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08 February 2009

How did you wish life was going to turn out when you were younger? Has anybody's life turned out the way they had imagined?? I'm trying to get snippets of how I can deal with this when my time comes. Crying is not an option, so that's gone.
My life has turned a lot like I imagined and even better in some ways. At 16 I thought I'd be living in the woods in some sort of off-the-grid, self-sufficient bungalow with my old man and some kids, making my own granola. I didn't go for quite that extreme, thank God. It wouldn't make me happy now. I like people and town and music and activity too much - so though my love of nature and living by principle hasn't lessened, my actual life isn't that rugged or isolated. But because I didn't run off and do that, I have had a career I didn't even know was a field when I was younger, and lots of experiences I couldn't have put on a list of goals because I didn't know they'd come along. But basically, the tastes and ideas and principles that my life has been based on are recognizably the same ones I valued when younger.

Sometimes when I'm alone and having a good day, I often think that my teenage self would be very proud and impressed with who I became. I've been able to live mostly the life I wanted, and I'm not done yet.

One of the hardest things for me to learn, though, is there are large swaths of life you really can't control. You might have one vision of where things have to be headed to make you happy - and chances are, you're wrong. Chances are there are kinds of happiness you can't yet imagine, and choices you'll never understand how you'd make until you're standing at the crossroads. And that's half the beauty and surprise of life - being open to the chances when they come around.

But yeah, I'm not surprised at how I 'turned out,' though like I said, I won't consider myself done until I'm dead and gone.
posted by Miko 08 February | 23:10
I always find that cynicism works well when dealing with navel gazing. You're where you're at, and you can't change that by wishing you had done things differently. You didn't do them differently, so now you're here. Deal with it.

Now that I'm old, am I surprised at how I turned out? No. Considering my personality, I'm just where I should be. Life's funny that way. You get exactly what the cards deal you, and what you deserve.
posted by eekacat 08 February | 23:19
I imagined I would play lacrosse in the NCAA finals for the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, and after scoring the winning goal (as a defenseman) with a 115 mph crank shot from outside the box (against Carolina, natch), I'd be helicoptered from the middle of Homewood Field to the university hospital (where I was born, of course) to perform emergency open-heart surgery on someone who needed it. Of course, my imagination was helped along by the colossally important film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension."

I was twelve. The best laid plans of mice and children, ya know?
posted by Hugh Janus 08 February | 23:21
Has anybody's life turned out the way they had imagined??

No. That's not what life does.

To be more precise: yeah, some people's lives have turned out exactly as they expected or hoped. Heck, I have a relative who is successful in the job he always wanted from the time we were children, and now has the loving, happy family he always assumed he'd have. Even so, he's hit some bumps along the way --- family trouble, personal heartache, health concerns. I suppose the snapshot of his life is more or less what he always imagined, but the path to it was rocky and utterly beyond his youthful imagining.

I often reflect that 10-year-old Elsa, or 15-year-old Elsa, or 19-year-old Elsa would be at best disconcerted (and at worst appalled) to see what 39-year-old Elsa has become --- it's so far from my younger dreams. But I'm happy.

Certainly, my younger self and would simply bawl with frustration at the physical and personal damages that I've suffered. For most of us, life bestows random doses of banal tragedy. That's dramatically changed the person I am.

But that is life. And I don't mean that as a throw-away remark, like "Fffft, that's life." I mean that is life. Life is the things that you make happen, and also the things that happen to you.

And you are not just the person you imagined yourself to be in youth, but also the person who learns to cope with the vicissitudes of life. Pssst: crying is an option, if it helps you. Crying is not the same as despairing.
posted by Elsa 08 February | 23:37
I actually planned when I was a teenager to be a computer programmer living in a big city which turned out to be true (well if Pittsburgh counts as big) but it took a much more complicated circuitous route than I would have ever imagined. I would never have imagined the eight years of working in construction or taking 16 years to get my BS degree or two marriages or being the dad of a college-age kid at the age of 44.
posted by octothorpe 08 February | 23:46
Is it allowed ... to say your life turned out rotten? I mean, hadjiboy, I know you're looking for comfort here. So you can skip right over this one if you want. But ...

