Almost Half My Life is Over, and I Still Don’t Know What I’m Going to do with the Other Half

I’m almost 30. This doesn’t sound old to most people maybe, but to me it feels very old. Life moves so fast. It feels like I should've accomplished more by now. I don’t think I remember being a child, what it felt like. If I sit here and concentrate, nothing happens. I’m not sure where all those adolescent years and my early 20's went. Things like that just disappear. I know what I did during some of those years, but for the most part they’re a blur. I remember some things.

I remember growing up in the projects. I remember moving into a house in an ‘okay’ neighborhood, which ‘got worse’ as I got older. I remember doing drugs. I remember ‘doing’ lots of drugs more than what it felt like to be ‘on’ lots of drugs. I remember being an alcoholic. I remember my daughter being born. I worked overnights for a long time. I had a nervous breakdown. I remember not understanding anything for a long time. I remember that not changing.

I start classes at the end of this month. This will be my last semester for a BA in English. My cumulative GPA is 3.9. So what. I'm an idiot. I have no idea what I'm going to do after graduation. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I'm not resourceful in that way. I have no ambition, no goals, nothing I want to do that I think would make me 'happy'. I don’t want to participate in the world humans have constructed around themselves, the silly things we convince ourselves of, what we think matters.

I want to do something creative, something I feel proud of that others might also feel good about. I don't want to waste my life going to work, doing something I’m not happy doing, something that will make me miserable. I’ve done that. I want to be 'happy'. I want my daughter to see me being happy. Almost half my life is over, and I still don’t know what I’m going to do with the other half. What it means to be alive, what it feels like to be alive, makes less sense the older I get.

Life moves so fast. I think that’s okay maybe, if I don’t think about it. I thought of writing something ‘profound’, like: “Life is something that only makes sense if you don’t think about it.” This means it will maybe never make sense to me.

P.S. - A chapter from The Immortals Act Their Age called "The Shell of Reflection" was published yesterday in Sheldon Lee Compton's new journal, A-Minor Magazine (Big Thanks again, Sheldon...). It's a sister chapter to "Model Airplanes," which appeared earlier this year in Emprise Review.

4 comments:

xTx said...

your life isn't half over. MY life is half over.

Your life is half beginning. Trust me and move forward accordingly.

DJ Berndt said...

I don't think anyone knows what to do with their lives, or where they are going, or what they have really done.

It's a tough feeling, but it's something we all struggle with. You aren't alone.

Jessica Maybury said...

I know exactly how you feel. I'm 25 now and haven't accomplished anything, really. Let's run away and make a cult on an island! That'll show em.

Eric Beeny said...

@xTx Thank you. Maybe all our lives are always half over - or, always beginning, always ending. I like that. That kind of makes sense right now, but I probably won't feel that way in 10 minutes. You're right about moving forward...

@DJ Thank you. Agreed. These feelings are universal. Intuitively, rationally, I know I'm not alone in these respects, but it's sometimes hard to separate the rational mind from the emotional mind. I think it's weird we even feel we need to accomplish things. We all have these individual 'hopes' which ultimately correspond to the greater good, yet the greater good often contradicts our 'hopes'. I 'hope' to understand this further...

@Jessica Thank you. That sounds like fun. Cut ourselves off from the world, its obligations and constraints. I'm not sure I'd want to start a cult, or even join one, but I'd like to live peacefully separated from capitalist/religious ideology. After a while, though, the world would probably fly over the island and bomb us...