to combine the life I am meant to live with the responsibilities that society warns and pressures me about.

Maybe though I actually don't have to find the balance and if I did find a balance maybe I wouldn't be on the right path, wouldn't be living the life I am meant to live, would actually have to read more self-help books like Finding Your Own North Star from front to back and find a life coach to find my way back to today's life, the one that I am happily living.

1 comment:

M said...

Wait, Brittany as in Britney ? :)
yeah, you have been abroad for too long haha. Not that you're missing out in any way!

ha, it's all about living in the moment. Some might think it's foolish, some might think it's the only way to actually live. For that one, it's just easier not to decide, until something makes you decide?