When I was twelve I decided to become a lawyer. When I was sixteen, I knew I'd be a political consultant. And by the time I was twenty-four, I had a good career in journalism.

Then everything went south. I couldn't hold myself up any more, and suddenly work was too much for me. Everything was. For every step I took up the Alpine Path, I'd fall back ten.

And so then I was officially disabled. And somehow the rest of my life went up in flames too: I hadn't had as much time for my friends when I was working so hard, and they filled my place. Eventually it got so even those friends I kept, I was pushing them away.

Which leaves me where I am now: about to get evicted, jobless, penniless, and irrationally hopeless. Or rationally, depending. Living the way people always talk about others living isn't peachy keen. You know when you're making an argument for the defense of a homeless person? He might be mentally ill, you say.

And so there it is. I have food and shelter only because I'm fortunate enough to have two people in my life who love me very much. They make me want to keep trying, to not give up the idea that I, at twenty-nine, have not yet 'turned out.'

Most of my days are miserable. I wake up late in the afternoon, I shower and try to leave the house. I get a cup of coffee, chain-smoke cigarettes, and browse the web. By evening I feel my sense of panic rising, and leaving the house is out of the question. Around eight or nine o'clock, a friend or two might call. I'll rush folks off the phone because I'm too busy having a panic attack.

Eventually I'll calm down, only to stay up the whole night thinking about monsters in the closet.

So no, my life hasn't turned out the way I imagined it at all, hadjiboy. But then, I never had much sympathy for the mentally ill until I was. And even now I find it hard to forgive myself for not enjoying life more.

Honestly? I'm pretty sure there's the potential for awesome out there. If I can learn to fight this thing better, and if I can quash it down, I will be able to climb much higher in my career. And in the rest of my life. It just depends on finding the right treatment, and it may take a little longer than I imagined it would.

Okay, a lot longer. :)
posted by brina 08 February | 23:51
I was going to own a restaurant.

I became an engineer.
posted by Doohickie 08 February | 23:55
When I was a kid I dreamed about being a pilot. Now I'm a legal secretary. I've had my share of victory, disaster and heartbreak along the way. Mostly I'm very fortunate to share my time with people who love and respect me. But I first had to figure out that I was worth their love and respect, y'know?
posted by lonefrontranger 09 February | 00:17
side note: One thing I'm starting to think is that being alive is in itself unlikely and a true gift. Most else is gravy. Any day you're not hungry, in pain, or in danger is basically a good day.
posted by Miko 09 February | 00:29
A dirty hippy once said "Life is what happens while you're making other plans".

Suffice it to say that my life is nothing like what I thought it would be... perhaps apart from the fact that I'm not married, and I have a cat. Those things I expected.
posted by pompomtom 09 February | 00:46
Also: crying is always an option! Cry like crazy! Life, cry. Cry, life. What is a life without tears? Doesn't exist.
posted by Miko 09 February | 00:54
I fully expected to be a world-famous music journalist, married to a rock star, living on an island off the west coast of Ireland.

Things turned out much better.
posted by scody 09 February | 01:07
I spent my teen years and early adulthood impaired... learning how to become an alcoholic. I was more interested in where my next drink was coming from than I was about what I wanted to be, or what was to become of me.

I managed to find a job (that ended up lasting 30 years) that paid the bills and enabled me to do what I really wanted, which was to drink, and drink, and drink. My long-term plan consisted of making it through today so I could start again tomorrow.

When I finally overcame the addiction at age 40 and began recovery, it was as if I was 16 all over again. Alcohol deprived me of maturity. It alienated my family and friends. It took away whatever childhood thoughts I may have ever entertained of what I thought life was supposed to be.

