I have a problem.
Trying to pinpoint exactly when it began is difficult, but I’ve narrowed it down to somewhere between the ages of 22 and 23.
That was five or six years ago now.
Since then, it has only gotten worse and lately it feels as if the whole thing is coming to a head.
But before that, it was okay to be who I am.
And I was always very self-aware and knew that person well.
Free Spirited & Spontaneous
I’d say from the ages of 17-23 I was the kind of person who lived one moment to the next, going in whatever direction life happened to take me.
I was pretty much as spontaneous as someone could be.
I didn’t bother making plans because there was no way in hell I’d end up following through with them.
Too many unknown variables were always looming between me and being somewhere on time for something.
I might pass out after days without any sleep. I could stay asleep for twelve or more hours when that happened.
I might go see a client and if we were good friends, I might lose track of time after the sex and spend hours there just talking with him or messing around doing something to pass the time.
Back then, anything seemed possible. Probably because it was still possible.
If someone had asked me
“Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
I would have laughed and responded with something like
“Who the hell knows?!”
I didn’t have goals or any idea of what I wanted to become.
What I did know was what interested me, what I was passionate about and that love mattered more than anything else.
Caring is Everything
When I say love, I use it as an all encompassing term for any expression towards another human being which makes them feel like someone else cares about them in some capacity.
Giving people hope when they felt like they had none.
Offering someone comfort at a moment they needed it most and otherwise would not have had any.
Sacrificing what you have when someone has less and it won’t hurt you.
I loved falling in love with new people, so I did it often.
Indeed, these relationships with friends and lovers were the most precious aspects of my life and I felt fortunate to be a part of them.
As for relationships around this time, I would pore over lovers and give, give, give to friends. It’s odd looking back at things.
So much of my energy went into various efforts all with the same objective: to show the people who mattered to me that I loved them and cared about them.
Not “Marriage Material”
Unlike most people, I could never really pick a single person to devote the rest of my life to and focus only on them. Not in a world full of broken souls who need some small confirmation that another soul cares.
Funnily enough, caring about so many people usually backfired.
Besides, I always thought it was foolish to emotionally invest everything in one person. I’ve never met anyone I would trust that much.
All the work I put into proving I cared for friends and lovers ended up creating almost as much doubt as reassurance.
If only I had been able to find someone who could just accept me and everything about me, but that’s a tall order when you can’t succeed in being monogamous, you won’t quit working as a hooker and yet neither of these things mean you love someone any less.
Still, they just can’t understand it.
Maybe they don’t understand it because it’s bull shit.
Maybe I’ve never loved or trusted anyone enough and that’s the real problem…but I don’t think so.
I think these things about me were just deal breakers for most people, which I kind of understand.
Hobbies & Interests
When I was about eighteen, I became very interested in web design and I spent endless hours tinkering around with various experiments as I taught myself how to make websites.
I just remember the magic of making small edits to existing designs and seeing the corresponding visual changes.
I was hooked.
After I’d played around with things created by other people enough, I started to make my own and it felt like some kind of superpower. It was exciting and I loved it.
I still do.
In terms of what I enjoyed, I was simple then just like I’m simple now.
I liked getting high, hanging out with my friends, the little light of my life named Bub (my dog), messing around online, playing games, shopping for clothes, speeding down the freeway, writing in my journal and having sex.
Not much has changed, ha!
The Finality of Death
But in all seriousness, here is what I envy most about the person I used to be.
Back then, I honestly could have died at any moment in time and I would have felt okay about the life I had lived up to that moment.
I can’t say that now…
About five or six years ago, a sense of my own mortality began to set in and the idea of dying suddenly overwhelmed me.
What was the point of anything if all we had to look forward to, ultimately, was death?
How could anything matter at all?
Leaving a Legacy
A hundred years after someone dies, they might as well not have existed because no one will even remember them. Unless you’re an Albert Einstein or Marilyn Monroe, of course.
Children are the only real legacy that most people end up leaving behind.
I don’t want any of those and never have.
Besides, it’s a different kind of legacy than Einstein or Monroe left behind. They left their mark on history. They were known for something and continue to be known for those things to this day.
That means more in my mind than just breeding and being forgotten by your own relatives a few generations down the road.
Old Age & Sickness
At the same time, it’s hard to deny the obvious benefits of having a family as well.
I envision old age for someone like me as being lonely and awful, especially if I’m not well physically.
The last thing I want is to be stuck in some nursing home as an elderly person, not sure where I am and stricken with some kind of disease or another, without even a single relative to visit me.
That’s not how I want to leave this world.
But what choice will I have, other than dying young?
Where I Am Now
All I know is that here I am, 28 years old and wandering through life without any clear idea of how to leave my mark on the world and feeling the window of time shrink with each passing year.
I would feel so much better if I was making some sort of progress, but that’s impossible when you don’t know what you are working towards.
And I don’t.
I hate being an adult. I’m not very good at it.
I guess the problem is simple. The problem I’m experiencing is that I nothing has changed since I was seventeen.
I’m still that person and it doesn’t feel okay anymore.