In just under three months I will turn the corner. I'll be able to wheel myself out into the darkness and scream into the night, "I'm fifty years old! I beat the odds!"
No, more likely, I'll walk out into the darkness, grasp the deck railing, look up into the sky and think to myself, "Jeff, you're fifty years old. What have you done with your life? What have you accomplished? Who have you helped?" Then, I will look down at my feet to see where I'm standing and come to the realization that I've done nothing to better myself, anyone or this world and the regrets will come flooding through me. Again. Yet on this one upcoming night, it will hold much more signifigance.
There's nothing really different to what I think to myself now, except for the fifty years old part. Sure, you say that fifty is the new forty. Fifty isn't old. I agree. But reaching fifty with nothing to show for it is a bit of an eye-opener.
I'm stuck in a strange professional and mental life in which I have no control at the moment. Mostly because I'm stuck with a mind over which I have little to no control. I have lost all bearings so many times and for all intents and purposes and just want to be done with. I've done it all, it seems.
Let me make this crystal clear, this isn't about my marriage. I love my wife, I wouldn't change that. Where we live, yeah. In a heartbeat. I have no place to call my own and in that regard, I'm floating, lost in others worlds.
When it comes to careers and jobs, there's nothing left that doesn't require an advanced degree (which I find ridiculous) that I can pursue. Ask me not what I've done, but what I haven't done.
I am trapped within my mind. Wanting to do something more, something meaningful. And held captive by the worldly thoughts of needing to work to bring in the moolah, the money. To be 'normal' and part of society. On the other hand, I resent that thought and avoid it whether I realize it or not. The things that one does that are meaningful rarely bring in the money. They 'normal' things make sure you get the latest fashions and maybe ensure that you drive a nice car but I won't die buried in a nice car although I do have my Nat Nast shirt picked out for the big trip to the otherworld.
If you haven't read my blog posts, let me fill you in on something. Money is a necessary evil but it isn't a means to happiness. Nothing in this world is free. Thank you 'free' enterprise. Ironic, isn't it? Especially when nothing on this planet had a dollar value attached to it upon creation. I don't recall anywhere every hearing or reading, "and on the ninth day, god created pennies.... and they multiplied and were fruitful."
Yet, I have to stay where I am. To prove a point, I suppose. I don't necessarily like that. Damn if it's not me or I'm on another path mentally. It's back to pretending. Pretending to be happy. Pretending that every little success is a great victory. When really, I don't give a shit. Why should I care when I'm no more important to the ones who ultimately financially benefit from my efforts than the next meal I scrounge for from Arby's? I'll be questioned over that comment. That's not what I meant, honey. Don't take everything personally.
But, I'll press on. I'll be a happy little camper. Until it's very apparent that I'm on another path and this camper took the road less traveled. That, of course, could happen next year, next month or tomorrow. I do what my mind tells me and what my mind tells me is usually tied to my instincts.
Maybe twenty good years remain in my bag of tricks. I read an article that stated that those with my special form of thinking... you know, the, psst, bipolar thing,... tend to live an average of 20 years less than 'normal' people. Usually, the reason for the truncated life expectancy is due to suicide. But, I'm no longer prone to that mindset. Although sure, I go to bed at night occasionally hoping to not wake up the next morning. But I made promises to people that I intend to keep. I'll push the limits, that's my nature, but I'll not do that stupid selfish type thing.
Twenty good years, give or take, to hopefully accomplish a few things. It's a bizarre feeling to look at life in that perspective until you look at your last twenty years and how quickly it passed.
I'm not being morose, I'm being realistic and pragmatic. I know that I have a lot to offer. I also have a lot of shoes. Size 9 and 9.5. If you want 'em, let me know and I'll add you in my will.
So what does twenty years hold? What about next year? Where will I be and what will I be doing? There are plenty of people who have that all mapped out. Good for them, suckers. Life doesn't work that way. And if they happen to trudge from day to day with the same routine, the same thing over and over and look at it with a sense of regret, we aren't that different. Except for one small thing. They choose their unhappiness and their adherence to a future that they feel they can't change.
I trudge from day to day with a mind that never stops seeing the unlimited options but can't seem to grasp any of them. Too much swimming around up there and too many opinions.
Fifty. Just under two months. Tick tock. Go ahead and think it's no big deal. Just don't tell it to me, or anyone who still has dreams.
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