Discussion in 'Tilted Life and Sexuality' started by cynthetiq, Jul 26, 2012.
I've done some very interesting and fascinating things...nothing I could have ever planned out.
So that's cool.
Do I regret some lost opportunities...sure.
But I also prepare as if I'm not going to be always available...the "crushed by the bus" scenario, or heart attack, etc. (very real concern in my family)
Not so much insurance...but a will, with instructions of who to forward my science & math to...so it does not get totally lost.
I had a "life lesson" or two when I was younger, that showed me show immediate and fleeting the end can potentially be.
Not good or bad, nor reason or rhyme does it have to be...it can just, "happen"
I had a large branch pierce my mom's car window like a spear, just scraping my face and inbetween my legs. (it was a beautiful calm day)
And one summer building pools for my dad, some idiot loosened dirt behind me doing tiling, fell backwards 12 FT into a empty concrete pool.
(I somehow flipped and caught myself at the bottom...)
And a variety of other non-controllable close calls through a very interesting life. (a storm knocking down a branch in the dark in the highway...)
(a horde of rats & mice migrating across the dark stretch of road in front of my car, in Cabo)
You never know, enjoy what you can, when you can.
Yes, I know, it is easier said than done at time...but still let it go...let it flow.
Life can be a wonderful thing too. (even in a desert or a blizzard or a crisis...)
Laugh at yourself.
Laugh at the idiots
Laugh at the Bullshit.
**See my signature**
I always kind of banked on one of two extremes: either I'd be a gypsy of sorts, never anchoring myself in one place or getting attached to anyone or anything; or I'd settle down and have a bunch of rugrats running around.
I don't have either, but I'm hovering somewhere between the two-- which is generally okay, but sometimes I find myself sort of wistfully yearning for one or the other, depending on the day.
I've been really frustrated with a lot of things lately. I feel like I'm on some sort of precipice, and I just have to work up the courage to jump.
I don't disagree Stan. I'm referring to people who once they get to a certain age are willing to just let life happen. They have given up living their life, they are just along for the ride at that point. I suppose that happens to most at some point. I'm not there yet.
If I were to die tomorrow, I'd be disappointed-- I'm nowhere near done.
In my early teens, I was a shy, awkward, tomboyish bookworm. My parents assumed I'd become a librarian and, on more than one occasion, they expressed that they didn't think I'd ever move out-- I'd just stay home and take care of them while working at whatever city book suppository was nearby.
In my mid-teens, I was sleeping with any male that would give me the barest hint of attention, smoking too much pot, too many cigarettes, too much alcohol, slicing myself up, and basically doing my best to no longer recognize the idea of family. Dropped out of college
Late teens, early twenties, boyfriends. Attempting to settle down. Looking for "that one" so I could have a marriage and Sunday barbeque at the folks'. Kids. Couple of cats. Nice little house. Office job was the goal. Attending school working on my BA because I enjoyed school and it seemed like the thing to do.
25. A year couch-surfing. Getting a little momentum, but nothing that was really extraordinary. Was back in school doing pre-reqs. Still balancing the office job and the school while dreaming of that marriage + kids combo.
26. Life fell apart. Had to rebuild. Got it mostly back on the same track. No longer wanted kids, though.
27. Did some volunteer work in July (last year). Realized that I didn't want the life I was living, that the reason why I was never satisfied was because I was doing nothing to satisfy myself and had no knowledge of the things that could. Put some pieces into play, messed with my finances. Was accepted into grad school. Moved back in with my parents to ease my monthly overhead. Quit my job in August on faith in myself that I'd find enough random gigs to put myself through school and keep the bills paid.
It has been almost a year since that happened. I've got writing gigs for days. I'm working for the convention that set me on this path and was told today that they're processing my paperwork to bring me on as a "full-time" employee where I have a salary, but I only have to go into the office once a week and have some virtual office hours. They're sending me to Japan in a few months, if everything continues on schedule. I still have no student debt. I'm halfway through my Master's program. My thesis is so publishable that it's kind of ridiculous. I work once a year for a month and a half as a monster at a haunted theme park-- one of my dream jobs. I set my own schedule-- I work when I want to, sleep when I want to, get up when I want to. I have full health insurance. I got to go to Comic-Con as press this year, interviewed some awesome people and had a great time. Was a guest on a decently high profile podcast while I was down there and now I'm going to be pitching that company a weekly column on sex and dating advice. I go to movie screenings in Beverly Hills and get to interview the cast and crew. I write porn scripts for well known adult companies and get to watch my work while it's being created.
