This post comes after a conversation I had with a friend.
We were sitting on my balcony, overlooking the water. It’s not really that fancy. There are a bunch of trees in the way. Still, it is relaxing.
As we sat there, talking, the question came up again of what to do, where to go, this journey, this life that we lead. Both of us find that being in our mid-30’s, we’re facing a crisis of what do we do with our lives.
Both of us had dreamed of being on the stage…but life sometimes gets in the way in major ways. I don’t know if that means persevering, or what, but when major life events happen, you start to look at things and wonder is this really worth it anymore. The pounding the pavement, and hoping for that one big break.
All of this was circulating around the idea that I feel something monumental is coming in my life, yet…I don’t know what that could be. I feel stuck in a job I hate. She asked me what my dream job would be, and I said, “Working for Disney.” Unfortunately, that means I either need to become a software engineer (not smart enough) or move to California to work the loading zone for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Since I hate California, I predict that is not going to happen anytime soon. BUT, as the song says, “A dream is a wish your heart makes.”
So, what does this have to do with anything? I’m glad you asked. I’ll do my best to sort out whatever is going on in my head and see if it makes any sense.
I had a dream that I was going to die when I turned 35. This was a while ago. But my life had been planned up to that point…and frankly, nothing beyond. There was no 10-year plan or 20-year plan. It was simply somehow, I was going to be dead at 35.
I’m still alive, obviously. I’m not a zombie, and typing this on my quest for brains. That hasn’t happened. But yet, I do feel as though part of me is dead.
There used to be a joie de vivre, a sense of life, adventure, experience. But that seems to have gone. Remember that major life event I mentioned earlier? It happened to me about five years ago, when I turned 30, and since then, there have been major hopes and lows, as I felt like someone had picked me up, and thrown me in the ocean and said, “Find shore.” I didn’t know which way shore was, and so I tread water for months. In the timeline of events, this was what I called survival mode.
Sure, I may have come out of it stronger, smarter, faster, experienced, whatever, but it took a lot out of me. And still continues to take a lot out of me.
There are times when I’m engaged, as I used to be, but those moments are few and far between.
It’s not depression. I know it’s not that.
It’s feeling like, what is the next step? What is the ultimate end goal? And even though I can’t see what that end goal is, why am I so hesitant to move forward, to set in motion a chain of events that may lead to something bigger and greater?
Fear holds me back, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of unhappiness, fear of still meandering through whatever this is, this process, this life.
I turned 35. I’m now six months into it, and I still don’t know what the next step is.
That’s hard. To wake up and spend my day trying to figure out who or what I am, trying to reinvent myself, yet, not knowing how to even begin. Struggling to make ends meet and feeling like I can never get ahead…and by the time I’m finished with my responsibilities, there isn’t even time for myself to begin contemplating that next step.
So, I cautiously wait out the days.
In a sense, I have died. The dream…which was just a dream… seems to have come true.
But I feel like there’s so much more to accomplish, so much more to strive for, to change the world, to give back, to create, to express my ways that only I can do.
The original title of this post was “The Emperor’s Wearing No Clothes,” and as I got to writing, I realized it wasn’t quite where this was post was going to go. It was simply the cover for what has lied underneath for a while, and seems to bubble up to the surface every waking hour of every day. And that starts to feel more and more excruciating as I figure out how to fill those days.
I guess if you’re still reading here, you’ve followed what I’ve had to say, and maybe have had a strong reaction to it. “Grow some balls,” or, “Yes! I feel that way too.” Or maybe you’re completely indifferent to it.
I’m slowly become that way about the whole situation.
But there’s the rub. If I am indifferent, it means there is still fight within me, fight to do something, to BE something. To go forward and give good to the world, wherever, however I can.
That’s the part I have to figure out. It’s simply not enough to want it.
It’s 9:32…only three and a half more hours left of whatever today has been.
Thank you for reading.