There’s a certain long-helf belief that I’ve had about myself. It definitely solidified as I progressed through high school (ages 13-17) but I kind of suspect it was kicking around in more subconscious levels for years before that. I’m not the kind of person who believes in fate, or being able to tell the future, or anything like that, but this belief was always kind of strange.
In high school among friends, I remember that I started to verbally articulate this belief. It was kind of morbid, so I talked about it the only way I could…with humor. I would always tell friends, “yeah, I don’t really expect to live past 30.” I’d laugh, and they’d laugh, I was just being silly. Live fast, die young, right? That was hardly the image I portrayed. I was a bland, never rock the boat, milquetoast kind of person. It was funny that I’d describe this future where I essentially chose not to bother living past 30.
Friends occasionally joined in on it and it became kind of a running gag. There were even wild predictions about my demise, usually revolving around taking too much acid and having a brain aneurism after listening to too much Pink Floyd. Though I was very into psychedelic rock at the time (still am) I never did drugs or anything like that. I’m sure no one ever really thought anything of it. It was a “gag” because it couldn’t possibly be true, or so it seemed.
Little did anyone else know, and little did even I realize, it was more than just a running gag. Something deep inside kept telling me that 30 was like this wall beyond which was nothing. It was like if my life continued on the path it was already on, there would be no point going beyond that. It was like everything was focusing down narrower and narrower until hitting some kind of singularity.
Fast forward to college and beyond, and no longer did I have friends with whom to “joke” about this belief, but it was still there. Only now it had morphed into something different, and more malicious. It was as though the path had already begun to narrow, and like a turbocharger forcing air into an engine, depression surged and started to push everything to redline. All the while I never forgot. 30. It would manifest in different ways when combined with depression, “If I can’t turn things around by then…that’s it, game over. I can’t live like that.” The once amorphous event horizon appeared to be more and more clearly an endpoint.
Everything about my life felt wrong. Even the most incompetent people I’d ever met seemed to be shoved inexorably forward by some invisible force. Sure it wasn’t a straight path forward, but they were slowly getting there. I wasn’t. I looked around desperately to find others like me, and found no one. It started to become easy to convince myself I didn’t belong at all, and I wasn’t meant for the world (or maybe it wasn’t meant for me?). I was genuinely resentful of my parents for bringing me into it. No matter how much they insist that I’m fine, and I’m not that different, it’s not true. I know something’s not right. I’ve always known something’s not right. I can feel it all around me. It honestly got to the point where even I was willing to help make it the end. I’m nearly 27 now, so time is getting short. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.
So it’s with that lens that I look upon the events occurring in my life right now. Events no psychic could’ve predicted. Events I would never have believed if I myself time travelled back to 15 year old me and told me these things. Nevertheless, it appears I had been right for all those years; 30 was an endpoint. What I hadn’t been right about, and what I couldn’t have possibly foreseen, was that this wasn’t a total endpoint. It was the end of an era. That train’s line ended, yes, but I could get off and get onto a new train, a better train, a train that would let me actualize myself to my full potential and happiness. Maybe I had to get close enough to see another train waiting at the upcoming station.
All I know for sure is that train is there. It’s waiting for me. All I have to do is get on it. This train I’m on? It does end at that station. That’s all there is to it. There’s a barricade, the tracks end…it can’t go any farther.
I don’t believe that little coincidences are all that significant, but when I see something like this in my life…this long-held belief of mine intersecting so elegantly with present day events, well, I have to take notice. Things that line up like this on such a grand scale can’t be ignored. They shouldn’t be ignored. I won’t ignore them. I’m ready to transfer.
My parents don’t read or know about this blog, but if I could tell them something about all this, it would be to please just believe me. Please believe me that I’ve always known the train I was on wasn’t right. I’ve tried to tell you for years but couldn’t articulate it well enough. It always came out as “I’m not right.” I understand there wasn’t much you could do about that. When your kid says they “aren’t right” what are you supposed to do? Pretty much what you did. Consoled me. Told me I was fine. Told me I was different, but would somehow become the same as others one day.
All the social anxiety that has never gone away. The self-mutilation that still occurs to this day, and that you never cease to chide me about. The utter relationship ineptitude that I know you’ll say is fine, but I know it’s not fine. The inexplicable anger and frustrated outbursts as a child. All those things are manifestations of my inner disharmony. My “not being right.”
I’d love it if I could tell you that I know now what my disharmony is. That I’ve seen a future beyond the upcoming station and just imagining it has made me happier than I’ve ever been. I wish I could tell you those things and you’d just believe me. Believe me and tell me that you trust and love me. I wish you could understand that your son can’t continue past that station, but your daughter can.