These days, life just is. And it is good. I've been sober now 16 years. I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing right now. I try not to regret my past because I certainly can't change it. Instead I focus on enjoying what is presented to me in the here and now. And I am happy, joyous, and free. That is all anyone could hope their life would turn out to be.
posted by netbros 09 February | 01:22
When I decided I knew what I wanted my life to be like, I didn't know myself yet. So of course, by getting to know myself, I realized all those dreams didn't really make sense or aren't attainable. I don't even want a lot of the things I thought I did when I was a teenager and young adult.

Strictly comparing those ideas to where I am now, my life has been in many ways a series of terrible failures. I am happy I am the person I have become, and happy to have had the experiences I have had and to have learned the things I learned from them. But those things have not come easily or painlessly. And I do often wish that I had suffered less, made better decisions, been smarter and tried harder.

The older I get the less I know I know, and the more I believe I'll never know. But strangely, that comforts me more and more.
posted by loiseau 09 February | 01:27
When I was 12, I imagined I would be a doctor in my hometown, married with a few kids by the time I was 30. I still have two more years, but I don't think I'm going to make that.

I am surprised that my life hasn't gone as planned, and I don't mean how 12-year-old-me planned. I was married and fully expected that to continue, resulting in some children and some happiness. I'm still surprised and confused as to how all of that ended, even though I know it was the best and only course of action.
posted by rhapsodie 09 February | 02:48
In a word, no. Even though I've never had any real plans - just dreams, ideas, hopes - pretty much nothing has gone as I imagined it would. Then again, my expectations for my life have always been so low that everything I have now is more than I could have hoped for when I was fifteen (or eighteen). My life has been full of surprises, and I hope there's more of them to come.
posted by Daniel Charms 09 February | 03:12
19-year-old heeeraldo was all set to kill himself (tried, too; couldn't quite do it.), so 23-year-old heeeraldo is still healing, but generally okay with things.

I'm not going into medicine as was pressed upon me for long enough that I thought it was something I wanted, but I think, for the most part, I'm okay with where I'm going. (which is, if you're interested, somewhere with a camera; whether it's journalism or art is as yet undecided.)

Also, hadji, as Indian men we* have extra stoicism expected of us, but sometimes you have to cry. I recommend doing so out of joy.

*sort of, in my case; my parents are from Fiji but most of the cultural functions and expectations ported just fine, as far as I can tell.
posted by heeeraldo 09 February | 03:22
Hi, heeeraldo; I wasn't aware that you had some Fijian blood running in you.
Thank you all for sharing your stories!

Mine was rather run-of-the-mill you would say... I was born, discovered the movies, and wanted to be an Actor ever since. Or I should say that I wanted to be famous--for the right reasons--and back then the right reason seemed to be acting.

I never thought about how lucky I was coming into this world--that even though I was born three months premature--I still made it. I was born in a small hospital in Hyderabad and my dad paid the attending physician to make her morning and evening rounds with me, and had even paid her to have her put me with one of the other babies when I was born because their weren't enough incubators at the time.

He also arranged for a cab to take my mom from the house, to the Hospital, three times a day to feed me milk... how easily I forget stuff.

I had forgotten all of this, even though I used to hear stories about it from my dad. But that was the old me... the new me likes to remember stuff like this, and wants to be with his parents as long as I can.

I even had a job lined up before the accident, and all that mattered to me then was--how much money will I make--and will that be enough. Right now, I just want to do the job for the customer's, to make sure they're getting what they wanted, and if not, why not, and is there anything that I can do to change that.

I want to help people as much as I can, period.
posted by hadjiboy 09 February | 04:19
When I get up tomorrow, I'll be getting up to be a computer waitress. That is, I'll be showing up in a computer lab on a university campus to help students get their work done. That is sure NOT what I ever planned.

What I had originally planned was a biochemical degree and designing medicines to help the world.

Then, once I had gotten my degree and gotten a job as a technical writer, I planned on doing that.

Then, I unexpectedly became a mom. Twice.

Plus stepkids in the mix, who are no longer my stepkids.

