Last Thursday I stumbled across salon.com article, Generation X gets really old: How do slackers have a midlife crisis? I read with interest how those of us born in the late sixties through 1980 are solidly in or approaching midlife. Our parent’s model of success: college and a ‘good’ job with a retirement pension track is not realistic for me. The article reminds me why I always hated my generation’s label as slackers…but as I stand securely in midlife all of a sudden I’m like ‘woah, I’m nowhere I thought I would be at this age; am I a high-performing slacker?’
I quickly forgot about this question as I prepped for a girls’ weekend trip to Ocean City. I spent the weekend catering to my mid-life body’s needs while partying (i.e. drinking a glass of water after each shot and margarita). Throughout the weekend discussions were had about our futures and what we want for them. All of us are 35 and up still working on our happily ever after, which for me is gaining control over how I spend the hours of each day of this life I have. I used to think that the amount of money I had in the bank was a full expression of my success, but now I’m not so sure.
I’ve decided I don’t want to report to any office job, day in and day out for as long as I shall live. No thanks! Don’t get me wrong, knowing where your next paycheck is coming from means having stability but as much as that is something I value, I can’t seem to shake the fact that the only way for this Gen Xer to be successful is to let go of the traditional models of work, which means, dare I say it- entrepreneurship!
Just today that word, entrepreneur, became real for me. It’s a scary word, because it means taking a risk and although I’m a risk-taker there are always caveats. Here’s an example, after college I moved to LA but not after my friends spent the better part of a week calling me daily and pitching why I should live there. Ok, so I end up living there and decide I would like to be a stand-up comedian, but then I’m too scared to do open-mics. Then I decide to try my hand at improv (comedy but different) by signing up for a Groundlings Funshop class; the Groundlings is an improv school that trained many SNL alums including Jimmy Fallon. So I sign up, attend every class, do really well and then freak out at the end: miss the last class and never apply to attend the school for fear of auditioning. Is this the Gen X slacker in me? I don’t know but I’m noticing a pattern here. Each time I take one of these leaps: moving to LA or taking an improv class, despite my fears nothing BAD happens. That’s where my focus needs to be. I gain memories I will fondly look upon for the rest of my life…so back to that entrepreneurial spirit I need to embrace. As fearful as I am about taking certain chances I. HAVE.TO.DO.IT! I have to plot a plan so I can begin to set my life on the course I want as a successful freelance writer, author and storyteller. A friend suggested checking out SistaSense to get started. That is what I did today. After this I need to write down what I’m going to do every day THIS WEEK toward that goal. If you have any recommendations PLEASE SHARE!