My life of choosing fear has been no life at all.

It hit me recently: In only 3 short years… I’ll be 40.

Fourty.

F-o-u-r-t-y

I’ll be 20 years older than my father was when I was born. I’ll literally be old enough that the sexy 20 year old in the random porn ad I stumble upon on random websites will be old enough to be my daughter. 40 years old… And there’s practically nothing worthwhile to show for it. This realization hot me hard and has forced me to take stock in where I’m at in my life, and how I got to where I am… And frankly, what I’ve seen of my path thus far makes me want to be sick. It’s been a pathetic waste.

A large part of what I’m doing is I’m realizing that a lot of decisions I’ve made over the years were made for the wrong desperate reasons, and were opposed to what I thought my core values and morals were. I made so many, so very many, decisions throughout my life based purely on fear, especially on the fear of making the wrong choice and the fear that making the wromg choice will ruin not just my life permanently, but also the life or lives of others.

Choices about maintaining toxic and destructive friendships and romances, choices of career and/or education, financial choices… All decided by the fear of making the wrong choice and the fear that by making the wrong choice, everyone I care about will be irreprably damaged or dragged down with me into destruction. Even the choices that seemed hopeful were hope driven by this fear.

For one thing, that fear is a big part ofwhy I’ve not chosen a talent to develop and build a career from. (Another part is bmhow as a kid I was constantly denied opportunities to further “extracuricular” activities like band, choir, sports teams, air cadets, boy scouts, etc. due to being too poor to afford equipment/materials/fees, but that’s a rant for another day.) I don’t really see myself as that skilled a creator; I mean, sure I can be fairly creative, but turning ideas into something tangible has never been my strong suit as I’ve no clue what talent in particular I should develop. I have always sucked at getting the images in my head out into some kind of tabgible form; writing, drawing, music, film, photography, software development, sculpting, crafting, cooking/baking, business/entrepreneurial, mental health, politics, trades work… There’s too many things I could go into. But if I chose the wrong one and discover I’m not that good at it at all, if it doesn’t become a marketable skill that I can turn into a decent career, that simply wastes time and resources that are too precious to be wasted like that. That’s been a kind of roadblock for me for a long, long time – how do I know which path won’t end up being a waste? How do I know that it will actually be a useful and marketable skill?

I can’t risk taking time to develop a talent into a skill just because it’s fun; not when I live in poverty and have to be taking care of my physically disabled mother who’s also living in poverty. There’s too much at stake to gamble that much on. I have to put my focus and energy into something that I can be absolutely sure will become useful and marketable first, then when that’s become stable and earning money,  developing my other talents into skills just for the fun of it can be justified.

I can’t be jerking around wasting time and precious resources developing skills that are fun but won’t pay the bills when there’s not enough food in the cupboard or there’s the threat of losing the roof over my head; especially not when I have to take care of my mom as well as myself. So I have to be extremely careful and find something I can be not just skilled at, but financially successful at. I just simply haven’t found anything I’m convinced I can be good enough at, even though I keep looking. I’vepretty much always had little to no guidance, no mentors, no one who I’ve felt can point me in the right direction that’s actually the best for me. I’ve been basically flying blindly in circles for about 26 years.

One thing I know I have to do is I’ve got to re-evaluate what my core values are as well as my whole process of decision making and social/interpersonal boundaries. I thought I was standing for certain things, and I’m seeing now that I wasn’t even remotely as firm in myself as I should have been. Because of that, and because I’ve been terrified to be honest with myself and others about my limitations and disabilities, I’ve irreprably hurt good oeople and ruined worthwhile relationships (both friendships and romance). Or I’ve allowed people to abuse me and take advantage of me over and over and over. Or a combination of the two.

For me to make my life as happy, peaceful, and productive as I want it to be, I stil have no idea all of what I need to do or change. For starters, though, I should at least begin figuring out who I am, who I want to be, and what my moral/social boundaries are all over again.

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