When I get up tomorrow and go be a computer waitress, I will be doing good things, and doing good things makes me happy to get out of bed. My boss is happy to get out of bed, much earlier than I do, and do good things.

So my advice, such as it is, is to do good things, to the best of your ability.
posted by lilywing13 09 February | 05:21
Oh, I'm 40 now. The kids are 11 and 10. I've been doing my job for 5 years and a few months.

Please don't overplan your existence. That way leads only to failure and sadness, I think.
posted by lilywing13 09 February | 05:23
I never really imagined my life in the future. Seriously. I didn't dream about adult life as a kid or teenager. Somewhere around senior year I started to think hard about what I could do to make some money and have job security.

When my friends and family suggested that my husband and I get married (we dated for over five years) we thought that marriage was a good idea and got married. I never dreamed of having children either until I got married.

I didn't have any big dreams but I think my adult life is pretty nice.
posted by LoriFLA 09 February | 08:52
In my life, I wanted to be:

1. The Jackson Five when I was four - I even introduced myself five times in a row at a party once. "Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello!"

2. George Plimpton when I was seventeen, i.e. The Editor of the Paris Review. I thought the Paris Review was the coolest thing on the planet. I also listened to Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis, smoked clove cigarettes, and stared out the window a lot.

3. When I was 30, I was glad to be alive and to have survived a deeply dysfunctional alooholic upbringing.

4. Now, at 40, I no longer ask myself what should have happened, am I bummed about it, blah-blah-blah.

The most important thing to do in your life is to realize that you are a part of everyone elses' existence, and your successes and failures are all supported or shared by people you know and don't know.

Humility is everything. Responsibility to yourself and others is everything else. There is nothing new under the sun, only stuff that's New To You.

Learn to enjoy being wrong, and to share. There's wisdom innit.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 09 February | 09:00
I never planned much but things sort of tend to fall into place. I'm 45 now and no, I am not famous and no, I have not painted the Great American Painting or written the Great American Novel, two small tasks I figured I would have gotten out of the way by now. I have managed to raise two perfectly wonderful people, so there's that, even if I didn't win an Oscar first and then adopt a whole bunch of disadvantaged children and raise them in idyllic organic happiness on a giant farm. I do not have pet lions. Nicolas Cage and I are not married, although as of 1980 or so I was absolutely certain that that would eventually be the case. Well, or maybe Thomas Dolby, who I have never dated. And I'm not living in penthouse in NYC, a beachhouse on Folly or a castle in Europe and all the way up through my 20s I would have recoiled in horror at the thought of spending my life in a backwater tourist town like Asheville.

I did end up being the weird lady with two dogs in a weird house on a weird street and probably I should have seen that coming. I never figured that I would have a job like the one I do or certainly that I would actually enjoy most of it, most days. Most of the time I feel like I glanced around a little too long one day and twenty years went by; time speeds up so much as you get older and there you are, your life is half over.

I could get depressing here - one of the things you realize in your forties is how your horizons have narrowed and your options have lessened. I'm still coming to terms with that. Chances of my life taking a big huge turn at this point are pretty slim. I'm not going to change much from now on, except in the wrinkling department. Well, that's okay. You're given this body and this soul and all when you're born and then it's up to you to use it up as best you can. No, I'm not rich or famous or much of anything, but I have a ton of good friends, an orange kitchen that cheers me right up and the memories of one helluva lot of good times. I'm sorry that I never made my parents happy by becoming or marrying a lawyer or having the life they thought I should have, that I was raised to. That is too bad but in the long run, I needed and still need to make myself happy first. It isn't easy, the gods know, it isn't easy.
posted by mygothlaundry 09 February | 10:01
Everything that Miko said. She always says it best.
posted by msali 09 February | 10:12
To Brina:

Open. The. Windows. At least a smidgen.

Leave. The. House and WALK however far it is to buy some Enya. Let her lull you to sleep at night.

You are depriving yourself of daylight, Vitamin D (and probably lots of other nutrients), fresh air and exercise and no wonder you're panicked and depressed. You deserve better.

