Ever since I graduated from college two years ago (exactly two years ago today!!) I think my attitudes towards certain things in life have changed. I’ve also been reading a lot of PF blogs, and I think this has contributed as well.

I think that most of us are raised to want the “American Dream.” But what is this dream that we envision? A big fancy house, nice cars parked up front, a vacation home, and a sparkling hunk of a diamond on your left hand (if you’re a girl), and to climb that corporate ladder like no other!! I never realized how engrained this idea is in our minds. Even the idea of getting married and having children…you never doubt that its not supposed to happen.

I might have mentioned this before, but I was sitting around with my mom, aunt, and sister one day when I mentioned “I think my next car is going to be a used one.” (I currently have a lease) Well, they nearly fell out of their seats and then they began to try their hardest to convince me NOT to do it!! It was an eye opener for me.

When we were younger my sister and I would talk about our dream homes. They had countless rooms, a pool house, a game room, huge kitchen….nowadays I can’t think of a house that big without thinking about how much energy it would take to maintain that house. How much money would go to a house that I wouldn’t even use half of. My thoughts have shifted from wanting it all, to just wanting enough.

When I was getting close to completing my degree I envisioned where I would be working. I tried to envision myself there, and tried to imagine how long it would take to get me promoted to a great position. Now when I think of that promotion, I just think about my bosses and how their hair has thinned and grayed since I met them, how when I get into work at 8am they’ve already been there several hours, and when I leave past 5 they still have a good few hours left until they will allow themselves to go home. I don’t want that stress anymore. I don’t want to live to work. I don’t need a luxury car, I don’t need a McMansion…

Have I lost my ambition?

I have really been torn with these thoughts for almost a year now. I’m happy with my career choice, I just don’t want it to be the center of my life. One part of me thinks I’m just being lazy and that I just don’t want to try as hard as I should….the other part of me says “screw what you ‘should’ be doing its your life, and it doesn’t have to fit someone else’s mold.”

A few months ago an even more frightening thought entered my head….maybe I’m not supposed to have kids? How are you supposed to answer something like that?! I’m not too worried about this now. I’m not married and I’m young, but the realization that everything isn’t written in stone really shook me up. I guess thats what the quarterlife crisis is all about. Figuring out who you are and where you’re supposed to go. The thought of picking the wrong answers though really freaks me out. I could also go into my thoughts on my relationship with my BF, and where that is going…but I’m afraid I could go on with that for days.

I digress, but what I was getting at is how do you really know? How am I supposed to know if I’m really doing what I want, and I’m not just settling for a path of less resistance? How do I know its not just what I want right now, and not what will be best for me in the future? I don’t want to settle, but I don’t want to spend my life chasing a dream that isn’t mine.

[sigh]. I thought I was getting over this quarterlife crisis nonsense…I guess its only begun.