This is nowhere near finished. It's getting there, but it's just the tip of where I want to be.
So if I died now, my regret would be that I didn't get there sooner.
You know how to see it as 'yes' or 'no' ... how to frame it in a black-and white question. Embedded in that is 'having the least amount of regrets' and 'as much ... as i can muster'. That chunks the black and white down into manageable portions. You have the 'already built' system.
Unlike you, Skogafoss has MUCH to do at that very early step in the sequence ... that place where a high-level, generalized 'thumbs up OR thumbs down' resides. At the moment, YESSSSSSSS or NOOOOO sticks her in the 'black and white', where she's got no access to much except Very Heavy Feelings of the sort that close rather than open possibilities.
Bro' ... remember that blog entry of yours some months ago ... a similar area of inquiry had got her to the "Maybe I shouldn't have woken up from under the knife" state.
At the moment, the use of Yay/Nay terminologies and decision flowcharts with organized visions of values, benefits and strategies to get from 'here' to 'there' are not accessible to her ... they are possibly INconceivable to her to the extent that from her world, from her eyes ... you, Cyn, are a Guru of the Magnificent and the Obscure .... like "A very, very. very. clever man and I don't know how he does it." I'm laying it on a bit thick, because I'm trying to 'push' the notion that in the area under discussion, she's living in a very, very, different world than you.
"To what EXTENT" Are you living the life you want .. and in what areas?
"To what EXTENT are you NOT living the life you want ... to what extent could it change for the better and in what areas?"
"Which areas are you most unhappy with?"
"Which areas are you least unhappy with?"
Examine this question: "Which areas are you slightly LESS LEAST unhappy about"
This is about moving away from 'black/white', and towards 'scaling.
The more shades, the more possibilities and space in which to move.
More important ones here:
"Which areas are YOU most happy with ME about?"
"Which areas are you least unhappy with me about?"
She does not seem to know, yet, how to determine her wants and needs.
In relationship with you, there are likely some balances which may be adjusted usefully that could include changes in your behaviour in areas where you have the flexibility and desire (if informed) to adjust.
These questions ... discussing them with her ... will move in the directions both you and she want, but will be more in the language she can work with.
Cyn ... I'm aware I've not yet given MY answer about ME and my life. I jolly well will do ... I need to and thanks for posting this thread. My gut's churning already as I contemplate it.
For now, I've got to rush out of the house, but will be back later.
i think about this a lot, especially since the day i really should have died a couple years ago in a car wreck. instead of of dying or getting mangled to the point of perma-drool, i walked away with a coouple scrapes under my knuckles.
really it depends on the day i ask myself this. some days i'm really at odds on why i'm here (and my best friend isn't) and i think that he got off easy in some ways, and others i'm very grateful to have had the extra couple years so far to further myself.
overall, i'm proud that i've really lived my life in a unique way and feel grateful that i've gotten a ton of mileage out of the 38 years i've had. and when i look ahead my outlook isn't wholly dismal by any means, but i do see the mandatory bleak things about getting older... and think that if i did somehow get my ticket punched, that i would be at peace about it.
having said all that, i think i'd feel a whole lot different if i had a wife or kids. that's a whole other kit and kaboodle.
OK. My life.
Yes and No, according to different perspectives. Fights I've fought and won ... and indeed, fights I've lost but fought valiantly ... I give myself a curt nod of acceptance. So many have been the internal ones. A lifetime of physical health issues have prevented me from following smooth career paths, indeed, have forced me into self-employment, where I managed my diary through the years according to my best predictions of what I could handle in terms of client load. I say 'forced'. Well for what it's worth, I've preferred it that way BUT would have liked the choice. Plenty of times I would have liked to have 'put my hours in' but to have had someone ELSE directing my motor. I have felt unstable during most of this time, because when I looked at my safety net .. there was nobody but me.