There is someplace (lots of places) that would love for you to come every day even for just two hours and help out. Find that place and volunteer. It won't interfere with your getting a real job. You will feel physically and mentally better once you start there. Walk there and back if you can; if not, that's OK for now.

I hope I'm not sounding tiresome, but whatever else you know that has helped you in the past, DO IT already. Baby steps and all that, and before you know it...

At least listen to some Enya already.

posted by serena 09 February | 10:28
One wierd thing about humans is that we think about the future - the far away future, even, and try to plan for it. We mostly get a form of pleasure from this - through feeling in control, or through fantasy. We also sometimes get anxiety. The thing is, though, that even if our plans come to fruition, there is no guarantee that we'll be happy when that time comes. By that time, we might want something else. So enjoy thinking about the future. Do things that move you toward a goal, if it makes you feel good. Just be prepared to switch direction and accept the twists and turns.

I've always been pretty good at going with the flow and taking or exploring opportunities and choosing what options to follow without stressing too much about it.

Did I turn out the way I thought I would? Not really. Will I change more before my time is done? Yes. The limited options of half-life can be sort of a downer, but many of these are ultimately self-imposed, and we continue to change if we really want to or must.
posted by rainbaby 09 February | 10:40
When I was wee, I wanted to be a writer. My parents didn't approve of such a silly notion and took away pretty much all of my writing utensils. I wound up scratching some sentence into the headboard of my bed using a nail that I pried from the ceiling. (I still sleep in said bed in the same house, ftr.) They gave up on trying to stamp out that bit of my personality.
When I was in 2nd grade, I honestly didn't see how I was going to even make it to middle school. (That sentence looks funny to me now, but I have brief glimpses of memory from around that time period and fuck, if I think I'm depressed now, it was something times a million then.)

I've given up trying to see more than a month or two in front of me. I've never been very good at trying to visualize the future and so I've pretty much just given up on it. We're all going to die anyways.
posted by sperose 09 February | 10:46
Ah, but what glorious deaths we shall live! To arms!
posted by Hugh Janus 09 February | 10:48
I don't know. I'll let you know when my life turns out. Right now, it's still happening.
posted by Eideteker 09 February | 11:16
When I was a little kid (elementary school aged) my prediction was I'd be a bachelor for life (my role models were Gandalf and Merlyn) and I really wanted to make video games (a sort of wizard like activity). In High School my dream was to be the next Kerouac: stompin' the terra and writing it up. Then in college it was science and my whole goal was a ph.d and research (cognitive science being my axe).

Now, a dozen years after having graduated college, I never got my advanced degree and I'm pretty much a permentally single video game maker. Go figure. Though I gotta say it's not as great as my 9 year old self would have thought.
posted by kodama 09 February | 12:26
When I was coming "of age," I took it as a given that all of the doom and gloom predictions of Cayce, Nostrodamus, etc, etc, would come about in a very short time, and that society would break down, and I would either perish, or fit into the New Age, living in some sort of small community. I really believed this.

When that scenario did not quite happen (maybe it's happening now), I did this and that job, and finally got on with my current employer here, and, while in some sort of entry level position, I imagined creating this position in which I was in charge of health and safety, and even envisioned a level of income. It's taken awhile, a long while, but everything I envisioned years ago has taken place, and I am in the exact job I wished for, with the income that I thought that would make me affluent (hah!).

