To know where you’re going you have to know where you’ve been

If you take a minute to look back on the things you’ve done in life what stands out to you? Is it the people that constantly argued with you because you didn’t do things their way or is it what you’ve accomplished, enjoyed and endured? Yes we remember the bad things, yes they may stick in our minds more than we’d like but if you really look at your past do you think of someone else or yourself? Unless it was a loved one or someone you thought got away the answer to that question is probably you think about yourself.

With that said, looking back now are you proud of the person you’ve become? Or would your past self beat the shit out of you because of where you are now? They say hindsight is 20/20 but that means we have to be semi objective and also self aware. Knowing then what you know now would change everything as you knew it. But it also changes yourself. You wouldn’t react to things the same. Wouldn’t experience things the same. Anything would be, could be, different. Who I was at 15 isn’t who I was at 18 isn’t who I was at 21 isn’t who I am now. Too much and nothing has happened. Humans aren’t good with change. We prove it time and time again. Yet we need it.

There are events in your life that have shaped you today. There are experiences in your life that have stopped you from doing something or made you push forward. Sometimes what we are isn’t enough for ourselves, so we strive to be better. We all look at the world around us differently. Some people look like they have all the luck in the world whereas others always seem to get the short end of the stick. Where do you fall? This is all based on personal judgment but it means you have to look at yourself objectively. I think I’ve been screwed in some ways and blessed for lack of a better word in others. But I don’t think the places I’ve been at a disadvantage were in my control or only happened to me.

Anyone who is in their 20s/30s right now knows the demon called the student loan. Meant to haunt you for a prison sentence. They know how hard it is to find any job let alone one you want. Yet I excelled through college, graduated with honors, two bachelors, three and a half years. But what did I get? A mortgage and no house and a job that made me want to jump off a bridge. A college degree that is worth very little and some life lessons that just constantly say screw you if you think you’re gonna get this. We’re all jaded in our own way. We all have a soft spot for certain things. We all have our own issues and our own insecurities. Our own fears and dreams. But, never in a million years did I expect to be where I am now in terms of life. Never did I think I would spend years living in my parent’s house after college. Never did I think after moving out again would I have to go back for another round. Yes life is what we make it. Yes we all struggle in our own way. Yes we all have out moments of insanity and moments of oh shit I fucked up. I can honestly look back at my life and say I’m not happy with who I’ve become. I can also say that I’m not happy with my situation. I’ve tried and failed to make something more of myself by means of graduate school. Life took a twist and I changed my goal. I decided after all the shit I was putting myself through and forcing myself to endure that, that couldn’t be the answer. Right now I know where I’ve been, but I have no fucking idea where I’m going.

I’m at the point again where I don’t have a purpose. I don’t have a goal in mind. I know I don’t want to live in my parent’s house. I know I want a job I like. I know I’d like to get married and potentially have a family some day, but half of that shit isn’t in my complete control. I don’t like to believe the everything happens for a reason saying but I do like to think about fate and destiny and as far as I’m concerned they’re pretty much the same notion but without the wording. I know where I’ve been. I know where I’ve come from. And I know how to initially make myself happy. But after years of trying to figure out where I’m going, I’m still lost. I can understand what makes me, me. I can understand why I do the shit I do. I try to be positive. I try to remain that way but at this point I can’t get it to stick. I get me even if no one else does. And we all like when people seem to understand us – don’t deny it. I’m sick of whining and rambling about anything and everything. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of the same old shit. But I’m also sick of getting kicked in the ass when I’m down. I keep thinking something’s gotta give and I keep trying to pull myself up but I never seem to get there let alone stay there.

Anyone have the guidebook to life that wants to share? How about the secret to happiness in a nutshell? No? Next time I promise I’m going to write something happy but as for now… I’m going to contradict my title and say I know where I’ve been but I’m lost in who knows what direction and I still don’t know where I’m going. Applications for help can be found at the bottom of this article. Yes I’m kidding, though maybe I shouldn’t be.


Soul searching and self awareness or reflecting on my jaded view of life as I know it so far

Ever since I can remember I was the parent in my relationship with my parents. Cooking for dad. Mom was the “baby.” He moved heaven and earth for my mother at almost every turn. Accommodating and entertaining her as he put it and he seems to hate every minute of it. After 30 years of marriage they are still together and that’s great but I still don’t get it. I’ve had relationships that resemble my parents’ and I can honestly say they were not fun. I tend to go after people that resemble the personality of my mother. Those that need to be entertained and those that potentially need saving… Yet my entire life I’ve been more like my father and still never felt good enough or appreciated by either of them.

