I know I promised the Ichabod Brooks blurbs on a post that most people don’t read over the weekend. Figure I have over a month to get that done, so I can get this brain worm out of my head.
So, I’m 37 and I recently considered all of the things that happened over the course of that time. Many ideas have come and gone, so few have reached completion. Plenty of games have been played and workdays have been slogged through. If lucky, I could live for another 37, which means many more events and ideas can occur. Yet, I wonder if there’s a point and also if the phrasing I had in the shower will return to me. Won’t bet on that last part.
For a while, I’ve wondered if humans simply waste most of their lives. I should say most humans because there are a handful that get to live out their dreams. Others make the best of their situation and still find happiness, which is the way to go. Yet, I’m seeing more and more people who simply hate where they are. I could list the problems, but it really boils down to something in their life sucks and they can’t find a way to change it. This is where somebody will step in to say ‘only you can change your life’. Very few people can simply quit their job and go into something else or cast the sources of negativity away because some of those are family. That phrase is actually fairly painful because it means the situation is entirely that person’s fault. For as much control as we have over our lives, the actions of others can impact us without us wanting them too. For example, a seasonal staffer steals money at a retail job and the management decides to let all of the seasonal staff go because everyone shared shifts at some point. That happened to me once and it was rather deflating.
Many questions turn up when I think about this:
- Did I not try hard enough?
- Did I miss an opportunity?
- Was I lazy?
- Was I never supposed to try this in the first place?
- Should I have or have not listened to that person?
- AND THE KICKER: Do I even remember what it’s like to be totally happy?
As I watch sales trickle in even on the new book and struggle to think of promotional abilities, my mind drifts to how I spent my life. 10 years writing, editing, and submitting thinking I’d eventually get a bite. Nothing happened. 4.5 years living in Florida, which feels like a waste outside of the friends I made. Most of what I learned in elementary school has been forgotten because I had no use for it. College courses I took for graduation requirements are vague at best. Just how much of what I’ve done in my life has gone to waste and I simply did it because I had to. There wasn’t a connection to my endgame, which many people have tried to talk me out of. Even today, I get weekly inquires about when I’m going to grow up.
And there we also have it. People are very quick to tell others to put away the ‘childish things’ and act like an adult. If the fun stuff isn’t allowed when you grow up then what’s the fucking point? Does society require that an adult be miserable and never shed the illusion of maturity? Yeah, I said illusion because deep-down every person wants to go back to having fun like a kid. They want a day to lounge or a chance to grab the dream they never pursued. Is that what living is? Surviving and letting the regrets gnaw away at you until you either die, go insane, or make a move for the dream?
37 years! That’s how long I’ve been around and it’s only been the last 4 that I’ve put any real progress on my dream. Legends of Windemere has been in outline form for nearly a decade and 12 of the books weren’t even written prior to 2012. This isn’t counting Bedlam and Ichabod Brooks. What the hell could I have accomplished if I was allowed to charge into this world straight out of college? Well, there probably wasn’t a chance because e-readers and indie publishing wasn’t around. Yet, even when it started, I was convinced by others that it was a fad that I shouldn’t bother with.
Why did I listen to them? Because they were older than me, so I assumed they knew better since they’ve been around. We’ve all done that when younger. Then we hit the same age and realize those people are full of more shit than a latrine. You get there and suddenly you don’t feel wiser. You feel tired, battered, and end up staring at your past that is filled with only slightly more than nothing. You pick out the times you were too afraid or unconfident to do what you really wanted. A trend of people repeatedly talking you down from a ledge turns up too. They think you’re going to go splat on the ground, but they don’t see that you’ve got your wings ready. Their words make it that you forget you can fly if even for a little bit.
Now, this post has turned into a finger-pointing thing, but the truth between the lines is that I think people waste their lives. They listen to the wrong advice because it sounds good and safe. They believe that their chance for the dream will always come until it’s clear that it will never happen. I think all of us are guilty of this. We depend on people to help guide us, but nobody truly knows what we want and need except for us. Yet, we still listen and deny ourselves the dream.
It’s almost like society depends on people giving up on what they really want. Only so many people can stand at the top for some reason. I wonder what life would be like if we saw the world less like a jagged peak and more like a large plateau. Even better if there was room in this world for everyone to be what they dreamed of being. Imagine a world like that. Wonder how many problems would be solved if people were allowed the right to be happy with their dreams.
(Think this post got really far away from me.)