woke up this morning to the sound of rain. our summer and fall were dry (or were they? i forget weather as soon as it's behind me, unless it's something momentous, like the tornado of '87) and winter was wintery so it feels like forever since i've heard the sound of rain on the windows. it's nice, something peaceful and soothing about it. it provides a lovely background to an existential crisis, though the howling leaf blowing/grass cutting machinery that just piped up is probably more apt.
ah yes, you sigh, roll your eyes, and shake your head sadly, this woman has far too much free time on her hands, constantly flitting from one existential crisis to another, faffing about ineffectually through life, unsure, uncertain, unclear, and unable to pick a direction and stick to it. clearly, she has missed her calling as a victorian housewife with a laudanum addiction and a hysterical womb. which is a totally fair point. i'm absolutely certain that if i were a single mother of three, i'd still be scraping teeth for a living and be happy doing it (though the thought of being a single mother of three makes the idea of happiness more than a little dubious). alas and alack, i am NOT a single mother of three, so the point is moot. and, as crusty juggler wisely pointed out just now, depression (even "successfully" medicated depression) provides a sort of low grade background radiation to your entire existence that colours everything you do, say, choose, fail to choose, and so on.
i am well aware of the blessings of my life. i'm relatively healthy. i am financially stable (not that much thanks to me, but still...) i have amazing people in my life. i am genuinely thankful for all this. truly. i'd be even more of an asshole than i feel i am for all this whining if i wasn't. so what's the problem, you ask. well, that's the problem - it's sort of difficult to accurately define it. but it's not just mine, i'll tell you that much. i know so many people, intelligent people, who seem lost, for whom the classic career path never materialised or was never a good fit. people who want something more but are also unable to define it. the way i picture it is a slow revolution against the status quo, but it is so slow that it often loses momentum and it lacks leadership and passion (or perhaps we're all just too tired of living, which, yes, back to the victorian lady and all, but FUCK, aren't you all just tired of living sometimes? the noise, the demands, the fucking frenetic busyness? the endless marketing campaign that puts a price tag on joy? be honest now!). an army of confused intelligent zombies walking in what eventually is likely to appear to be the same general direction but currently lost, unsure. hungry not for brains (because we have enough, thank you), but for meaning, change, SOMETHING.
so how do you verbalise it? how do you define it? how do you explain why you are dissatisfied with the options available on the menu of modern existence without sounding like an entitled lazy asshole? "harrumph! by the time i was your age, i had a job, a wife, and 14 children! and i got up at 3am every morning and worked hard my whole life just so i could retire to this gated community in florida. you need to get off your duff and get a real job. and get a haircut while you're at it. and GET OFF MY LAWN!" that's part of the problem, innit, though i'm lucky to have people i can talk to about this without facing scorn. and please know that i'm not feeling sorry for myself for being misunderstood; i'm feeling frustrated with myself for failing to understand or, having managed to scrape some understanding together, for failing to know what the hell to do with it.
yes, i know i'm not a kid anymore; the fact that i have an accountant alone tells me that. but i feel like a kid now more than ever. when i was 20 i was lost, too. i took the path of dental hygiene for lack of anything better to do, but back then i was 20. i have 23+ more years behind me now and i thought for sure i'd have my shit together by now. i sure as shit didn't think i'd get a master's degree, followed by my dream job, only to be right back where i started three short years later. perpetual students, dreamers, temp-workers, lost souls - it's not really a tragedy, but it sure is frustrating to be one of them, feeling like you have something to contribute, but have yet to figure out what the hell that is, because clearly there's a limited market for witty repartee or my people would be lighting up our cohibas with rolled up 100 dollar bills.