So, I can't complain, but in the words of Joe Walsh, sometimes I still do.
posted by danf 09 February | 12:29
netbros said, almost word-for-word, what I was going to say, only he said it better.
posted by essexjan 09 February | 12:36
When I was small, I wanted to be an engine-driver (you know, on a train). They told me I couldn't be an engine driver, because I was a girl. Then we went on a school trip to the local air base and I wanted to be a pilot. The staff there told me that I could only be an air-traffic controller, because I was a girl.
When I graduated from University, my expectations were raised by the UK Equal Opportunities Act. I was going to be a broadcasting engineer. All my friends got jobs with the BBC. I, the only girl in my year - who had much better grades than my friends, had my application "lost" by the BBC ... 4 times.
I got a job in research, expecting it to be exciting and leading-edge. The guys made me carry all the heavy equipment ("you wanted to be an engineer ..."). I never got to do anything remotely leading edge.
I went to work for a large telecoms firm, expecting wider horizons. They treated me as the camp mascot (token woman) and never allowed me near anything really stretching. I was bored out of my skull. But I used the time to take some computing training courses. Which qualified me for my next job.
From one view, my life could seem to have been a sequence of missed opportunities because of my gender. Out of the blue, my husband announced that he was leaving. That lost me my home (and most of my life's savings, as the b**** took much more than he had contributed). But it also made me take responsibility for starting over. I went into consultancy, which funded a return to College. I completed another degree and moved to the US. I started a new life.
So no - my life has never been the glorious accomplishment that I had hoped. But there is always time(!). Yes, being a girl still sucks, on occasion. My male colleagues still get much higher pay and better breaks. But I have learned to live with this and to be grateful that I have a job in these troubling times. Although I struggle with the stress of my job, I enjoy my work. When I don't enjoy it any more, I will learn how to do something new -- no matter how old I am (I don't have much of a retirement fund, so I will be working until I drop). Sometimes I am astonished that anyone could pay me to do what I do. Most times, I am just thankful ... :-)
posted by Susurration 09 February | 13:32
By 30, my life was going better than I had imagined, but then, I came from a poverty-level appalachian town that frowned on high aspirations. I was raised to be a slacker with no clue how to advance, so I just jumped from one good opportunity to something better as they came along.

I didn't learn until I was 40 how to achieve, and that is: learn everything you can about the position you are in, not just your job but your personal life as well, and the position you desire. Also, the insurance industry knows what kind of beanballs life can throw at people, and 9/10 of what an insurance salesman says is NOT just a sales pitch. The trick here lies in dealing with a reputable inurance company.

Now at 50, I am permanently disabled, but because I had the best disability insurance offered, my benefits pay more than most americans make each month. Well, caveat time, when the system works anyway.
posted by Ardiril 09 February | 13:47
More or less. When I was about 11, Jacques Costeau/Jane Goodall/Alfred Wallace were my role models. I had just read Wallace's Malay Archipelago and was in love with the idea of being a Victorian naturalist, wandering the tropics, describing new species and meeting people from other cultures. By age 13, I was involved with a conservation organization and was spending most of my time in the field. I went onto to study Zoology in college to the great disappointment of my folks (who really wanted me to be a doctor or an engineer). They mellowed out when I went for my master's and by the time I entered my Phd, were very proud of me.

By following this path, I have traveled a bunch, worked in different countries and have seen places most people cannot visit. It turned out less romantic than I had imagined but not by very much. I currently get paid to work on ideas that I find exciting. Work rarely feels like work. The pay sucks but it is more than sufficient for me to life comfortably and travel internationally once or twice a year.
posted by special-k 09 February | 14:43
life = live
posted by special-k 09 February | 14:46
Hadjiboy, I've watched your struggle with these topics for some time now, and believe me, this is not a criticism, merely an observation... well, and some existential blathering on my part.

I am continually astonished by the capacity of the human psyche to attach and relate mostly to negative experiences and thoughts. I'm sure there's some evolutionary significance to this... maybe risk avoidance? But as I look back over my life, there has been so much that has been good about it. It's tempting to say I've led a boring mainstream existence, and yea, so I have. But in comparison to other people's struggles it seems so trite of me to complain.

Not to go all New-Agey but I think this focus-on-the-negative tendency of human nature is so strong, there's even a specific Tarot card that describes it: the 5 of Cups. It shows three spilled cups, with two still standing -- and the person on the card weeps in sorrow at their loss. They are so caught up in grief, they can't even focus on the positive - they haven't lost everything, yet.

