I feel like I’m always waiting. Like I’m standing at the center of a merry-go-round, and I can’t tell whether I’m spinning by everything or everything is spinning by me. It’s comparable to being a kid back in school, on summer break, waiting for Christmas. And then at Christmas, you’re waiting for summer break. Or your birthday; any somewhat significant event that marks the passing of time, as if things will have changed by this important date. You’ll turn 16 and have a car. You’ll graduate high school and go to college. Things will be better and you will be happy and it will be a celebration.
The problem with this outlook at this stage in my life is that I’ve got nothing to wait for. I’ve finished high school. I’ve taken an elongated break from college. I’m not even sure if what I was doing was actually college. Now I lay here in bed, with work in the morning, thinking of things to look forward to. A baseball game in a few weeks. A family vacation to the beach up north in July. I’ll have lost some weight by then. Maybe I’ll have a new girlfriend.
I’m stuck, when it comes down to it. I’m looking into my own future and the outlook is uninvitingly bleak. My friends are graduating and I’m just doing the same thing I’ve always done: try and take the easy way out. I feel deep down that I have a false sense of entitlement, that, to borrow a line from a Dave Eggers story, affords me “excuses to do things the wrong way, or not do them at all, to do anything [I want].” I obviously have no entitlement. I’m average. Lazy even. I expect things simply to happen to me. I expect to one day receive an e-mail saying “Hello. You are awesome. Here is a bunch of money for just being you. Move to California. Start a pizza place. Write stupid short prose and play on the internet all day.”
The glaring solution lies in the age-old idea, “If you aren’t happy with something, change it.” This isn’t a saying for someone like me. My saying is more along the lines of, “If you aren’t happy with something, complain about it to yourself and anyone else who will listen and see if something happens, but it probably won’t and you’ll get used to it.” In an answer to a question posed by Jesse Lacey, I do believe I’m missing out; that everything good is happening somewhere else.
I’m not long for a world in which the predominant idea is that there are a set of guidelines to follow and accomplishments to unlock in order to survive. That’s why I’m so in awe of people who use a talent or a gift and surpass the monotony of human life. But at the same time, I lack the dedication to attempt a decent piece of writing. I lack the patience to learn the guitar. I lack the money and the desire to go back to school and “make something of myself.”
Everyone tries to point out why they’re unique and so interesting and, especially in today’s youth culture, why they are so more outlandish and have such a huge burden of shit and weirdness thrust upon them, simply to impress or endear other people. I get the sense that we’re all wondering what the fuck we’re supposed to do next and just keep making up stuff to see if it helps.