Plan

It’s no secret (well, it should be no secret) that I’m struggling. Struggling to get myself moving on a life path that’s suited to me. Struggling to understand who and what I am. Struggling to just figure out a reason to continue living past 30 on some days. This isn’t really a new concept for me. I’ve known that I’ve been struggling for a while. What’s new is that I feel like I may have the opportunity to actually do something about it. Unfortunately, it may require some bold actions. I thought of a plan today to get the ball rolling towards this end.

The best plans are simple. That’s good, because this one is pretty darn simple. It’s got two basic parts. Phase one is to stop talking about it, stop thinking about it and just go out and find myself a 1986 Toyota MR2. Red would be nice, even if it does anger police. Why this car? I’m not entirely sure. It speaks to me. It’s impractical. It’s mid-engine. It’s a Toyota. Other favorites I had in mind were convertibles, because they’re just so darn fun, like an early 1990s Alfa Romeo Spider. Beautiful car. Unique car. But it just doesn’t speak to me in the same way the Toyota does. I can get a convertible any time. The mid-engine sports car isn’t something you see every day.

It was always some car. Really, the car itself doesn’t even matter. It’s a symbol. A symbol of me breaking free from the life I found myself stuck in. I didn’t ask to be in this position, it just sort of happened. That’s no way to live your life. It’s symbolic of me saying that I don’t need to do what’s “prescribed” to me. I don’t need to live the life my parents did, or my siblings do, or my friends do. That’s convenient because I wasn’t doing a very good job of living it anyway. It’s symbolic of me saying that I’m not going to continue sitting on my hands waiting for tomorrow. Tomorrow that never seems to come. I’ve stagnated horribly. I’ve done everything I was supposed to do, everything I should’ve done, everything I could’ve done. I’ve worked harder in the past 8 years than anyone should ever have to, and what do I have to show for it? An apartment. A car. A job I hate. No friends. No relationships. No hope of any of that changing. Should I just keep dying that slow death? No, I’m sorry, but I’ve held up more than my fair share of the societal bargain, and I haven’t seen anywhere near enough reciprocation to really continue bothering anymore.

Phase two is somewhat more difficult, but likely far more important. Once I have the car, I’ll get it all fixed up if necessary to make it 100% roadworthy. I’ll detail it myself. Make it as close to showroom new as possible. If there’s one thing I’ve always taken pride in, it’s keeping my cars super clean. Harder to do with a daily driver, but still, there’s nothing quite like the look and feel of a freshly Armour-All-ed dashboard and steering wheel. I haven’t mentioned much about it here, because it’s still a pretty scary notion to me, but I am going through a pretty deep phase of self discovery. One I arguably should’ve had the opportunity to go through far sooner in life, but at least it’s happening at all.

With my newly acquired MR2 in hand, my plan is to take as much time off work as I possibly can. Hopefully sometime this summer (obviously pending getting my hands on an MR2 first thing in the spring). I then throw a minimal number of things into the car and drive to Provincetown, MA. I don’t know what I expect to find there. Hopefully myself. Hopefully some acceptance. Hopefully some understanding. Hopefully some hope that a future worth living is possible for me perhaps in a manner that I didn’t even know was possible.

This plan is about as far “out of character” for me as I can get. I’ve done my best to save money feverishly over the past few years with the expectation of…well, I’m not sure. All that saving hasn’t even led to that much money anyway. Buying a house? Why? So I can continue to live a life in debt to others? So I can continue to have no friends and no relationships? So I can do what’s “fiscally responsible” to prepare for my retirement? Fuck. That. I genuinely never expect to retire anyway. Like I said, even in high school I told people I didn’t expect to live past 30. No, I’m afraid I’ve put off living my life for far longer than I should have. I see other people living. My friends, my siblings, extended family. I’m not living. I’m in a perpetual state of dying. I can accept that my life might not contain things that so many others do. A house. A partner. A family. Respectable job. What I can’t accept is continuing to half-assedly attempt to acquire those things.

I don’t think I could ever lead that successful life. I think I might have a sliver of a chance at leading my successful life, but at this point in time, bold action is required. I want to be ready to take that action.

One thought on “Plan

  1. I thought I’d just say how brave you are. I’m new to this identification (days new). Married, kids, older. I hear a lot of the same words from you that I heard in my head when I was younger. Maybe it was the depression, maybe the struggle to seem like everyone else in a society that wouldn’t understand me. Notice I still can’t really say the words.

    Please be kind to yourself. Look forward to the adventure with your car. I did a very similar thing there too. It’s important to drive a car that you love every day. It can lift your mood just that little extra bit, and some days that’s enough, especially on a beautiful day with a warm breeze and the windows down.

    Other than the car, which is still a “reasonable” car (it’s not a $60K Audi or Merc or something ridiculous like that), I can assure you that your instincts are spot on — acquisition of material goods is not the path to happiness. Were I not married with kids, I would go “Tiny” and move back to New England. That’s not to say I am unhappy with things and my life, only that I wish that I could get rid of most of it and downsize drastically. House debt is an albatross.

    I read your post on depression and see a lot of it in this post as well. Don’t let it get you. It will tell you that you will never lead your successful life. It’s wrong. You will. If you make it — you have to make it for depression to not be successful. And I can guarantee you that even though I haven’t been as brave as you in acknowledging to others who I am, I can say that with age comes a certain comfort in being in your own skin.

    Congrats on being ready to take bold action. It might not be an end-all, but it might give you some direction you’re looking for, and it might even surprise you. I hope you find it.

    I’ve never written a comment like this before, but I felt inspired to do so for some reason. Please feel free to remove this post after reading it if you wish. And thank you for your site. I plan on spending more time reading.

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