We all have what I like to call “mommy issues.” You know the things that sort of add up to traits that you know are that way only because of things your parents did or didn’t do. My dad compared me to him at every turn. My mom got all the attention and being an only child I was always surrounded by adults. I never was a kid when I was a kid. Well that is and isn’t true. I’m still kind of a kid… but a little more jaded about things. So what’s my mommy issue – never feeling good enough.

I’ve known about it for ages and I try to overlook it yet it always seems to bite me in the ass. I’ve been dealing with this for at least the last 10 years if not beforehand, but it seems to be progressing as I get older. I think at this point in my life I just need to be separated from them in any way possible. Whether it’s as simple as not living in the area I grew up in or not having to see them and be reminded of it on a daily basis. I was living on my own but after events of this year I’m found living with them again. To say the least I can’t stand this house and to be living in a room that was yours for over a decade that doesn’t feel like it belongs to you anymore is beyond strange. My sense of home was broken a long time ago but this just rubs me the wrong way. Living with your parents is hard after a certain point. I can’t say I have limits or rules I have to follow but I feel like their housemaid that is just here to cook, clean, and take care of them rather than be their kid.

Yeah I’m an adult and responsibility happens but shit… when does my version of what an adult should be become a reality of what I have to live with and endure? My mom’s sitting there saying what about her… well – I’ve been asking that question for ages and I still don’t have the answer. We all feel the world kick our asses and I can honestly say that it is sure as hell not enjoyable. But through the mist I do have to say this – I don’t see the world as a lot of people do. And yeah as much as I have mommy issues I’m still a bit of a hybrid between my parents. I can be like my mother in ways and I am still a spitting image of my dad (personality wise not looks). Yet I grew up with a different environment and a different set of circumstances than they did. As much as I am like them -I am not them.

As I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands lately trying to figure out what I want has been at the top of my list of things to do. I’ve been soul searching and trying to re-figure out what makes me me, why I do what I do, why I’ve done what I’ve done and where I want to go from here. Yeah it’s a lot of shit and it’s definitely a life in progress, but the time to start is now. I’ve been exploring the mommy issue notion again lately because this always seems to be a vicious cycle and I keep running into the same issue when I search. All of the things I start to think about always go back to my parents. You know those people that try hard to raise you and yet singlehandedly inadvertently fuck you up anyways (kind of joking but not really). It just makes me think about things a little differently when I try to figure out why it is I do what I do. I’ve always felt alone when it comes to doing things and I’ve always tried to get things for myself without the help of others. However on the flip side if I need help I will flat out say it, I will ask. I am crazily self-aware but my mind is also too clouded with the things I believe I am and aren’t capable of at any given moment. It’s a complicated mess that makes up a person that is trying to be a little less screwed up if that’s actually at all possible.

With that said, I’ve put a lot of thought into the psychology of things lately. What exactly makes you who you are? Is it, experiences, choices, outcomes, fate, personality, genes, relationships, failures, successes? What? Are we always who we’re supposed to be or is something just lost in translation and we never truly know why the things around us are as they are? How do some people walk out of their parents’ world and their childhood unscathed when the rest of us are sitting here contemplating the true meaning to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? The fact that greatness is something so unattainable yet we all strive for it in our own ways is astonishing. The fact that we all want recognition and attention yet asking for it just isn’t accepted is also a bit ridiculous.

Saying you’re lonely, saying your parents drive you crazy, not taking a job you know you don’t want because you constantly feel like you’re settling in life. Daily struggles that you think about and face. The way you were brought up and what you’ve experienced shape the way you handle or don’t handle all of those things. Your parents shape you, consciously and subconsciously. You are both the angel and the devil on your shoulders. You have the power to make both choices at any given moment yet the outcome is never known. It has been said that we’re products of our environment. Genetic predisposition.. personality traits that are inherited.. it all plays a role. It begs the question are you the way you are because of you or because of what’s around you or because of your parents? I’d have to say it’s a combination but it’s not a clear cut combination.

So when does knowing too much about yourself become a hindrance rather than a helping hand? In terms of knowing what you want and knowing what you won’t do. Some people have these figured out as kids. Some people just get it. They live their dreams without question. They seem to succeed without hardship. Is that true, probably not, but I know I’ve seen and done things only a handful of people around me have done in life. Good and bad. Right and wrong. It all happens.

