“When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.”
Ever get that horrible sinking feeling where you realise you’re a bit stuck?
Not stuck on a hard maths problem or a work-based dilemma – but properly stuck. Mired in the trappings of everyday life.
Stuck hard down like chewing gum.
It’s a horrible feeling, like a persistent thud at your temple. A restlessness. The inability to sleep easily. A nothingness – but not quite because it’s not as bleak as that. You’re perfectly happy but it’s all a bit meh.
But when did it start being like this?
When did meh raise its apathetic head?
Something happens, I think, between childhood and adulthood that just sucks away the enthusiasm out of everything.
Being “an adult” brings with it worries: money, relationships, jobs, and friendships. We start pitting ourselves against others in the rat race, worrying why we haven’t had a promotion or a proposal or children. And we’re so busy worrying about all this stuff that we forget to stop and enjoy ourselves.
We’re on this endless countdown to something: six weeks until that holiday, three weeks until a long weekend, 5.5 hours until the end of the day – we are all wishing away our lives.
I am guilty of doing this!
In my eagerness to get going on the big trip, I’ve been counting down the weeks, days, hours, minutes until I can say aurevoir. I am such a clock watcher, waiting for the hands to strike 5:30 and you don’t see me for dust (…well, not until the next day, anyway).
But I am getting annoyed with myself. Life is really short. This is something I know all too well.
Life doesn’t care about your plans. It doesn’t care that in two weeks, three days and seven hours you’ll be heading to Greece or whatever, because it’s going to do as it pleases.
Like me, you might feel a bit stuck at the moment. Its Autumn, the weather is starting to suck, we’re all saving for something, and most of us have already had our holiday for the year, but its time to be a bit more excited about things. Its time to stop looking at it as being “stuck” and more of a “hiatus,” a time to rethink things and come up with a better strategy for achieving our goals.
So, yeah. I’m trying to look on the bright side of feeling a bit stuck by kicking meh to the curb, and replacing it with actually getting stuff done and making the most of what I’ve got.
Here are a few things I’ve been up to recently:
- Writing – blogging, writing features, working on the novel – anything I can get my grubby little paws on really. I really looking to write as I travel so if you know anyone who is interested, or open to submissions and pitches, I’m all ears.
- Going on journeys in the UK – with the Big Trip looming, I’m trying to snatch as much time with my favourite people while I still can. I’ve just organised a trip to see my little London family in December, particularly my old housemate and my childhood best friend (plus this little fella).
- Reading everything I can get my hands on – On the reading list at the moment:
Vivian versus America by Katie Coyle
Lonely Planet – New Zealand
Lonely Planet – North America
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
- Planning the Big Trip – visas, insurance, itineraries, flights … there’s just so much to sort out!
- Celebrating big birthdays
- Hanging out with old friends and celebrating my – gasp – 29th birthday! 12 months until the big 3-0. So looking forward to making the last year of my twenties an unforgettable experience
- Spending time with The Rents
- Changing my shopping habits – swapping heels for walking boots and pretty dresses for waterproof jackets. As much as I really want to buy cute winter boots and endless woollen jumpers (to which I am drawn like a moth to a flame), T-shirts, bikinis and travel essentials are high on my shopping list.
- Learning to Drive – well, trying to anyway. I am 29 years old and cannot drive. As it turns out, I’m not a “natural driver.” Not one bit. But I suppose there are no surprise there though! If I manage to take my test before the end of January, it will be nothing short of a miracle (and will make my parents very very happy because they are sick of me cadging lifts when I’m living in The Shire).
Do any of you suffer from the dreaded Meh? Do you feel stuck? Are you sick of the never-ending countdown? Have you got any handy tips for eradicating boredom? What are you lovely lot doing to make things happen for you?
Let me know here, or drop me a tweet @emmayatesbadley! You can also come see me on facebook/emmaiswritinganovel