I can tell you with the least amount of reservation and the largest surplus of certainty ,sold in the bulk isle of Cosco and Sams Club, that I have no fucking idea what I want to do with my life.
When I was 11 years old I knew that I would never live past 18. I was absolutely fucking positive that my death was determined. Which created a time frame of reckless abandon for my future-self, and for what would happen after that year.
I never would have believed that I would buy a pack of cigarettes with my own ID in my lifetime. I only hoped that in the years between my abusive living arrangements at my fathers house in Olean, New York and my 18th birthday that I would have died. By someone else’s hands, by my own hands, or by the grace of some God that I didn’t believe in. Anything past 18 was black and empty.
With that idea planted so heavily in my head, I made no plans for a future. I made no reservations about the way that I lived. I had no consequences to what I wanted to do.
I have left myself with nearly 8 years of confusion, discomfort, and a wild sense that I need to find professional and communal purpose in this life.
The search has been wrought with recklessness. I have worked all of the low end jobs that I could get my hands on. My craiglists searches were narrowed to jobs that only took minimum wage employees with a high rate of personal dissatisfaction in their work. I wistfully looked at all of my friends becoming successful, married, financially responsible, and a heir of respect to their work and lives.
Thankfully, and sometimes regretfully, I made myself the bold headed family member among my nuclear family. No one directly, or indirectly, related to me has been able to tell me what to do. I have become who I am according to my own upbringing and the background noise of a family that I so heavily ignored.
That being, I did exactly what I wanted to do, said exactly what I wanted to say, and have found myself without a sense of direction because of my perilous stubborn attitude.
I said that I would drop out of school at the age of 11. I was sure that I would baby sit for the rest of my life. I didn’t care how that sounded, I knew I was great at caring for people at a young age. I knew I could do it. 5 Years later, I was taking my GED test, drinking too much beer, getting my license revoked, and eating pizza. Maybe my 11 year old self was sure that I wouldn’t be formally educated.
Now at I am on the brink of being 26, I look back and see how many false starts that I have made. I see how they have effected me. Watching my history as though it were a black and white film.
Every individual mistake and fortune that has been absolved and created over the last years of my untimely, and unexpected, existence has formed who I am in this moment. My impulses have molded me. There has not been a single ounce of pure logic involved in my decision making. Especially in regards to my love life and my world beyond this next paycheck. (Dear god, did I just drink my next months rent away?!)
I have awaited the car crash, the alcohol poisoning, the incurable virus, the cancer, and welcomed all other maladies to consume me. I am still here. I don’t know how and I don’t know why. I most certainly don’t know how to plan for what is next. Especially with this infectious idea that my death is looming and I need to live my life to the fullest extent.
I tie myself down to these full time jobs. Which I consistently find to be philosophically, ethically, and personally destructive, jobs. Fucking Jobs. I never know how to exit them properly, and I never know when to pull the plug on a work place that makes me feel morally irresponsible. I just want to dive from one to the other until I find what it is that I love to do.
With that mindset, I am constantly looking forward. Looking at the long term effects of my present work. Does this make the world more sustainable? Does this make the people around me believe in themselves? Am I the hands in the blood and framework in which I hope one day crumbles?
Shortly after these questioned are clamored into my head, all I can think about is my exit strategy. I start to think how I can leave a place without offending people. I think about how I will survive once I leave. I then start to hope that I will find a lifestyle that suits my constantly contradicting mind. I start to plan my attack as carefully as a heard of lions surrounds an elephant. Then I contract impulsive behaviors and move to quickly. I blow my own cover and stumble over myself as I am stomped out by life. The elephant is still alive because of my quick action and lack of plan.
Once the idea settles to leave an area, it consumes me like an incurable infection. It starts with a tingling longing to see more of what I have no seen. It then starts to infect my ligaments and urges me to train my body to handle all of the elements. Shortly after I begin to be consumed by this itching sickness that my life has started to stagnate. Once my central-emotional-nervous-system is infected by the idea that I have only been in 20 some odd states in the country which I reside, I lose all mental capacity to be logical and fiscally responsible for my actions. (I realize why I am single in this single moment)
So my hunt for purposeful life work is continued by the itching sickness that is being alive 8 years longer than I have ever expected. Spending a few of those years not living the dream that I sleep to every night. A couple of years wishing that I wasn’t confined by the social construct of being an adult. A year or two more by the idea that if I continue the way that I am living, I will be the uncle/cousin/nephew that never actually did anything with his life but was led by the leash of his impulses. Regardless of where that leads me, I am terrified and completely enticed by the idea of being and doing exactly what I want to.
I am conglomerate of a man full of failures, successes, and hope. I hope I survive this next change.