On Devising a Remarkable Life, or Bypassing a Pathetic One
Navigating distrust and initiative for year 28
Ok, where are we now?
Spring is nearly over, and it’s time to take stock of accomplishments despite persistent feelings of inadequacy. I was group leader on every single case study in the intel class. I attended 6 months of drill and began freelance writing. I juggled two full-time course loads by taking on the EMT class alongside the GIS program. I wrangled enough school aid, referral bonuses, and scholarship money based on my military status and security clearance to cover Spring tuition. This summer will involve fire tech classes, a drone flying class, a space domain warfighting class, two weeks at the unit, 2.5 weeks to Georgia, a potential month in San Antonio, figuring out a way to pay for Fall tuition, freelance work, surfing and shifts on the ambulance, shifts and writing/podcast appearances at the arthouse theater, a private Vietnamese language class, more nonprofit work, and, for some reason, an itch to squeeze in earning a real estate license later this year.
The tunnel vision involved in compensating for lost time is just too soothing a space to quit.
A Sunday in April was another sort of crash. Like the sickness in March, it was a crescendo of the toxins in my system rising to the surface, fuming and belligerent, as witnessed by those around me. Instead of unimpressed coworkers this time, the audience here was extended family members who looked on my life decisions (or rather the consequences of non-decisions) with concern for the anthropological entity before them. Again, I was met with (what I presume to be) a feeling of what the fuck is up with him? As indignant as I presented in the moment, I knew their sentiments were valid. They’re always mostly valid.
As I inch closer to those endeavors (2023) in which I know I’ll be outnumbered by the chads, by the expectedly crass and crude and lovingly arrogant, I brace for coming to the locker room over a decade after the stage at which it would have been most conducive to socializing me into one of those monsters-to-be-tamed into tastefully restrained, forceful examples of masculine power, arrived at through the comedown of aging. To prepare for coming humiliation and exposure of how resources were allocated in my childhood, all I can do is continue the multi-faceted approach to self-cultivation. That I am large, I contain multitudes assertion as a defense mechanism to withstand losses in insular environments (with their particular norms and hierarchies), here and there, is what motivates me to pursue all goals at the same time: for that all-encompassing armor.
At tech school, it was an environment dominated by the cadre of wimpy chads and their locker room talk. Their pitifully predictable hang-ups and bullying and sexual posturing and boring sense of humor. To be that unfunny is the ultimate indication of being so square with misguided priorities.
I take solace in the notion that all this contrivance of willing a life into reality, which feels strained in the moment, will be part of the fabric of an always been there pantheon of memory. Later, I’ll rub the top of the head of this current version of myself upon reflection. For now, at the forefront of my brain is that I don’t want my greatest aspiration in life to be comfort at a job in which I commute to a windowless building and live among normal people.
It’s a strange feeling to age into a more presentable form arrived at through modest moves towards functionality and good optics here and there. Like a newly hot girl syndrome. A new money disposition can only breed distrust and insecurity about the positive reactions of others. If you have any sense of shame and value system against whorishness, you’ll manage your own way to take advantage / leverage your newfound status while soothing the inner low-status 15-year-old underneath it all.
Many who were bullied also bullied others, both at the time and now. Human beings are complicated. Everyone is capable of taking on all roles. I can’t let anyone’s given reputation in the moment muddle sight of that truth.
2:37am with glow-y vision from these faulty contact lenses
Well… much has been said in anticipation of this new chapter in life. I turn 28 in a few days. This march of time is absolutely brutal. That every sensation is predictable is humbling. All I can do is continue this run of packing it all in before the 30 deadline: the only way I know how to soothe this shame. It takes giving too many fucks now to pull off giving none later, I know. But still I’m restless and wondering just when it’s gonna happen for me.
It’s the first night Mom is out, headed to Vietnam for three weeks to bring back more family to settle in the States. Now I’ve got a coddled test run at independence for three weeks. Once again I feel so tired of my old patterns to the point that initiative actually feels more feasible than complacence. I’m oversaturated with information, my inefficient prioritizing and endless multi-tasking resulting in an awkward, disjointed collection of endeavors with clearer instincts than vision. I feel a shallowness to most of what I do these days. That explains the high volume but low density of my EMT studies this season.
This past month, I’ve gotten all the real (still painfully inefficient) study time in for the EMT class, leading to me passing the final by a thread. I’m pretty sure I horribly bombed the NREMT this Tuesday, so that would make it my first attempt.
Tomorrow I clear my mind with surf — that cold, sobering flash to the face. With this, a return to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, ambulance shifts for proper 9–1–1 calls, stimulating coursework, genuinely novel excursions out of state, therapy, and lucrative freelance work will really snap me out of my funk into a more visceral and realized state. Managing being interesting, self-sufficient, and well-adjusted is the foundation. From there comes getting social and dating.
3:56am. The last hours of year 27 are ahead.