Throughout my life I have known who I was whether I was comfortable with that or not. I keep trying to redefine things and see things about myself objectively but I’m sick of settling for things that others think I should because “I have to deal with it.” I know I have parental issues. I know I have depression issues. I know I’m smart and I like to learn. I know I’m creative and I like almost every creative outlet there is. But where does that get me in terms of who I am and what I want? What exactly defines you? Are you the only one that can define yourself? Because I’m sure a lot of people out there are allowing others to define them – how can you not at some point?

There’s a saying that the more you know the more you know you don’t know shit. So why is it that with the more information we seem to figure out about ourselves the further we’re driven into the darkness of the unknown. Why is it that some people know what they want and can achieve it but others can’t figure out what they want even though they have achieved dreams in the past? Are we better off knowing less about ourselves or less in general in terms of figuring out what it is that we want? Is our predisposition holding us back or is it simply just making us ourselves? Our own notion of what we think we can and can’t do that screws with us? I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do in life thus far. I’ve had dreams change and end but that doesn’t mean it was a bad thing, it means I changed or grew from my situation. At this point I’m starting over for the third time this year and I have no idea what I want except I know I want a job that doesn’t drive me insane. I’d like to get back out of my parents house and I’d like to leave this year behind. But in terms of what job or what kind of job – I can’t find a job period at this point. The cycle continues. I’m back to the drawing board of what makes me, me and why. I still don’t know what it is that I want. I’m back to the point of why I can’t seem to just let myself be happy in either relationships or life in general and it goes back to never feeling good enough.

I have found happiness in life. I have been in relationships but never serious relationships. Because of the relationship I have with my parents and the way I grew up I don’t really know how to be in a serious relationship. I’m not putting blame on anyone it just is what it is. I’ve been alone in countries all over the world. I’ve traveled all over the United States as well. I’ve lived on my own. I’ve paid my own bills. I’ve worked. I’ve gone to school. I’ve worked while going to school. I’ve done things my parents have never dreamed of. I’ve done things that I’ve dreamed of and made them a reality but I always seem to go back to that place of insecurity. I look at the world around me and I don’t like what I see. I look at what’s out there and it freaks me out in both good and bad ways. I’ve never been afraid of much of anything until now. Now the thing I fear most is failing because I’m not good at it and I always feel alone no matter what I do.

In my recent search to re-figure out myself and what it is that I want, I find more and more ways to look at what I grew up with and how they deal with things and it makes me want to run screaming. I look at the lives my parents live and how miserable they both are when it comes to jobs. I look at them sitting at a desk everyday doing that same thing over and over and they think they have to because to them “that’s what life is.” Well I don’t think that’s what life is and that’s not what I see for myself, yet pin pointing what I want and who I have become is still a complete grey area for me. Yes I’m young. No I don’t have years of experience with some things. But as I’ve mentioned, I’ve done things like travel and go through graduate classes and had my heart broken and things that a ton of people in the world have done, but not things a ton of people around me have done. Why is it that when I look around I see people that never contemplate the “what ifs” and the “there’s more to life’s?” Is it really me that’s lost or is it the world we live in? I can’t be the only one out there with this problem. I can’t be the only one that is trying to figure out some of life’s mysteries and games. When does life cease to be the rat race and begin to be what you make of it in terms of enjoyment and happiness? Anything you do today means taking a risk and it always has a chance of not working out but why does the price of living come with so high of a cost? Why is it always a make it or break it game these days? There is less and less of a gray area when it comes to success. Getting a job can be a success but if you hate it or it was something you never wanted to do I’m sure it’s not thought of as a success. Having a relationship, loving someone, yeah that can be considered a success but for how long? Or is something like that just life?

My last post was about a similar notion of living life as we want to but being judged for it. About having a chance to actually be happy in life rather than succumbing to the daily struggle. I’m going to pose a few questions and then I promise I’ll stop rambling… When did we stop being those that pursued the American Dream and become those that only think about it as an American Daydream? When did we become those that live to work instead of working to live? Why can’t we see that we’ve already lost our freedom to pursue life liberty and happiness? And is seizing the day no longer an option because the risk outweighs the reward?

We have one life but we all make mistakes…

We all have our one chance at life. Say it however you will – yolo, carpe diem, do what you love fuck the rest, the clichés and sayings are limitless. But one thing I keep finding more and more of is people doing the exact opposite. Or the “older” generation holding it against the “youngins.” Yeah we do a lot of stupid things. We all make mistakes. We’re all trying to find our way. But wait a minute isn’t that what you did too? When did life become something you buy on credit for tomorrow to sit at a job you hate for the last 30 years because somewhere along the way you either gave up on the seize the day notion or were too afraid to follow your dreams? Why is being young and being a kid looked down upon so much? We all have to start somewhere yet life seems to be truly starting later and later for us later generations.