I use that symbology as a lesson, and a warning: pay attention to what you've got going for you. Focus on solutions, not the problem. It's like a wreck on the freeway...if you turn your head to look, you risk putting yourself in danger, too.

Pardon me for rambling, but I've learned that lesson several times over, the hard way.
posted by lonefrontranger 09 February | 15:21
I think we all have plans that get derailed at some point along the line. My father died when I was 21, because he was too squeamish to get checked for colon cancer. I often feel that my career trajectory would have been different had he been alive, for he was a well-known journalist and good at giving advice. I had always assumed that I would get married and work a nice pleasant non-profit job that would help in saving the world. Instead, I worked for a non-profit for 15 years that took advantage of me, monetarily mostly, and had a couple of relationships that ended in catastrophe. So now I'm almost 40, by myself, and working in a for-profit corporation. And loving it. The complete opposite of what I dreamed of for my entire youth. But sometimes dreams in the distance aren't quite what they seem to be when seen up close.
posted by Melismata 09 February | 16:09
"I worked for a non-profit for 15 years that took advantage of me..."

I've been on both sides of that fence too. I am happy to report that I am fortunate to work for the Evil Big Pharmaco Industrial Overlords... And that in my case, they have done more concrete good for the environment and for local charity than all the handwavey public interest and nonprofit groups I worked for dogfood wages for in my idealistic teens and twenties, put together. This is not to say BigPharmaCo doesn't have some skeletons in the closet - but over the past decade they've gone above and beyond to both clean up their act and promote a legacy of good deeds that now serves as example for the rest of the industry.
posted by lonefrontranger 09 February | 16:24
A lot better than this.
posted by dg 10 February | 04:23
*hugs dg, hugs everyone*

I've avoided answering this question, because I don't know how to answer it. I imagined I might be writer of some kind, and I was, for a while. I imagined that I would have kids, and I didn't. But that's nearly all I imagined for myself, I think. Because here's the odd thing about me, I really, honestly don't think about myself very much, and this is something that's hard to explain.

It certainly doesn't mean that I'm self-sacrificing and humble; I'm more usually quite the opposite. It doesn't mean that I'm without imagination or hope. It doesn't mean that I feel like a pawn of the universe. I just feel bored thinking about myself... even though I don't think I'm boring.

Here's what I believe: I'm pretty sure I could have been a "famous" person to at least some degree because I have some abilities that I could have pushed towards that end, plus I'm likable, and I have lots of luck. I definitely could have been a lot richer. I'm sure I could have been: a successful politician, a successful high-profile journalist, a successful guru, a successful mother, a successful pretty-much-anything academic (in the humanities, but not necessarily); a successful (but only good) computer programmer; a successful (but only good) designer or decorator. And other things I can't think of right now.

But for whatever reason, I end up sort of ducking opportunities to be Big and Successful, and I'm pretty sure that it's not because I think I don't deserve it, I think that it's just that I want my life to be more serene and calm than that. I certainly have that now, though I think maybe I've organized it so it's way too serene, but there you go.

Basically, I would say my life is more amazing and better than what I might have imagined it to be, and also more disappointing and meaningless... especially since at the end of this very long post, which I expect almost nobody to finish, I will admit that the only thing I ever really wanted to "turn out to be" when I was young was a poet. I do not have sufficient mind, or skills, or luck, or connections, or celestial dusting for this.
posted by taz 10 February | 06:10
Don't sell yourself short taz - you have more dust than anyone I know ;-)

Thanks for the hug - hugs from friends always make things less dark and scary.
posted by dg 10 February | 06:51
taz, someone's always reading, and they're lucky if it can be from you, or any of the others!

PS. You can send me your poetry any day... :)
posted by hadjiboy 10 February | 07:22
Any day you're not hungry, in pain, or in danger is basically a good day.

I think end the end that's the heard-realized truth.
posted by Firas 10 February | 09:47
posted by Firas 10 February | 09:48
Happy Birthday BoringPostcards!!!!! || The greatest part of virtue lies in the absence of opportunity for vice.