Enjoy Malibu

18 Feb

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I’m kind of infamous for my rapidly changing life plans.

One minute I’m a social worker living in London.

One minute I’m a writer living in Malibu.

One minute I’m moving across the country for love.

You get it.

Your 20s are just the hardest, aren’t they?

You have so many possibilities available how do you even begin to choose?  How on earth do you steer your life?  What happens when your carefully laid plans go up in flames?

It’s a day-to-day thing for me, honestly.

For a long time I thought by making drastic changes to my life I would find whatever it was that I was missing.  That if I just moved, or just found a different career path or if this relationship WOULD JUST WORK, then I’d have it all solved.

This isn’t the case.  It never, never is.  But sometimes I have to remind myself.

Over Thanksgiving last year I was having another one of my “I must change my life!” moments.  This particular one revolved around my recent career change. “Making it as a writer is such a long shot, I need something more practical.”  In this panic mode I contacted the head of the University of Utah’s PhD in Creative Writing program and set up a time to meet with him.

I was confident that I would attend this meeting and come out of it hyped up on academia and ready to apply to the program within two weeks.  Yes, I was considering this all two weeks before applications were due.  It’s the “rapidly changing” part of the process.

I went to the meeting.  I considered five more years of academia.  I talked to much-wiser friends.

Amy said, “Jill, you are happy in Malibu.  I don’t want to see you shortchange yourself of a great experience because you’re afraid.”

Mandee said, “Jill, you are always moving around, never settled.  Just give the current plan time to pan out.  You’ve worked hard to get to this point. Enjoy it.  Do it.”

They were right, of course.  I wasn’t pursuing the PhD out of passion or excitement. It was out of fear.  It was a safety net.  A way for me to never even try at this writing thing, never give myself a chance to fail.

Every day I’m glad I stayed in Malibu.

Now, if I can make it a whole two years without changing countries, careers, or life paths I might be on to something.

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3 Responses to “Enjoy Malibu”

  1. Mindy February 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Jill, I love this. And seriously, what would we do without each other? Because we pretty much have the same life. I didn’t tell you yet how I got an offer to go work as a well-paid nanny in France for a year… but you know what? I think I’m going to stay in the country for now, too. And I think it’ll be good.

    • jillianlorraine February 19, 2013 at 12:45 am #

      Mindy, I’m so glad you are staying. And I’m so glad you are here to validate my life.

  2. Linnea Farnsworth February 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    This is a great post, Jill. I’ve never felt more lost in my life than I do right now, and I think the 20s can be some of the trickiest years of one’s life. Or really just my life, I probably don’t have any type of authority to speak for everyone.

    I think you’re in the right place, you are such a good writer.

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