I’ve been a bit all over the place the last few weeks mentally and physically. I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and where I’ve been, who I’ve been and what I’ve wanted. I’ve done a lot in my life so far and I’ve come a long way. I know a lot about a lot and I know nothing of nothing at the same time. I am my own worst enemy but I’m also my own best friend. I’m almost too self aware and I’m sick of people telling me what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Things haven’t been turning out “as expected” and a lot has and hasn’t happened in the last year for me, but now is not the time to be settling for another job I don’t want, a situation I shouldn’t be in or a relationship that I know is bad for me (friend or otherwise). People need to understand that life is a personal journey and a personal preference. We’re all young at one point and most adults still don’t have their shit figured out so why hold it against us? Think about it.

Struggling is part of life but why do you have to hold someone’s hardships or disadvantages against them? We all need a push sometimes, we all could use some guidance. We all have our life to live and make of it what we will. Who are you to destroy or pass judgment upon anyone else for living theirs? Unless you’re a murderer or something crazy like a serial rapist or something that has clear issues with the law as well as morals, who the fuck are you to tell me what I can, can’t, should or shouldn’t do with my life?

Who are you to discount me because of my age? Why hold things against someone that they have no control over? Everyone has a past. Everyone has a future. Your life is yours and yours alone. We are called individuals for a reason. No one anywhere has the same experiences you have and no one has taken the exact same thing from them. Different is what we are but if happiness and success is the goal then why get in someone else’s way? Why can’t those in charge realize that the world as they knew it is always at a constant state of change, generation to generation we are not very alike except the goal is usually the same – happiness. Yes as kids we drink too much, yes we party too hard, yes we say stupid things and have our own vernacular, yes we are addicted to technology list goes on, but that is what we’ve been given. Every generation has it’s thing to be looked down upon but if the people in charge now are the hippie generation – what the fuck happened to the peace, love and equality movement? Or do we youngin’s not count in that either?

When does age cease to be yet another number and not a deciding factor in success or failure? Life is so much more than going to a job everyday and clicking buttons for a paycheck to pay for a house we took a loan out for that will never truly be paid off and will always need something fixed. Life is more than a daily struggle. There is happiness out there and your definition and pursuit may be different than mine but who are you to judge a life that is not yours? Why hold a different perspective against someone because they’re not who you were when you were that age? When do we get the chance to all work towards a better tomorrow despite the bullshit of today? We all have a chance to make our lives what we want them to be and we may think we’re entitled to that pursuit but isn’t that the point? Why should I live my life by your rules and standards of what I should or shouldn’t do when I’m not you? Why is it so hard to realize that?

Are you happy with today’s world? I know I’m not. But no one’s going to listen to anything I have to say. Society breeds addiction and conformity. We have instant access to any information we can think of. School prepares you for almost absolutely nothing. Life is a million times easier but a million times more complicated. We are who we’ve been made into by the generation before us. We are the first generation in decades that has been made worse off than their parents because of the decisions that have been made. We are what we’ve been given and yet no one is willing to see that they are singlehandedly screwing the future of this country. When did the hippies become so lost in the haze of today’s America and lose the sight of a better place for us all? You were one of the most active generations in terms of taking charge for your beliefs and you were YOUNG when you did it. Why discount us? Why look down upon us? Why don’t we get a chance? We aren’t going to take the chance the same way you did but I assure you we’ll seize the opportunity if actually given it. Why can’t I seize my day with my dreams without being judged by someone? Why can’t I live for today and not tomorrow? Why can’t I live for tomorrow too without my so called lack of experience being held against me? Why can’t I pursue my ambitions or dreams without my mistakes being held against me for what seems like eternity? We all make mistakes. We all fuck up at some point in our lives. Why are the people in charge so critical of what they’ve made the future to be when they’ve been screwing things up for decades? If you’re going to discount me as a kid then let me make mistakes but don’t hold them against me for the next 10 years. Life is hard enough without the added judgment. You go through high school and college in this day and age and tell me what you gained, lost, and endured and then come talk to me. I’m not playing the victim or throwing myself a pity party but if you’re going to force me to take responsibility for my mistakes you should start by admitting yours.