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.