What if your whole life is different in two years?

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This past weekend was Labor Day. Two years ago on Labor Day, I’m relatively certain I was in Boston/Maine with my ex-wife, because I remember thinking (it would have been August 2016) that there were a ton more Trump/Pence yard signs than I’d expect.

Here’s what I did this Labor Day:

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That’s me running a half-marathon (well, I finished it, so that’s cool) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That’s a different girl than my ex-wife. Those are also relatively new New Balances, and I probably shouldn’t have worn them to pound out 13.1 miles (almost typed 131 miles), but you know, live and learn.

I still follow my ex on social (personally don’t think that’s weird, but understand if you do), and at the same time as that photo, we’ve got this from Maine:

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The distance between those photos is 2,626 miles. You could probably argue it’s actually way further than that.

That’s two years. About 800 days, maybe. Pretty much everything is different. But that doesn’t make me unique at all.

Shit gonna change, boy

Work-wise: people change jobs about every 3.6 years at this point.

Personal-wise: especially from 28 to 35, tons of stuff changes with marriages, houses, kids, new jobs, divorces, etc.

Also amazing: we still ask people to “vet” for jobs around “Where do you see yourself in five years?” when that question has absolutely no bearing or relevance.

Do a brief thought exercise: to the best of my knowledge, I am writing this on September 5, 2018. Go back in your email and look at what you were discussing on September 5, 2016. Go look. I’ll wait.

I bet it’s a lot different than what you’re thinking about now, and how could it not be? That was pre-Trump, it was maybe two jobs ago, you might have not had kids, you mighta been with someone else, etc.

This is the whole “second act of life” thing. You can’t skip it. We tend to only discuss it in the conventional ways, though: so-and-so got promoted, who’s-the-fuck is looking trim on The Gram, what’s-her-name has a kid now, woke-up-and-I’m-Little-Dickey moved to Austin, etc.

We need to discuss it in other ways, though: shit does change, and quickly. Yes, I got divorced and that’s a different type of life event. I’m unique in that respect. But go back again to September 5, 2016. Is your life the same? It’s probably not. Believe me. You might think “I’m just out here doing my thing, same job, same kids, same house,” but something is different. Probably a lot is.

We should probably talk about that more. Humanity is about adapting, so I’m not saying change is a bad thing. In fact, we probably need to stop assuming change is hard.

Your life gon’ change. It’s OK. If it’s good, awesome. (Babies!) If it’s hard, you get through it. But never assume stasis. Stasis won’t be there. Shit gonna change.

Also: you’ll feel lonely sometimes, and that’s also OK to discuss!

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Blogging, largely about work and how to improve it. How I make (some) money: http://thecontextofthings.com/hire-freelance-writer-ted-bauer/

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