Epiphanies are great, aren't they? The sense of relief that comes when you can finally put into words that thing that's been living in the ether for a long time is incredible. On my way home tonight, I had a couple epiphanies, and I feel like I can now take on the world.
Epiphany 1: I will never have a career. I am not a "career" type of person. I thought that my inability to focus on one thing—to choose a profession—was bad. I thought there was something wrong with me; that I was failing. Failing to be good at something; failing to be an adult. Now I understand—I am not a career person. I am a person who collects experiences, who will produce something truly magical from all that I've done. It takes time to bake, but all the ingredients will come together in the future.
I have a complicated relationship with hope. I understand its usefulness, but also its hindrance. It can be great, but too often it sucks. What you think is going to turn out great, often turns to shit, and you still have to keep going, through the shit. It sucks, but then you hope for something else, and after that turns to shit, you keep going and going and hoping not to be so mired in it that you can't grab on when that thing you were hoping for finally succeeds. I understand that my new life understanding—I don't want to say "plan"—is wholly dependent upon hope. This will surely be the most difficult part for me.
I'm convinced that I spent several years in a funk. I think it was an undiagnosed depressive episode. I have to hope that that doesn't happen again, when these things that I now see so clearly, don't seem to be coming to me as soon as I expected. A short time ago, I sat in a moment of contentment. I was happy. I was comfortable. As soon as I thought the words, "nothing gold can stay," I was uncomfortable again. I had gotten comfortable in a situation that wasn't sustainable. I liked my job, my co-workers, my living situation—all of it. But all of it was dependent on the hospitality of others, and that would one day disappear. It was a moment of fleeting contentment. I couldn't stay there. Life isn't about staying still—it is always in motion. Time makes it so. I had stopped looking forward. I was only seeing what was in front of me, and I liked what I saw. I had to look forward again, before I found myself alone in darkness once more.
Epiphany 2: My place in this world is as a storyteller. I have to tell stories. I can bide my time telling pieces of little ones now, but I have many bigger ones I need to get out. I need to take a more active stance in my storytelling. I need to create from scratch, and not just add to what's already here. I need to regain self-confidence, in my writing and in my life. I don't know why that asshole bully from high school English class seems to have won; I've stopped writing. He insisted that my work sucked and I was never going to make it as a writer. I tell his worthless memory to fuck off every day, but he sticks around. I think he's still here because I haven't had anyone react positively to my writing since college. I haven't written anything of value since college.
I have so many things I want to do in my life, and it's okay that I do as much as I can. It's okay that I don't save up and retire. I will live my retirement while I'm young. It will enrich my life and my soul, and shape the person I am. I don't need to be in a cubicle because it's a steady paycheck. I can live in feast and famine. I can prepare financially for both. I will own a house someday, but that is not my life. I will not have what may be called a career. I will not have a husband. I will not have a family. Not because I don't want them, but because I don't know how to get them. I will not settle. I will not spend my life saying, "what if...?" I will spend my life saying, "yes, and...!" I will keep reaching for what I want, and move myself in circles that will bring me close enough to get it. I will give back what I've absorbed, through the filter that is me. I do have something to say to this world and people will hear it. People will be affected by it. It will take me many roads to get there, many of them winding around, some circling back, but I will always move forward. I may meander. I may come to blocks I choose not to cross. But I will produce something worthwhile. I will produce many somethings worthwhile! And I will not be pressured into an ordinary life.
I am an extraordinary black sheep, and I am fucking special. I can do this. "I can, and I will!!!!"
(Okay, Gina Rodriguez, I kinda love your dad right now. Smart man.)