Positively Critical

"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope." — Barack Obama

What About My Dreams?

It’s pity party time all over the world, and you are cordially invited.

Pity party session – Take 1

January 26th, 10:30PM, Madrid time. – Two career-minded, 33 year-old, Puerto Rican cat ladies were chatting on Facebook. Flight Risk, the girly one, lives in the states. This is what she wrote.

Oh, Mims! I’m really tired of working. So, so tired! I’m working like a fucking bitch. Long hours, never-ending days… After three years of being on a break, I needed to thrive and be successful. Now I resent it. I feel like I’m wasting my life away in an office. Every day I take a step in the opposite direction of my dreams. But all the opportunities life offers me seem to be aligned with my current situation, and I’m over it.

Flight Risk is 33, single, and an overachiever. To the outsider, she leads a perfect, glamorous life. When alone with her thoughts in the real world, all she dreams about is starting a family.

Pity party session – Take 2

February 5th, 10:05PM, Madrid time – Two career-minded Puerto Rican cat ladies were chatting on Whatsapp. The oldest one, Rocking A, lives in the States. This is what she wrote.

Today was one of those days I should’ve just called in sick and avoided all the drama the day has thrown at me. Have you ever thought that if you were a slacker (career-wise), you’d be more successful in your personal life? That you would take more care of your personal shit and be happier? I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. If I were to stress over my personal shit like I do over work, I would devote more time to making myself happy.

Rocking A is 36 year-old overachieving wife and mom. To the outsider, she is driven; in control; content. In reality, she dreams of a life where she doesn’t always have to be in control. She hopes to one day be able to turn her passion for books into a profitable career.

What is my conclusion after this massive intercontinental display of self pity? Simple.

Being intelligent, independent and self-sufficient is passé, overrated, OUT.OF.STYLE. Over it. When I think of all those times I judged lady cats all over the world who’ve chosen a husband and family over a career and independence, I want to kick myself very, very hard. I have a newfound respect for them. They were the ones who had it right all along, I was just ignorant and very, very envious.

Right about now you might feel inclined to join all those people out there who think that we are, indeed, being overly dramatic. Maybe you’re right, and we are complaining too much. But that doesn’t make any less real the way we feel about our lives right now.

The world conspires against female kitties like us. We’re all smart, driven and independent. We want our own careers, make our own money, use our brains. In a world mostly dominated by male cats, that means that we often have to work even harder to prove our worth. And we do, we’re up for the challenge. As a reward, what do we get? We get ‘punished’ with more work.

Society needs kitties like us, because we are the movers and shakers. We make things happen. We contribute to the economy with our work, and then we’re punished even more by having to pay taxes on our hard-earned money, in order to pay for the rest of society who’s too busy being lazy and complaining about government and the crisis. Everyone around us gets to live their lives at the expense of our own. And we are tired.

So, yes, this is a pity party. Am I happy with the choices that I’ve made? Yes. My life, – when it actually resembles one – has turned out pretty great. My choices have brought me here to live with my human mom in Spain. I’ve never felt more me, more alive. Yet, it seems I’m still waiting for my life to start.

I spend most of my time doing things I’m not passionate about. Things I don’t like. Cooped up in an office, doing paperwork, managing other kitties, giving and following instructions, barely seeing the light of day – that’s how I waste away my life day, after day, after day. You’re right, I chose to do it. In fact, I choose to do it every day I continue to go to work. For what? So that I can eat? So that I can put a roof over my head? I guess so.

I can’t help wonder what would’ve happened if someone had told me the truth. If someone had said to me that it was possible, and not just in theory, to find work that makes you happy. That it was ok to do so. Let me rephrase. I wish someone had reminded me when it was relevant, back when I was about to go to college. Most importantly, I wish I had listened.

I wish I had listened more to my heart and less to my head. My head doesn’t understand about passion, happiness and soul. My head only knows that I need to make money to pay for this life I’m so desperately trying to live. Still, had I been truly smart, I would’ve listened to my heart. And I would be free.

Within my freedom I would’ve had found time having a relationship with myself – taking care of my health, reading more books, practicing my faith, nourishing my soul. I would’ve had time to open myself to love. Naturally, without having to work so hard at it. I would’ve had balance in my life, or at least a better sense of it.

And really, for me the problem is not work itself, it’s the type of work. The fact that I’m doing things just because I’m good at them, but I don’t find them emotionally fulfilling. My job is not in line whatsoever with my dreams. And that is clearly a problem.

February 5th, 11:30PM, Madrid. – Cue in Spanish cat lady Smoking Hope posting the following video on my mommy’s Facebook wall.

Smoking Hope is a 44 year-old divorced, single mother of three. She’s had multiple careers throughout her life, always intent on giving her kittens a fighting chance at a happier life. What she really dreams about, however, is spending her days in a world of dreams, where we’re all children, witches are harmless but real, and innocence is the key to happiness.

Spring Means Green and HOPE has Arrived!

Spring Means Green and HOPE has Arrived! (Photo credit: cobalt123)

Yeah, ok, I get it. Thank you, Alan Watts. There’s my big, fat reminder. Really, all the signs are there. I just have to pay attention. I’m the one who has to change my attitude and my behavior if I want to lead a different life, see different results. I must learn to listen to the reminders that life is sending me. Through other cat ladies, through things that happen all around me. It’s my choice to listen to them hard enough to do something about it while there is still time. So that I can finally have the relationship I deserve with myself.

So that I can be free.

The Magnificent Madam Mims


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