Unreliable Memories

Ask me about 2012. I'll tell you it was the year I went to Puerto Rico (I think). I had a husband (which still felt weird), a dog, a beautiful townhouse, a great job, disposable income, and wonderful friends.

I'll tell you that I was happy and whole.

That's how I remember 2012.

I'm not sure that's accurate.

Because in 2012, I occasionally used my commute home from work to record my candid thoughts in voice memos. It helped me think through things and find clarity in a jumbled mind.

In 2012, I asked myself:

"Is life just a series of crushing monotony and crippling anxiety broken up by occasional joy? And... maximizing daily happiness is to maximize joy amongst the monotony and the anxiety?"

That doesn't exactly sound happy. Listen to that voice memo at the end of this post, if you'd like. For context, I must have just watched this John Green video. 

In 2012, when I thought I was happy and I thought I had it all, I questioned everything. Listening to that memo makes me remember the dreams I had.

Dreams before my college boyfriend told me that he was about to get deported and became my husband instead.

The dreams that now, I get to live.

An open letter to 22-year-old Taylor:

You're right. The point is not to find joy in monotony. Your choices aren't ennui or manic anxiety. You will make a different choice and you will find a different life.

Because even now, while you're trying so hard to be happy, you struggle with identity. You don't fully buy the life you chose. You resist the labels you have. You are not the girl with the perfect house and the gorgeous husband and the dreams of future kids.

That was never you.

But you tried, because you loved.

Everything in which you took comfort will go away. Your husband, and with him your dog and your house, because heaven knows you could only afford that beautiful place with dual income. 

And that's the best thing that will ever happen to you.

It will hurt, and then it won't.

And then ennui will be the least of your worries.

For the record, you do love marketing. But no, you don't like working in an office. And that's an okay perspective to have. You just don't know it yet.

Header image: 22-year-old Taylor, taken a month before this audio recording.

Taylor Coil is traveling the world with Remote Year, living in 12 countries in 12 months, while working as a marketing manager. Follow along to read more philosophies on work, stories from the road, and general (mis)adventures. Sign up for the weekly email or read more from the blog.