37 Years & My Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I always had this image of what my life would look like when I got older, as I imagine most of us do when we’re growing up. The life I envisioned, what I had hoped it would be and couldn’t wait to experience; It wasn’t a dream too big. It wasn’t at all unrealistic. I wanted the house with the big open backyard, BBQs with neighbors and friends, nights next to a fire under the stars, game nights. I wanted movie nights and popcorn, walks through the trees. Season tickets to our favorite local team. I wanted to be well into sharing my life and experiences with someone else by my side. Someone to do life with. I didn’t necessarily have a dream of marriage… the big white dress or a wedding, though it would have been nice when I thought about it. Kids were a toss up, but I always saw myself at least having the option to decide whether or not children would be added to our life.

Here I am, steadily heading down the road 37, and I come to terms with the fact that the reality of those dreams have all but washed away. I have none of what I had envisioned, and the scary thing is… it’s all my fault. I cried in middle school. I cried in high school. I cry now as I write this. I cried because I knew back then that all of those things that I had dreamed, weren’t going to be meant for me. I could literally feel it in my soul at that time. Have you ever heard of PostSecret? If not, look it up. I learned of it at a museum I visited… and this was my PostSecret: I fear that those tears I cried growing up, and the unsettling feeling of “knowing” that plagued me, were the moments I spoke into existence that I would never be gifted those things in life; My self-fulfilling prophecy.

As I approach 37, I have no idea what’s next. I don’t know what the revised version of that dream will be. At this time, I’m unable to even envision the options. All I know is that I now have to pick up a blank canvas, because all the dreams I had for me… My time has passed. That clock expired.

When I take an honest look back over the last 20 years, I’m truly not sure where I went wrong. I can’t figure out which moment was that defining point that put the nail in the coffin on those dreams. Perhaps I’ve built my confidence on a foundation of lies and failed to notice that foundation cracking and crumbling beneath me. Perhaps it was bold faced denial. Sometimes we tell ourselves a lie so frequently, that we can no longer decipher it from the truth. Perhaps that is the lens I look through when reflecting on the past… unable to change the view from my perceived truths to the reality.

Welcome to my midlife crisis, titled “New Beginnings”.

I don’t know what’s next, or even where to start, but I know I have to change.

20/20 in 2020

It’s been 25 days since I last went in to work… I’m not even sure what day San Joaquin County or California officially went on a Stay Home Order… all I know is it’s lonely… and it sucks. For a person like me that cannot sit still or focus on any given task for long periods of time, trapped in a small apartment, this is hell.

A large majority of us walked in to 2020 talking all about vision, change, how 2020 was going to be different… You know… Kind of like we do every year… But this year had to REALLY be different. Afterall, this is the year of Vision; 20/20 Vision.

Here we are 4 months and 7 days into 2020 and all I hear is “Here I go again on my own, goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known. Like a drifter, I was born to walk alone. And I made up my mind. I ain’t wastin’ no more time.” If you don’t know that great song by White Snake, head over to YouTube before you even continue forward in this post. I can literally feel that song pumping through my veins at this point in time.

This year will be nothing like any of us have envisioned or eagerly anticipated, but it is, without question, a year of 20/20 vision. Look around you… The families that are spending time together, doing things they probably can’t remember the last time they slowed down long enough to do. People taking time to call and have real conversations with people they haven’t seen or spoken to and who knows how long. (My uncle is thrilled that I’m working from home, as I’ve actually answered my cell both times he called. He’s so accustomed to receiving my voicemail, followed by no response from me… Because I suck at keeping in touch.) Us individuals are forced to look ourselves in the mirror and face all of the shadows that we have kept tucked away, for better or worse. We are forced to find distractions around our living space to keep our over active minds occupied and the anxiety and sadness at bay. This is the year of which we are forced to take a deep look at ourselves, and with that, have in many cases, been granted the amazing gift of “time” to do something about it.

The question is… What are you waiting for? This pandemic is here. It is a grave challenge, but by no means is it an excuse. This is YOUR time to slow down for a minute. YOUR time to take everything in. YOUR time to just sit outside of your living space, close your eyes, listen and breathe. Let this be YOUR time to refocus your energy on what really matters the most. My challenge to you is to reflect on how you’re using YOUR time… and how you can choose to grow through it.