What the Hell Am I Doing?

Lauren Muscarella Scrunched Face

Check out the corkboard I have in my office for jamming ideas and making words out of tacts!

A pattern is emerging. I meet someone. Then they list a series of life events like I spent three months in European hostels, a month on my mom’s ex-boyfriend’s couch, two years on Wall Street and now I’m a full-time protester.

Or, I’ve had the same dead-end job since I graduated. Now six years later all I have to show for it is a tight psoas, early on-set carpal tunnel, the most flawless Wilco Pandora station and a book shelf of MCAT for Dummies, GRE Word Games and a “What is GMAT?” pamphlet.

That conversation always ends with, “And I think what the hell am I doing with my life?” In that very moment I think, ‘I’m having a blast in this conversation. My inner Chrissy Snow actually thinks, “Man, this conversation is what life is all about, just jamming ideas.” I come in with a singsongy, “Oh, it’s fine.”

Twenty minutes later I’m usually alone… at my desk, in my house, in my car. That’s when I lose my sickeningly wide smile, the one that makes Liz Lemon type people mock me to my face then concoct intuitively accurate rumors about me behind my back. Well that delirious smile fades and I think, “Oh fuck, what the hell am I doing with my life?”

So now I look at my options. I can’t be someone who gets ‘Life is a Journey’ tattooed on my wrist in Vietnamese characters.

Lately I haven’t written much of anything. I’ve fallen behind on my work for Trauma to Art in lieu of stashing money at a fun, but seriously time consuming, job. On top of that I’m in Massachusetts when people I love most are scattered.

Not writing breaks my heart. And I am my mother’s daughter. If I haven’t perfected the perfect balance than clearly I need to be doing more. I am that cartoon with a boulder strapped to my back trudging uphill.

But please that’s a downer. My mother also showered me with praise and taught me to have a delusional confidence. Blindly think that you’re the best. Always. My current path is confusing as hell. I know six months from now it will all make sense and that new reality will have me hosting a dance party for one while jamming out to whatever Spotify will let me. (Not the Beatles, apparently.)

Do what you feel with the confidence of a shark.

Thanks for reading. Writing gives me a thrill that others might get from a Conehead Sundae (available at still-operating Friendly’s).

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1 Comment

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One response to “What the Hell Am I Doing?

  1. Lauren,
    I think you are exactly where you are supposed to be and life reveals itself to you moment by moment when you are ready for whatever is coming next. I think your Mom is probably watching over you and whispering in your ear to be patient with yourself – preparing you for your next big adventure! Hoping the new year bring you more wonderment as that is where dreams become reality.

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