It’s hard to pinpoint when, exactly, I made the conscious effort to “get better.” By “get better,” I mean realizing that waiting until I grew up to do things has long passed, and that I don’t want to look back on my thirties like I do my twenties and wonder what the hell I was doing with my life.
If I had to pinpoint, I’d say the impetus for this decision was born out of my father’s death (no sympathies needed, please and thank you; we were estranged). I wouldn’t have imagined his death would’ve shaken me the way it did, but shake me it did, because any chance for us to really get to know each other is long gone, you know? It did allow me to get to know more members of his side of the family, and it allowed me to get some real answers about his and my mom’s marriage from my mother. I see my childhood in a far more complete light now, which allows me to see my decisions and myself in a far more complete light.
Which brings me to the here and now. I’m thirty-two, and still wondering what I’m going to do with my life. I know I’m not alone in this, but I realized it’s time to make a serious, conscious effort to make changes.
One of those changes is getting off birth control. No, I’m not trying to have a kid (however, if it happens, it happens). Rather, I’m trying to straighten out my hormones so that my body can process its natural testosterone the way it should, which will in turn lead to me feeling less anxious and depressed, as well as hopefully leading to feeling actual desire. Thanks to the way my body is made, I feel about the same amount of desire as a robot, and not of the Cylon variety. The hubby and I are hoping that getting off the pill will correct this without further treatments (testosterone creams or pellets), but this is step one. If this works the way I think it will (and I’m basing this assumption on what I’ve heard, read, and discussed with other women who got off the pill), I’m going to feel a lot better as well as a lot happier. And as a result, the hubby will be happier too. 😉
There’s also potential medical benefits of getting off my daily baby aspirin (the pill is making my blood too thick) and also erase any liver scares, which I had late last year. There’s the worrisome side-effects of getting pregnant, of course (and I still can’t decide if I want one or not), as well as dealing with ovarian cysts. The pill is supposed to prevent those little bastards, and I had one last year regardless. That was a minor one, and it didn’t require surgery to take care of, but I dread the thought of getting something bigger.
So that’s that. And of course, there are other “Me Project” things I’m focusing on: dropping the book blog so my time isn’t dictated by what I read and when and how I’m going to write about it. And exercise by means of the elliptical and daily walks (which is helping the mood factor). There are other projects and considerations as well, so if you ever see the “Me Project” category, you’ll know what’s up.
I’m trying to focus on the here and now, as well as my future and REALLY decide what I want and what makes me happy. Not as easy as it sounds, and for someone like me, who looks at the past with a revisionist’s eye, it’s frustrating as hell to see where I went wrong and how and NOT be able to go back and fix things (like I would in a novel, for example). We’ll see how this goes. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but if you see a bunch of posts about me moaning and groaning about past decisions and future ones, at least you’ll know why. 🙂
13 thoughts on “The Me Project”
Lol. It’s not funny, but it does help to laugh. It’s always good to stop and evaluate and make changes… and wouldn’t it be nice to go back and make revisions!!! Great thought. I’d never progress another minute, I’d be fixing & tweaking too many things. I had an aha! moment last birthday that’s lingering still. I’m going to stay this age FOREVER. Now that I’ve arrived. Let’s see if I can leave you a link… this is NOT spam. It’s funny. And I’m older, so it should be funny for you, too. http://burgandyice.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-answer-to-life-universe-everything.html
Heh, thanks! That is fun. 🙂
I don’t think childhood/adolescence prepares you for how easy it is to drift though adulthood. It’s one thing when your at school, or college and you’re working towards set goals, which lead into other set goals. Pass 10th grade and get into 11th grade. Get through French 102 and move on to French 201. Etc. Then once you become an adult, and even if you end up doing all of the things you’re supposed to do (find a job, and someone to love), you don’t have clear levels in life anymore. So one week leads into another, and soon months and years have gone by without much progression. I think that Joshua Foer called it “The OK Plateau” in Moonwalking with Einstein, You just drift through adulthood with little variation and soon you’re looking back on you’re life and haven’t done anything that you wanted to do. I know I’ve been making a concerned effort to move forward this year to prevent this, but damn it is so easy to just live shallowly and drift.
So it looks like the Me Project is a great idea. I hope moving off of birth control works well for you. I had a friend that did that lately and she noticed that she was a lot more emotional around her period, and it kind of scared her because she didn’t know what was wrong at first. Hopefully, you’ll transition a little more smoothly.
I still need to read that book! I’ll get to it one day, I swear….
Funny about being more emotional… I had one friend who said she was LESS emotional once she got off the pill, but she was battling acne like crazy for the first few months off. I worry most about my regular migraines coming back, but there’s a big difference between 19 and 32, even I’d never taken any hormone-altering drugs. So we’ll see what happens. 🙂
I quit the pill over a year ago after being on it for just over four years. It’s helped somewhat in my own marriage, but it’s going pretty slow.
I ADORE your Me Project. I’m working on my own Me Project 😀
Regarding the birth control stoppage, may I recommend this book? I don’t know the reasons why you stopped, but if it has anything to do with hormone levels and desire, there are very focused sections on that in this book which talks about other steps to take in addition to getting off the pill. There’s also a comprehensive guide that helps you find proper treatment in or near your area.