My strong 'Yes' is because I am on my own two feet, and can feel the heat and sweat in my physical, mental and emotional muscles. I know that. It's five months since my last phase of near bedriddeness, and I'm totally over the moon.
My strong 'No' is because I've had very little external acknowledgement. Hardly anybody except my clients and trainees. I never had a regular bunch of work-colleagues with whom I could feel like part of a power team. Bloody lonely so goddam often. I will die unremembered, though I know minute by minute my fight. On my death bed, I will scream my hatred that my health stopped me from doing for extended or predictable periods of time what I can do easily. That I was unable to fully 'build' with what I've got. That I was limited to small projects because I could not dare to predict my physical stability for the time required for big projects.
For those who've followed my 'Dad's Death Age' blog entries, I'll add that I've woken up feeling like Rip Van Winkel, from a dream in which I would not survive him. My old belief was wrong, but I 'correctly' made many decisions that were based on my certainty that I'd die at age 56. I Have Fucked up Bigtime. I now see and feel a future of more normal expectations. Yup. A massive NO.
My YES, though, is where official 'success' or medals AREN'T. I've been fighting my physical and emotional 'devils', and goddamit, I have been winning. Slowly and uncertainly, but unstoppable. Invisible victories with nothing to show except my walking around the town like anybody else. My other YES is that I've had no unwillingness to put my skills to serve others rather than only myself, that they shall deal with their emotional and physical demons. That I was not the selfish little shit my father took pains to convince me of.
I am 100% leading the life I want to live... But I am not finished living it yet.
There is still much I hope to accomplish before I die and I hope I live long enough to see my goals come to fruition. However, if I died early I would not 'feel' ashamed or anything. I am not sitting on my ass pouting and wondering where things went wrong... Instead I am actively pursuing my dreams and am satisfied with the journey.
Simple answer. No.
But this thread makes me think...
damn rights I'd be happy and content.
Life is what you make it,and I don't fuck around........
I'm happy with how things have gone and where they are going.
I don't find it productive to re-analyze a lot of the past.
And I think it would be very interesting to have asked this question to the WWII era vets before most of them died.
Interesting to know how many answered in the affirmative, and how their goals differed from the current "we".
I've thought about this question for a couple of days and there are two perspectives. My immediate answer would be 'yes'...but the health issues can't be ignored as I sure as shit did not plan for nor anticipate adjusting to my new life. Even though I've confessed to being rather introverted when I actually do go out and interact face-to-face it's a good experience. I inherited my dad's oddball humour and I can leave people laughing or at least chuckling on my way out the door. That really is my reason for being: to add to, to inject some levity or comfort or compassion mixed with levity into other people's lives. It's not enough for me to be happy or get what Fangirl wants: I want/need to add something good to the lives of those around me. And unless I'm really sleep deprived, which due to the heart failure renders me pretty much useless, I do that.
I was supposed to "die tomorrow" at age 38. Modern medicine intervened and has given me an undetermined extension. I was on the upward trajectory of Masters earned, solid career and planning my PhD when everything changed. My priorities had to change with many years spent just recovering to a level of functioning day-to-day (I lived for several years with an ejection fraction in the low 20's). People were my priority before I got sick and they still are. Maybe I have a 1950's mindset but life is not all about me.
I see a very different mindset in those that have children and those that remain child-free. Though I respect the choice that either makes there's no denying that it becomes hard to think about 'me first' when other folks that you co-created have (sometimes seemingly endless) needs. Without kids, after my recovery, I certainly could have traveled the world. With them, we struggled financially and scaled back, though certain things that I dig became all the more important to do--and I did and continue to do them.
All I can say is that I try. I can do what I wish now though living here in the Midwest is not the place where I'm going to have a real shot at success measured the traditional way. I enjoy the process probably far too much as I end up with regular 12-hour days, 7 days a week (I'm working on not working at least one day in total per week). I'm driven, that's for sure, and I think you gotta love what your doing to be so into it that hours disappear in a blink.
The old-fashioned way of women measuring their success is through relationships. I'm a wife, a mother, sister, & daughter and at this point I can say that I'm good at all of them. Coming back to TFP was me pushing aside my shyness and hoping to again work to be a good friend because I am pretty isolated and I saw that that part of me, despite the time constraints, needed to be tended to.
