Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lessons with DiSaronno

A few weeks ago at my company's holiday party, a colleague told me that I don't enjoy life. 

Okay, I'll back up... We all had a good bit to drink -- and even without alcohol I'm a bit of a sharer, but with, obviously, even a bit more. So while catching up said colleague on the rather sad state of my life in the last few months and where I see myself headed (I'd call us friendly, but not exactly friends, I guess), she did the whole nod in sympathy thing and I rambled with my amaretto sour in hand. Then I took my turn to listen. And we had a nice little chat. Then, while heading to our second (or third?) destination a bit later, she said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Ashley, you need to enjoy life. Go out. Be yourself. People love you. I don't think you enjoy life." 

Really? That's what I give off to the world? I don't enjoy life?

When I literally stopped in my tracks, she felt immediately bad and said that that's not what she meant. And she probably didn't. She spent the next hour or so telling me how horrible she felt for what she'd said and tried to explain what she really meant. I don't really remember what that was anymore, though. Along the journey down Park Avenue South another colleague joined us and she and I began talking about our ticking biological clocks (and there I went again with the sharing). 

The baby conversation is but a vague memory, but the other comment is still very fresh. What does that even mean? And, what did it mean to me?

Maybe I don't enjoy life like it should be enjoyed. But, if I don't, I don't know what it means to really enjoy life. And then that makes me a little sad. Sure, I have things I enjoy -- reading, eating cookies, good music, great sex, maxing capacity on my TiVo, etc. -- but is enjoying life, experiencing life, about more than just being content? I don't typically enjoy the same things that my peers do. I never really did. I drink and go out occasionally, but the frequency in which I enjoy those things doesn't seem to be enough for most people my age. But does acting a bit older (or, okay, acting a lot older) mean I'm not enjoying my twenties? I never thought so before.

And, this is, of course, not to say that I plan to change my middle-aged Friday nights, but it has made me think a lot more about what an ideally enjoyable life would mean for me. And, no, I'm not living it right now. 

I'm not saying that this was a life-altering moment in the middle of the street, but its certainly got me thinking.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Here's what I take to heart from said co-worker's comment:

"Be yourself. People love you."

I think you've come a looooong way on the "be yourself" front. I think you, like SO many of us (myself included in the past) lost a little bit of the true essence of Ashley in your last relationship (and during the ongoing recovery). But what has THRILLED me in the past several months is that that amazing, witty, smart, gorgeous Ashley that existed underneath all your hurt and frustration has come closer to the surface for all the world to enjoy. You've done a great job of working on what makes you you, and what makes you happy.