And thank you! 🙂
I think part of it too is that we’re sort of taught that things will fall into place. YOU WILL GET A DEGREE! YOU WILL GET SOME KIND OF MYSTERY JOB! THE BILLS WILL SOMEHOW GET PAID AND YOU WILL HAVE A HOUSE, A CAR, A DOG, AND 2.5 CHILDREN!
Except they won’t come together. What life will do is start rapidly falling apart in a series of greater and lesser tragedies.
You will get sick. The economy will tank at the worst possible time. Your job will end unexpectedly soon (over and over.) Your car will get a flat. Your husband’s employer will fold (again, and again.) The grocery store will be out of All Seasons Salt and you have no idea how to make roast beef without it. Or you just bought a roast beef and realized nobody taught you how to cook. Or how to figure out how to plan a trip from point A to point B using only mass transit. Or how to dress for a job interview of a certain professional level.
It’s REALLY HARD to take all of that and wrestle it into a life that’s at all in the semblance of the one you want. I mean, seriously, it’s REALLY REALLY HARD, and what makes it worse is that for some people it just seems to be unnecessary. I know a few of those “some people” for whom everything seems to go their way well enough to know that it’s really because they are putting in a ton of blood, sweat, tears, and frustration that most people don’t see. But I know a few others well enough to know, uh, no, things just seem to go their way. There may be no jobs, but they’ll find one, and voila, they will get it, even though they don’t seem to be any more or less qualified than the other three hundred applicants stabbing each other with rusty sporks for the position. I have a college acquaintance who quit her job at a very prestigious NYC marketing firm to travel Europe for six months with no concrete idea of where she was going or where she’d stay when she got there, had a blast, got back, decided “I want to move to This Other Exciting City”, promptly found a job there, and moved. For anyone else I know? That would have been an unmitigated disaster or the result of months or a year of painful planning. She did it all on a whim. Life just kinda goes her way.
But it doesn’t go that way for me. My great-grandfather apparently used to say (quoting a song that was popular when he was young) that if he didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all. It appears to be a genetic trait: I can’t climb from one professional rung to the next without falling all the way down the damn ladder first, and maybe that’s because I sometimes make things too hard on myself (this is a valid criticism) but sometimes, dude, it’s because my timing just sucks, always. I’ve learned not to comment on the romantic life of my friends, because the second I go “Hey, look, they’re a perfect couple just like you and Bob” I get a stony stare and a “Bob told me he wanted a divorce not two hours ago.”
There are more mes than my Fortune-Blessed Classmate Over There in the world, I think. I am not trying to whine here, I am just pointing out that Making a Life is a Sisyphean task, where the rock keeps getting lose and the hill just keeps getting bigger. Very little in our cultural narrative really prepares us for that. And, worse, it’s so damn easy to fall into going along to get along. I see it happen all the time. It’s not always, you know, bad. But when you Want Something out of life? It’s slow death by sitcom, good enough job, and chain restaurant.
I have to commend you for committing to trying to change it. You know I’m rooting for you!!
Sorry I didn’t respond to this yesterday, but thank you. 🙂
(This is “ardys_the_ghoul” from livejournal, hi there!)
I really, really wish I did not have to take birth control, but for me going off it just isn’t an option. I went from pills, to injections, to then getting an IUD a little over a year ago–the IUD was a “last resort” to control my endometriosis, of which I have a severe case according to my Ob/Gyn. It’s been a long battle–I was first diagnosed back in high school, and I’m now 27. So far the IUD is the only thing that’s actually controlled the symptoms in a significant way and over an extended period of time.
And I’m single, so it’s not as if I need it for what it says on the label, you know?
All that aside, I think People, as a general rule, are all a “Work in Progress” so to speak, if that makes any sense. I know I am. I’m 27 and I’m still in college. (My mother says I’m three steps away from being a professional student!) I know what I WANT to do with my life, but KNOWING and DOING are two different things, you know?
You have endo? Oh jesus, you have my profound sympathy (my mother had it. Horrible condition, and she couldn’t take the Pill for it, it made it much worse–though that was, y’know, twenty five years ago, when the low dose pill wasn’t a thing yet and half the time her doctors told her she was just ‘high strung’ and she’d stop bleeding all the time if she would just ‘relax.’)
And don’t feel bad. I graduated from college at 25. At 26, I entered law school and was delighted to see I was the average age of a law student. Then I got there and found out that’s because all my classmates were 22 and just out of college in a timely manner or 35+ and on a second career.
Hi! Glad to see you crossed over!
And ugh about endo. I know people who’ve had it and from what they describe, it’s not fun at all. Good luck keeping your symptoms manageable to gone.
All that aside, I think People, as a general rule, are all a “Work in Progress” so to speak, if that makes any sense.
It does. I just wish there was an official trophy or something to prove you’ve made it or something, but that’s life. Once you get out of school, it’s all about landmarks, not trophies. I guess the real one to prove “you made it” is dying, so I guess I shouldn’t rush anything….
I use an IUD (copper Paragard), and highly recommend that as a non-hormone alternative to hormonal birth control pills. I used bc pills for a few months, and hated the changes I saw in myself. I am, however, considering maybe switching to Mirena, which uses a low dose of hormones. I don’t really like how Paragard made my periods longer, although in the big scheme of things, it’s a miracle. Maybe in a year or two.
Thanks for the suggestion. I have a feeling I’ll want to get on SOMETHING to regulate things once I see how my body reacts to no controls whatsoever, so it’ll be good to have some things to discuss with my doctor. 🙂