the_goren_show: (thinking)
[personal profile] the_goren_show

I don't know how I feel anymore.  I want to change and yet to change is frightening, not only to the one thinking of making the change but to all those around him. People, even the best of them, stick a label on you and then you are almost obligated to be what they have labeled you as - brother, sister, husband, wife, daughter, son. Even these benign labels come with an ass load of expectations, a lot of which are unrealistic and are predetermined before you are even able to understand what the consequences of being that thing might be and by the time you are able to understand the consequences, it's too late to change them. You have to be the good son, the perfect daughter and if you have siblings, you're doubly screwed because you have built in competition - "Why can't you be more like your sister/brother?" hurts more than "Why can't you be like the neighbour kid?"

The thing that gets me most is that when you are trying to find your own truth, it's always family who shout, scream, and fuss the most when they should be the ones behind you all the way. I suppose this explains my estrangement from my family, really. I'd rather be surrounded by people who love and accept me for who I am than deal with people asking me why I can't be normal (married in a small town with a mortgage, dog, kids, minivan to drive said kids to hockey practice - shoot me now) instead of living the way I do. I'd rather be a security guard the rest of my life than have the life my parents and siblings have - I may not have the labels on my ass they have, but you know what, I'm fucking okay with that. I'm my own man and if I don't like who I'm becoming, then I can change it.

It took me a long time to figure out that I had to be me for me, not for some supposed set of expectations imposed on me by society and people who loved me who weren't able to think past the expectations they had been handed. A long time and a lot of therapy but that's a whole other story now. After all that, I thought I knew who I was and how to be me for me and yet here I am again, re-evaluating everything all over again. I guess that's what life is all about though. You learn one way and it works for a while and then one day it's not working anymore so you have to go and look at why and find a new way to do something and learn it. Rinse and repeat... if you can break away from those old expectations stuck to your ass like ten ton weights. The older you get the harder this gets because you get used to being in one comfortable place so it's a damn good thing to remember the old chestnut "Nothing is so constant as change".

I'm not afraid to change and I have an opportunity ahead of me to consider that would mean making a great deal of change. If I decide to do it, it won't be to make some one else happy so they can staple a label to me, it will be because I want to make the change because it will make things better for me and those whose opinions I do give a shit about. I've conquered more difficult challenges than this - the bottle being the most recent - so making one decision won't change who I am radically even if it does improve my financial situation. I'm pretty content with what I have, which is something I couldn't have always said in the past.

.... But the first fucker who comes after me with a label is getting a fist to the nose.


Sky, some of the best words I've ever seen written on the subject of sorting out your life are below. I'm 41 and have no idea what the hell I'm doing with my life and you know what? It's all good. The original link to this advice is here, please ignore the awful website (I didn't make it!).

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.

Some of the most interesting 40 year-olds I know still don't.


I'm not doing Nano this year. I still have the unfinished novel from last year but I'm not interested in working on it. My writing is in a slump right now and I have other places I'd rather spend what motivation I do find.


"You're too much like me Frank - you can't stand labels. Someone tries to put me in a box, I just naturally want out." ~ Abby St. James to Frank Leo from the TV series The Bridge
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