In sum, I will be a work-in-progress until my expiration date and I am living the life I want to lead.
If I were to die tomorrow, I think it would be like the punch line to a bad joke.
I haven't lived the life I've wanted to, I don't even know what that life would be. There were too many things, particularly when I was younger and didn't know any better, that prevented me from figuring out what life I would want to live. When I think back, and even now, I feel like my family has always tried to stuff me into this mold of who they thought I should be. Between that, all the years that I spent moving around from place to place never having much stability or roots, and everything else that went I was younger, I think I just sorta lost myself somewhere along the way.
There are also far too many things I have yet to do, accomplish, or experience. I haven't gone to college, which I would like to do someday, get some sort of degree. I have yet to experience the whole falling in love thing. I've never been in any kind of serious relationship, and to be honest, never so much as kissed a girl. But that's a whole subject for another time.
There are things that I like about myself though. My creativity and my sense of humor at the very least. But there's just too much that I feel is missing somehow. I've said before that everything in life is a tradeoff, but this is somehow more than that. It shouldn't be like this, I need to find the things that will make me happy. Once all these things happen, I don't think I would be ready to die by any means. But, if I were to die tomorrow, given how it feels like there is just so much missing, I think it would be like the punch line to the bad joke that my life sometimes feels like.
Ok, ready to answer this. If I were to die tomorrow, I would be much happier than I was a few years ago. I have twin two-year old daughters and a career I can finally be proud of. No more sales jobs, now I make the area around me better. When others run away, I go in. I am now a state trooper, been on the road for 7 months. Its awesome, and I'm really freakin' proud of myself. If i go on the job, I hope its with my gun in my hand and empty magazines scattered around me. Every few days, I still get the shivers, that I'm a state trooper. I've earned the trust to have a car, pistol, shotgun, and ar-15 (smith and wesson m&p, 5 magazines loaded, collapsible stock, aimpoint sight, streamlight flashlight with forestock switch). I've been told to go out and enforce the laws. I also choose what I want. Write speeders all day, fine. Want to round up every dui, great. Want to enforce trucks, no problem. Just as long as I'm doing something. Plus 0-3 crashes a day. So I have an awesome responsibility. I have life insurance, enough that my family would be taken care and the girls could go to college. But obviously I'm not ready to go yet. I still have so much to give to my daughters.
If not me, then who? If not now, then when?
BTW, just turned 39. I was third oldest in the academy at 38. Oldest was 40.
No. Not even close.
Am I living the life I want to live? Most definitely. Are there a few more things I would like to do? Of course, I doubt anyone could die without a few things left on the list, mainly because that list constantly changes as you move into different phases of your life. There are things I'd like to do now that didnt even occur to me when I was in my 20's or my 30's, and really the only thing stopping me is the money to facilitate them becoming reality...BUT, if I died right now, I would have absolutely no regrets
I made the choice as a high school junior not to pursue a career as a concert violinist. I told myself at the time that it was too competitive a profession for my taste and temperament, that I wasn't interested in supplementing a limited performance income with teaching privately, and that I had too many other interests and passions and skills to pigeon hole myself and lose out on the chance to explore what the rest of those had to offer. Mostly, though, having just recently discovered how much I loved playing music, I decided that I didn't want to squander that hard-earned love by having to fight for every possible gig opportunity just to support myself and live a reasonably comfortable life.
A decade on from that decision, I started to second guess myself and have wondered ever since what might have been had I chosen differently. I think I could have been at least moderately successful as a full time professional musician, but what could that have really looked like? My life—and I, as a person—would be completely different than my reality today, and I can't even imagine how.
That being said, do I feel I made the right choice? I don't regret where I am in life now or having followed through on pursuing those other interests, at least to an extent. I'm lucky enough to be able to think, act, and work creatively in my day to day career as a graphic designer. I still get to perform music—and get paid for it—as the concertmaster of a local semi-professional orchestra, but it's not a job in the sense of being a hard-fought sole source of income. I have photography and I have cycling, two passions I might not have found had I pursued violin performance professionally, and with a 9-5 desk job I have the time—theoretically, at least—to give to them for my own maximum benefit. Whether or not it was the right decision, I don't regret where I am now... at least not in the big picture.
I'll still always wonder, though.
Now I am.
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