I never had to seriously answer: “what you want to be when you grow up?” All I had to do was politely finish the required school work then I could lounge. Even as recently as two years ago, I worked hard at jobs, yet had no ambition toward any goals. I was content merely completing the required work so I could return to lounging. Now I’ve discovered my path and what I need to be.
This now unfortunately stained note tells it all: I had untapped potential.
Other than some casual writing in high school, comprising of an early prototype of Better Zombie prototype called “f/duck” and an early attempt at “The Story” called References both of which I should dig out of their digital graves, I didn’t apply myself. I found myself in a career by accident and did good work. I received promotions and accolades, yet it always felt empty. I don’t wake up compelled to do this work.
I’ve always been complimented in professional reviews for my writing.
Two years ago this Thanksgiving weekend, I had a panic attack on my lunch break that sent me to the emergency room. They thought it was a stroke. My mind was overclocked thinking of infinite totalities within life. My life fundamentally changed after my mind shattered due to stress. This was, mind you, with over two years of complete sobriety. So they collected most of the pieces of my mind and I returned to work.
While I kept doing good work, I had also tapped into my potential ambitions.
By that summer, I experimented with some projects, including this website. Within a year, the time I would have otherwise spent miserably lounging was invested in productively working toward what I need to be: writing. As cheesy as this sounds, once I tasted self-discovery, things opened up for me in ways no other experience in my life could pretend to achieve. Most stresses, other than what pertains to my goal, stopped bothering me as much.
If you don’t take a stress seriously, it typically won’t bother you as much.
Now there are different stresses. Rather than worrying about what colleagues say behind my back or what managers think of me, it’s investing as much time as I can into writing. I am possessed to write “The Story.” This is my gift and my curse. To know my path means I must be careful with my time. If I haven’t written yet, I can’t casually browse a thrift store, lounge, or even attend a concert.
It means waking up early, staying up late, and napping when I must.
Yet there’s been no greater satisfaction in my life than working toward my path of self-discovery. I don’t know what will happen once I write “The Story,” as it needs to be written. I do know that developing these characters and their world has helped me develop my self-confidence.
Hopefully you can find your own variant of “The Story,” if you need it.