In the wii hours of the morning on February 9th, 2015, I will officially turn 30 years old. It’s a milestone year, and nice, round numbers are typically thought of as a good time for reflection. The word reflect itself calls to mind something quiet, thoughtful, and personal. It’s really hard though, to keep it calm and cool when reflecting on the first 30 years of my life.
The barely functional walking disaster you see before you has come a long way just to get to “barely functional walking disaster”, as a few of you who have traded with me over the years can probably attest. There’s no sense of accomplishment that comes with the knowledge that you’ve done as much as you have to get to where you are when you still feel this wrecked. I might be in a nominally better place than I was in some ways, but ultimately, all I see is what hasn’t changed, what hasn’t been accomplished.
I’m still in the exact same circumstances I started in, and I still don’t know how to get out of them. I still live in the same godforsaken place. I’m still basically unemployable. I still can’t hold up my end of a conversation in real life. I’m still a
fat, lazy slob. I’ve still never been in a relationship. The stability of my mental health and well-being that makes up the sum of all of the above is still a very clearly dubious thing. It’s horrible and it sucks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up. It’s just frustrating to look back and ruminate on how sideways a person’s life can go without even having a bad upbringing or the discovery of a predilection for illicit substances along the way (besides shiny cardboard, of course). Just being some combination of bipolar/borderline/aspergery can screw a person up just as bad as trauma and drug abuse. I feel a million times more guilty about it too, because it’s hard to explain when you have no specific trauma or addiction you can point out to people to explain why you are the way you are.
I’m just a fucked up weirdo who happens to be self-aware enough to realize it, but not smart, or maybe schooled is more accurate, enough to explain it or make sense of it.
It just doesn’t feel good to feel like you’ve let down every single person that’s ever cared about you and/or saw potential in you. Isn’t that a fun thing to feel whenever you can’t distract yourself hard enough? I don’t know if, if somehow I managed to accomplish all the dreams I’ve ever had, that I could ever make it up to everybody I’ve let down in my first 30 years.
The truth is, I’m just scared. Afraid to fail, afraid to succeed. I don’t trust myself. I don’t believe in myself. I feel like a giant fraud, and I’m afraid I’ll never stop seeing/feeling/living life this way.
Here’s a handy case-in-point. This is the sketch card commission I did for The Junior Junkie. He said he loved it and plans to give it a place of honor in his collection, but all I can see is how much unexpected difficulty I had with it, and the resulting mistakes I made in trying to get it looking right.
When I look back, the failure is all I see. Failed potential, wasted talent, all the dreams I’ve let fall by the wayside because I’m too scared and lazy and damaged and stupid and hopeless to even take the first step. There’s nothing about me I see that anybody could ever find worthwhile in me…
I think what might scare most in this very moment though, is that while I’m writing this at 30 years old, and I fear that I might not having anything positive to change about it, or add to it, by the time I revisit it on the morning of my 40th birthday.