Wow! I just found you through The Skinny Confidential and fell instantly in love with your sage advice served with a side of sass. Please help me fix my life!! :) I'm about to turn 30 and while I have spent my 20s traveling a ton, living abroad in big cities there and stateside, “living it up,” so to speak, a bad breakup sent me reeling back home. Like HOME home, where I grew up, in Orange County, California to gather myself and heal. And now I'm stuck. I haven't made friends here in The OC... not for lack of effort, more for lack of similarity. It's so isolating. Dating has revealed the same problem. You might be thinking, “Leave! What are you still doing there?!” Right? I think that all the time, too, but I have a job I love for the first time EVER. I feel made for this role, and I've never felt so essential at work - it's kinda nice! Also, my entire family is here and they are so happy to finally have me back, and they are the best. Sometimes it just doesn't seem like enough though. I feel incredibly torn. Neither "stay" or "go" seem like the clear answer. I feel stagnant. I'm struggling with understanding if these are normal feelings after my years of taking risks and adventuring. Do I move back to my old city, where my old friends are, and step back into my old life again? Should I kiss my family goodbye AGAIN, and leave behind the only job I've ever loved? What do I do?
Squeezed in The OC
Dear “Squeezed in The OC,”
I am so glad you found me! Even better is that you're finding yourself.
Here’s the great news, YOU’RE NOT STUCK! You’re with a family you adore and who adores you right back and you found yourself a job that you're made for! Go baby go!!!! You want me to fix your life, but you’re doing great! It seems to me that there is very little to “fix” except dare I say, now don’t get mad, just a suggestion, but perhaps just your outlook and your “tude” (attiTUDE that is).
Did you hang up on me? Are you still speaking to me? I hope so! You spent your 20’s doing, dating, going, exploring and now it's time to work! How flipping cool is that? You’ve landed a job where you feel valued, essential and in your words “made for this role.” Don’t you dare walk away from a family you love and a job that fulfills you to go in search of a man. Too honest? Too much? Too harsh? Too bad! I love that you wandered about for an entire decade. You’ll never regret that. Ever. But walking away from a job that makes you feel valued and challenged and essential, that move, you will wind up regretting.
You are not stagnant, sweet girl. You are choosing to focus on career. If you write to me in 5 years and you're still living in your parent’s home, in the bedroom that you grew up in, surrounded by Leonardo DiCaprio posters in your twin bed then we will have a different kind of conversation. You making a conscious decision to focus on work at this time in your life is not my definition of stuck or stagnant. My guess is that your new found faith in your ability to shine at work will lead to other opportunities. Doors open when we do well. Having a layered life requires discipline, focus, and always some sacrifice. It’s a choice to cultivate a career, a choice to be an interesting human.
You’ve had a social life! And of course you’ll have one again! You’ve danced on tables, and guess what? You’ll dance on more! I promise. I’m having more fun at 46 dancing on them than I ever did in my 20’s. They’re just a little bit more stable now.
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