One of the biggest moments in my life was when I realized that the cookie cutter life of go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house, have 2 kids, work until 65 and then grab a chair for your twilight years and die. I hated being at school (but loved learning things). Everything I thought I wanted to do for a job was actively discouraged by everyone in my life. I grappled with a romantic and sexual orientation that was confusing at best and destructive at worse. My home and family life was a terrible example of what marriage and kids was supposed to be and I wanted no part of it. Retirement meant selling my soul to a company for 25 years in a job I didn’t want to do. That gold watch and fixed income meant that I was old and had not lived to do anything extraordinary.
And all I really wanted was to be extraordinary or to live extraordinarily. Or something like that.
I was a kid. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and there wasn’t anyone in my life who was going to tell me what other options for life and living there were out there. I had no possibility of doing anything different from what was expected, not that anyone told me what was expected outright. The expectations were unspoken but they were as ubiquitous as the air and supposed to be as easy to take in as breathing.
I felt like I was drowning a lot of the time.
A lot of things happened that made me question and discard the weight of those expectations.
- Years in therapy
- A couple of trips to rehab
- A couple of trips to the nuthouse
- The Ethical Slut (book)
- Trying to find god
- Embracing atheism
- Doing drugs after rehab
- Redefining love, relationships, and even marriage, for myself
- Deciding for myself what’s “age appropriate”.
- Getting my tubes tied months before I got married
My way isn’t The Way by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s my way. I’m more content at this moment than I’ve ever been. My mental health is about as stable as it’s been in my life. I’m physically stronger than I’ve ever been. I love many people and many things. I have changes to make and things to do. I guess this is the time and place to get started.