Unmoored

Hello, friends. Ever since my most recent Three Line Tales response post, I’ve been thinking a lot. About… well, everything. About my future. Specifically, what I thought my future would be like by now. Cute house with a big yard, two kids, married, a good career doing something I love, maybe even a dog. Hell, I at least thought I’d have my license by now. Sadly, that is not the case. None of it is.

Strap in for yet another pity party, folks.

I’ve written a lot in the past about all of the what if questions that plague me on a daily basis, and although I always advise others to not dwell on past mistakes and decisions, I’ve always had a hard time taking my own advice. On pretty much everything. Don’t get me wrong, given the opportunity, I’d never travel back in time to change anything, because the outcome would be completely uncertain. I may never meet my fiance, or have my son. Hell, I could die. Who really knows?

I definitely don’t. The Butterfly Effect and all that.

I wouldn’t change anything, but there are so many things I wish I had done differently. Things I kick myself over every day. I wish I hadn’t taken so many people in my life for granted, specifically, my mom. I wish I had opened up to her more, and tried harder to keep the lines of communication open after I left home. I wish I had focused on school more. I wish I had focused more on myself, and what I needed in my life, instead of trying to please everyone around me. I wish I hadn’t pushed everyone in my life away to pursuit a brand new life with a boy I had never even met in person. I wish I had gone to one of the many universities that I had been accepted to, and not left the country with said boy to go to a school that I never wanted to go to. I wish I had saved more money from the numerous, dead-end jobs, so that I could pay off my debts that I still owe to said school. I wish I had been smarter about life in general.

Mostly, I just wish I had gotten to know myself better. I spent so much time and energy worrying about everything and everyone in my life, and trying to run from my problems, that I lost myself. While other kids around me were branching out, deciding what path they wanted to take in their future to better themselves and start their lives in the real world, I was running around in virtual, fantasy worlds. Sure, I applied to schools, and I got into them. But I had no plan. Even when I thought I had a plan, it was bullshit.

Everything about me was bullshit.

I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted. And now, I still don’t know who I am. I don’t know my strengths and weaknesses. I still don’t know what I want. I don’t even know how to take the steps to figure out what I want. I don’t know anything.

And now, as a 27 year old woman with no college degree, no real training of any kind, no connections, no money, no friends, and no particular set of skills, I feel lost. Completely and utterly lost. And I am barely keeping it together. Whenever anything feels like it is even remotely close to being within my grasp, it slips away. One step forward, ten steps back. Now, I feel like I am just floating through life, stuck frozen in time, even though I am getting older. I’m getting older at al what feels like an alarming rate, but I stay stuck in one place, watching everyone I know fly past me, collecting more achievements and successes than I could ever even dream of having for myself.

I feel like a failure. Every day. Like I’m nothing.

I hate feeling like this, and I hate that I’ve been feeling like this for as long as I have. I especially hate knowing that it is completely my fault that I’m in this dark place.

I don’t know what to do anymore.

Jan
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Unmoored

Daily Prompt 5/24/2016 | Quarter-Life Crisis

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt | Phase

I am 26 years 0 months 27 days old.
I am 312 months 27 days old.
I am 1360 weeks 4 days old.
I am 9,524 days old.
I am 228,576 hours old.
I am 13,714,560 minutes old.
I am 822,873,600 seconds old… well, roughly.

I am closer to 30 than I am to 20, and while I have been for over a year, technically, it is really just starting to hit me now. I’m at the age now where, not only have many of my friends graduated with a 4-year degree from college, but some now also have Master’s degrees. Many of my friends have reached their goals as graduates, and go to their dream jobs (or something close to it, at least), and make money, and then go home to their house, that they own, and drink wine, while watching Netflix… or whatever it is functioning adults do. Even if they didn’t go to, or graduate from, college… everyone seems to be doing better than me in life. Everyone. Because of this, I’ve become withdrawn, bitter, and angry. I’m sure people are tired of my whining and complaining, since the advice and tough love that I used to receive from friends and loved ones has been replaced by absolute silence. But just for fun, let’s reach into my mind for a moment.

I have no degree, but still owe my old college money, 7 years later.
I have no job (granted, that’s because I stay home with my son, but before that, it was endless, dead end jobs).
I have no house, and constantly get stuck renting horrible places, because that is all I can afford, because of the previous two things.
I have no car, I don’t even have a license. This makes remedying ANY of the precious three things much more difficult.

I am going nowhere. I am getting older, and my life is going absolutely nowhere. I had such high hopes for myself when I was younger, and everything went wrong. For a long time, I blamed everything falling apart on other people/things. I was in such a hurry to grow up, and prove that I was an adult, that I forgot that I was just a stupid, broke kid. I refused to accept help, or listen to reason, because I wanted people to think I had it all under control. But I didn’t.

I had to drop out of college after one (terrible) year because I could no longer afford it. I thought I had my student loan situation handled, but I didn’t, and it all fell through. My mom gave me a loan to cover my first semester so that I would be able to finish the year, but then I couldn’t pay for my second semester. I still owe both my mom, and the school, money. As I said… it has been 7 years, and thanks to my track record of moving every year, and landing nothing but minimum wage jobs, I haven’t been able to make a dent in that debt. I hadn’t gone to school out of the country, to go to school with my then boyfriend, and get away from my family, I could have gone to the local community college, and probably have graduated. I could have gotten my degree, and maybe saved some money by staying at home, and gotten my own place.

Everything that I have done in my adult life, I’ve done for the wrong reasons. For love, for a guy, for convenience… I never thought of the consequences of any of my actions, and now I am stuck dealing with all of them at once, at a stage in my life when I should have my shit at least somewhat together. I wanted to grow up too fast, and now I’m stuck feeling like a helpless child, unable to move forward with my life because I don’t have any of the means to do so.

I am tired of it. Despite my thirst for even a shred of independence, I am always stuck relying on other people just to survive. To help bring me to work, to help bring me to the store, to help me with money when shit goes wrong, to share my space and help me pay the bills because minimum wage just doesn’t cover it, even in a slum. I’ve had to rely on other people throughout my entire adult life, up to this point, and I am ashamed. I have a son now, and while he depends on me 100%, I still depend on everyone around me. I don’t want him growing up knowing that his mother was useless. That she never finished college, and never had a decent job, and never did anything important with her life. And I want so much more for him, so he does not turn out like me, but how do you instill those values in your child, when you are hardly an example yourself?

I try to live without regrets, but when it comes down to it, I feel like I regret everything. I am torn between wishing I could have done everything differently, and wishing I had done nothing differently, because it would have changed my present 110%. Would my life be better? Would it be worse? Would I even be alive?

I don’t sleep anymore. When I do sleep, I hardly dream. I am always tired, despite doing nothing with my life, and I am always sad. I am sad, and angry, and tired. Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother getting out of bed. Everything feels pointless. And I don’t know what to do about any of it. I am stuck.

Is this what they call a quarter-life crisis? Or is this an existential crisis? Either way, it sucks.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan