It's been a while since my last update. I haven't felt like I had much to say. Not yet.
I've been taking some time to myself, to kind of regroup, take stock. I'm 35, half as old as I ever intend to be. And with that realisation comes the understanding that the dreams I had when I was 20 won't all come true. But hand in hand with that is the realisation that I've been clinging to most of those dreams out of stubbornness more than anything else.
Buddhism has been a sort of loose guide for me. It started with a concerted effort to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. It also became clear that I was already adopting some of the teachings of Buddhism without even knowing. I don't believe in the mystical aspects of it, but most of it makes a lot of sense to me and so far it's helped me come to terms with a lot of things.
I did a lot of running away from things the past three years. I ran away from a decent job because I felt trapped. I ended up in a worse job, and then unemployed. I will say that unemployment was awesome except for the money part. Then I got a job that was worse than the one I left.
So I came back to the job I ran away from with a new appreciation of it. It doesn't define my identity. It's a job, not a career. But it's a job I can do, and now I know the grass isn't greener on the other side.
It's a job I'm good at, in a company where I feel appreciated.
The next part will be harder: define what dreams I do still have. Why I have them, what I'm willing to do to achieve them. I reached a really low point, and I partially blame some medication I was on, making me have suicidal ideations, but part of it was just me, freaking out. I still have a lot of work to do. I'm thinking I might get some counseling.
I find that a lot of my trauma stems from fear. For example, I feel like I'm being selfish when I don't give money to x or y cause/person. It occurs to me that it's not that I'm greedy so much as I'm afraid that I'll run out of money and be in need. But the fact is that poverty can happen to anyone, at any time. Hoarding cash is no guarantee. And if I'm ever in that situation again, I'd be grateful if someone helped me.
My dream of running away from it all? Part of it is wanderlust, wanting to live out of a camper and travel the continents, but part of it is social anxiety as well. Easy to forget that when you travel you kind of have to talk to strangers all the time.
It's things like that, little things that go round and round in my brain, blowing themselves all out of proportion.
The bottom line is that I need to stop waiting for some magical future that may never come and enjoy life now. Make who I am fit into the life I'm leading right now. Make James the writer and James the 9-to-5er work together. And stop beating myself up for not achieving what I thought was the end all be all when I was 20. I'm not that person anymore. Fuck, I barely even liked that person, and that surely played a part.