Who Needs to Vent?

I’m going to be honest: I have no idea what I’m doing. Like, NO IDEA. And I’m so supremely sick of it. I’m sick of being sick of it. I want to wake up and be a successful and savvy business woman with a closet full of beautiful shoes and one of those white marble counter kitchens that never gets dirty.

But I keep doubting myself. And I’m SCARED. My fear is loud and unruly and constantly interrupting. If it were a person, it’d be that chronically nervous girl in middle school who never wanted to do anything fun. The one who held all the jackets while everyone else went on the rides. Raise your hand if you, too, are sick of these quarter-life crises.

All I know is that everyone else’s careers and relationships and even their struggles look glamorous on the outside. Jesus — what people order at a freakin’ restaurant makes me envious; their plate goes by and I think, damn…I should have ordered that. 

My mom refers to it as “growing pains.” I’m sorry but AREN’T I DONE GROWING? And here’s the scariest part of all: that successful business woman with the shoes? Is she happy? Who say’s she isn’t asking herself the same questions that I’m asking myself right now? And isn’t that most TERRIFYING PART?!

Gah. If you just feel like venting, here is the place. It’s safe. I’m here. We’re here. Let’s continue to do our best and unfollow people on Instagram. Hang in there.

tumblr_ns5t5ijiet1qzr633o1_500Top photo by Ashley Corbin-Teich. Bottom via Horngy.

14 thoughts on “Who Needs to Vent?

  1. girlllll!!!! I just found your blog through Cupofjo and this post is why I read blogs. Because every time I feel like im the only one with thoughts of fear, not knowing what im doing, who i am i read a post like this and realize its normal and im not falling down a rabbit hole of crazy. The internet also does lead to huge amounts of comparing and jealousy so i agree unfollowing is necessary sometimes. I cant wait to read more of your writing! Thank you for the warm hug that this gave me :)

  2. YES GIRL YES. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m right there with you. Talking to my best friends about it usually helps a bit, but still. IT’S HARD. xoxoxox

  3. Oh Girl,
    Right there with you. I’m 34, succesful, have the career, blah, blah, blah. But uh… it sucks. I also have two kids, and a husband and I’m thinking of quitting my job. Because…. I think there is more to life. Like, getting to go to all of my kids activities, and enjoying life. which is not currently happeneing. Honestly? I look at the glimpses of your life and I LOVE IT. And I’m a bit jealous. I’m thinking of quitting and taking a few clients with me – to uh… make money. and still live. I’m both empowered and terrified by current plan. But….. my overall full circle moment of realization (That I’ve repeated a million times today) is: no one makes it out alive. We cant line our coffins with money. the over-arching goal should be happiness. and whose to say what that is? you define that for you. I define it for me.
    That marble counter top you speak of? It would get stained with wine. and keys would end up on it, and kids toys, and dog toys. and you know what? thats okay. the wooden counter top is okay too. The small but cozy house. Its the people that make your life, and your happiness. I dont think anyone really every figures it out, and “growing up” is a constant – we never stop growing, and we shouldnt. We as people change! I’m goingot stop rambling now. I love your blog and openness and I really appreciate you and this post. Because, hey! I’m not alone…..

    • Sarah,
      I also wanted to say thanks for sharing. I’m also 34 and in a massive career transition–I have no idea what I’m going to be doing in the next few months, and I have a tendency to look at people my age who have all the things you mention–successful career, nice home, marriage, children–and I think, “my life would be so much better if I had all that.” It’s so easy to forget that there is no solution to the difficulty of being human. Our problems don’t go away just because we get the things we want (or that the world tells us we should want). So thank you for the reminder that it’s not perfect for anyone–the older you get it’s so easy to feel less grown up than people around you who have hit markers you haven’t, but you’re right: we’re all always growing.

  4. Joy, thanks for this. As I mentioned in my reply to Sarah, I needed to read this at this moment in my life right now. Hang in there yourself–growing up is hard, but more people feel that way than don’t. It’s just not something we share very often–so thanks for opening up this space for that.

  5. Just some things to think about:

    a.) 57% of people in the US couldn’t come up with $500 in an emergency (so everyone doesn’t have as much money as you think they do) and

    b.) Harvard researchers recently determined that close relationships make people truly happy

  6. My words to live by are don’t think too hard (hence my Access Hollywood and US magazine addiction) and never say no to an opportunity.

  7. Oh…so I’m not the only one! Except I’m twice your age and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up! I’m married to a wonderful man and we raised two successful children. That was my most important job. I consider that my greatest legacy. “Career-wise” I’ve been in the child care field for 20+ years and I’m glad I was able to help families with that part of their lives, also. Do what you love. Love what you do. As the famous quote goes…”Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”

  8. I just found your blog this past weekend (through Cup of Jo) and am loving it.

    I have no clue what I will do with my life. I’m just finishing up a PhD, and after so many years of school I feel like I wasted most of my 20s and a year of my 30s. I’m not sure if a) I want to be an academic and b) If I can even find a job as an academic (universities are moving more and more to contractual faculty). It’s just so scary. Not knowing what to do. How life’s going to look, who I am meant to be. I feel so much what you are saying here. Thank you for this post, for being so open and honest.

  9. your post (and all the comments) gave me so many thoughts to unpack! 1.) I think things always look better from the outside looking in! we are all so used to our own lives that we don’t realize the unique way our lives actually suit us. 2.) the growing pains don’t ever stop, they just get called by different names; that is to say, they are not related to personal maturity, just new challenges that occur at later points in life. 3.) the lady with the shoes and the white countertop might be happy or she might not be happy but either way it definitely doesn’t have anything to do with the countertop. has a lot to do with the shoes though 😉

  10. Joy! Thank you so much for this. I also found you through CoJ, and while I love CoJ, it often feels so out of reach to me, like it’s geared more to women in their 30s with babies and actual disposable income. Love getting the 20something take from you.

    I’m having a particularly tough year and it was really helpful to hear your honesty. I hope things get easier for you (and me!) soon. Stay warm on the cape!

  11. Ill reiterate what others have said about your blog- I read it because it’s relatable. I’m really bored of the white marble kitchen counter anyway, Joy…aren’t you?
    I recently quit a corporate job and am trying to regress. When I was a kid and I pictured myself as an adult…this wasn’t it.
    That image was NOT sitting in a corporate office saying things like, “expenditure” and “PO with a NET45″ or “pro-rated reconciliations with, or without taxes?” ….excuse me while I light my computer on fire.

    I left and got a job at a documentary film festival that I’ve always loved. It’s an easy job sometimes, but a modicum of creativity and good people helps. I make absolutely no money, so I can’t buy anything new. I cook from scratch and stretch the possibilities of a bag of lentils. But I won my Oscar Pool the other day, and with my winnings, I bought a gorgeous loaf of artisan bread. Then I waltzed down to my neighbourhood bookstore, grabbed a copy of Joy Williams Ninety-Nine Stories of God, and walked all the way home through the park.
    It’s a bit closer to the image I had as a kid now. So I’m keeping things simple.

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