Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rock Bottom

"And that was it. Right there. Right there. That was the moment. I suddenly realized that unless something changed soon, I was going to live a life where my major relationship was with a bottle of wine...and I'd finally die fat and alone and be found three weeks later, half-eaten by wild dogs." -Bridget Jones

I've heard that in order to change, one must first hit rock bottom. I believe I've finally done just that. If not bottom (and God, I hope it was) I certainly reached a new low last week when I found myself begging an anti-social (or possibly just schizoid) guy I really, honestly, barely know to spend more time with me. Sure, I'd had a few drinks, but that really doesn't detract from the humiliation in any way. Low point. Nothing against him, of course. In spite of his obvious personality disorder (and the fact that he now eyes me with suspicion, clearly fearing I will, at any moment, burst into hysterical tears and accuse him of being a crap friend), he's actually quite lovely. The real question is how was I reduced to this absurd behavior? Where did my life go? Where did I go wrong? How had I become needy? Because the bottom line is that's what I was. How did I end up here? And, more importantly, could it be fixed? Could I make a life worth living? Because quite simply put, this one isn't. I started this blog in hope of improving my life. As you can see from the lack of posting for over a year, follow through is not my strong point. Which could explain a lot really. I will say that I have made some tremendous strides in several areas since I last posted. I have lost approximately 50 lbs. I moved house and, in so doing, got rid of tremendous amounts of clutter. I have a roommate now (the aforementioned anti-social personality) which forces me to stay on top of cleaning. I have cultivated a much larger social circle and socialize frequently. I finished grad school and have made some progress (though slow-going) on the career path as well.

And yet, here I am. The problems may not be the same, but the situation is. This life isn't quite enough for me. The Bridget Jones quote above strikes a chord for me because it is entirely true of my life. My major relationship is with a bottle of wine and I am very likely to die fat and alone...unless something changes. And what if it doesn't? I've lost weight. I work out every day so it is likely I will lose more, but that doesn't mean I won't still be alone. I know plenty of thin people who are single. As much as I believe social engagement is important, and feel lucky to have some very good friends, at the end of the day I have to take responsibility for my own happiness. Which begs the question--can happiness be cultivated or does it just happen? My experience tells me happiness often just happens, but it can also be cultivated. So, I've decided I need to start cultivating. I need to work on staying in the moment more. Make sure I make each day count. Make sure I do at least one thing each day just for pleasure. My hope is that I can cultivate a life worth living. So, I'm starting this blog again as a way to track my progress and explore the nature of change, what works and what doesn't. And I'm giving myself a specific time frame--one year. Three hundred and sixty-five days to get a life. Wish me luck. I'm quite certain I'm going to need it. And if you've made changes in your life, I'd love to hear your story.



Dee Murray said...

I love the new look! Totally festive! That would be something that would make me happy everyday to look at! I think this is a great idea! Are you going to search out happiness or let it organically hit you or a combo of both, do you think? And, most importantly, will you make blue soup? Because that could very possibly be a very happy thing!

Kate, Dating in LA said...

I like the idea of cultivating a life worth living. I think that you do need to work at "happy" (because if you have a life full of things that don't make you happy, those things need to change), but that often it does come with a realization-- at this moment, at this time, I am happy.

Penelope said...

@Dee Murray: Thanks! I will absolutely be making blue soup as soon as I find someone who is normal and helpful in the kitchen! Happiness sometimes hits organically, but I am also going to try to cultivate it because I don't have enough of the organic variety!

@Kate: I agree that it takes some work to be happy, work at changing whatever isn't working and work at embracing what is!