bucket list

Every year around my birthday I write a bucket list for the year to come. It’s a way of reminding myself that I still have plans and that I still want things from life – which sounds odd,  but for someone who has spent most of her “good years” reading books and working hard to receive degrees,  it is a necessary thing to remind myself that there is something else – or at least that there should be something else – in my life other than work.

With my birthday only a few days away,  I sat down today to go through my last bucket list (did everything except “only date guys I really want to date”, because –  believe it or not – I haven’t been on a date in almost 16 months). I got my state exam. I attended all my family members’ birthdays,  which isn’t as easy as it may sound (but that’s a story for another time).  I bought a car.  I managed to keep my plants alive.  I went on a vacation.  I found a job as a teacher.  …

Having achieved all these things, I’m not sure what I should do next.  I got the job – not counting school,  I worked for 7 long years to be finally able to cross that item off my list (counting school,  it’s actually 20 years…). Isn’t that what people want?  The dream job.  I have the dream job.  I live the dream.
But all I do is work and work and work and then maybe sleep for a while before going back to work.  It’s not what I thought it would be like. And my work is so incredibly time-consuming that I don’t find the time for anything else.  I work 60+ hours per week.  Since the beginning of the school year I had two weekends off – I was sick once and the other time my sister got married.  It’s not like I take off work to do something for myself.  I don’t enjoy having reached this point in my life.  Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I used too many colors to paint this picture.  Maybe my mind hasn’t yet realized what I’ve achieved. It’s just that I can’t take even a minute to fully appreciate it all, because the minute I’ve achieved something, people will inevitably ask what I will do next.

And today, I was unable to answer this question. I don’t know what I want to do next. I don’t know what I should put down on my bucket list for next year. I just don’t know.

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