Wasted Time

A better time nears1

I wrote this Limerick years ago. It’s scary and alarming to think about how little progress I’ve made in my personal growth. I took this photo during a hike some years ago while on a hike. The place is an abandoned Jewish cemetery.

I don’t know if it came up because I meditated (or actually scryed) the night before, because it’s come up repeatedly in my life.But yesterday morning I was thinking about how much I didn’t do even though the opportunity was there.

My parents would have paid for a college education and I in fact went through a semester of community college and dropped out. I dropped out to work. And the job I got was at a restaurant working in the kitchen. Even though there were some fun aspects of it and I credit my restaurant kitchen experience for being able to cook, I was miserable.

My parents told me they would pay for college. I just needed to finish out the two years at community to show I was serious. I couldn’t even do that.

I focused on a major that was completely out of character for me. I don’t remember what I was even thinking. I know I had a goal in mind but don’t remember it.

All the classes were really just Liberal Arts classes the first two years anyway. I think I wanted to have some sense of direction for myself since I never had it before. And I was looking for something ‘secure.’ And for whatever reason I saw that major as a sure thing.

There was no nurturing through my childhood towards any talent. I was left to make decisions to try things. Most things I enjoyed were athletic kinds of things but I was usually limited to the neighborhood to learn.

I did take tennis lessons one summer after I’d asked to but I seemed to have played worse after learning from an adult teacher.  I didn’t stick to it.

My parents didn’t teach me how to fish so to speak. What they did was hand me the fish.

I was in my early 30s when I finally moved out. I think I was 28 and asked them to build me a room in their vast basement. I can see the memes now.  Ugh! Cringe.

Eight years before that, we all moved from the house we lived in for ten years and did most of our growing in. At twenty, I was in some of my darkest depression. I had a shit job, no car and rode my sister’s bike to work.

I remember I dreaded so much going to work back then. It wasn’t the job, (although it was a job without much professional growth) it was me. I was empty inside. I was beyond sad. I lived in a soup of guilt and shame. I struggled so much to get up in the morning and slept until the last possible moment and the only way to get to work on time is to ride my sister’s bike. I’d be late if I walked.

Thoughts of the consequences of being late, rattled my adrenals to up the cortisol levels. Which is what powered the bike once I was on it.

I just shake my head now at how on my own I was then. I was twenty with no clue who I was or what I wanted.  I’d only made it through one semester of community college. I got stuck. Not knowing what I wanted in the way of a career, I stopped going to school.  So I started working 19.

As I edit, it slams me like a ton of bricks to really realize the impact and implications of not having any guidance or help with direction from my parents. Since I’d started public school in my sophomore year, I was left on my own.

It’s a kick in the gut really to feel the neglect of what happened.  It makes my heart hurt to remember so clearly. It’s like being left to drown even though you see the person from the ship in the middle of the ocean.  I was completely forgotten.

The parents moved house while I was at work one day. I also had not seen the house at all before being brought to it after work that day.

The house was bigger but my bedroom had become smaller. (Before the basement bedroom.) Of course I hated it and I was immediately resentful toward my sister who’d gotten the larger bedroom because she was there when they looked at the house.

My brother had the whole basement. My father had the intention of putting walls in a section of the basement for him and build a bedroom, but brother moved out before that happened.

I wonder what would’ve happened or  could’ve happened if they’d have not neglected my need of help to become an adult.

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And by my 30s, even though I still thought about going to school for something, so I could have some sort of career, I was never sure. The idea of certain things appealed to me, but when I got into it I couldn’t stand it. I never learned what it was I wanted to be when I grew up.

It makes me sad that I wasn’t like the type of person who couldn’t wait to get away and did the work, paid my dues, so I could get out of dodge. But I think I was afraid of the frustration of the struggle. I was afraid I’d fail. And I think the trauma bonding was strong. I think I stayed so long into my adulthood with my parents because I was trying to fix the past.

I had a therapist once tell me that and the minute he said it, it resonated so deep I knew that it had to be at least part of the reason.

Of course the older I get and the more time passes, the more I feel shame and regret for what I didn’t do.

As I started to meditate, I asked “Who am I?” I asked, “What should I do now?”

I came up with a few answers for the immediate present, (I think “immediate present” might be redundant) which was good because it was almost like I was calling myself out for stuff I’ve been a bit self-centered about and I was able to see it clearly.

What I really wanted in an answer though, is a ‘big picture’ so to speak. Maybe I have had some grandiose thought processes, because the mundane bores me. Sometimes the esoteric bores me too to be honest.  I’ve always wanted to do something meaningful, something that would have a real and positive impact on other beings, human and/or animal.

So I’ve felt throughout my adult life that I have some sort of purpose but have always been frustrated in finding it.

Thing is, I now believe that I wasn’t born with a purpose necessarily. Not in the way that some divine being decided I would be born to fulfill some niche in humanity or that I was the right person for a certain “job.” I think it’s all a series of choices and I also think that our choice making skills can be compromised when our self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect have all been tampered with. So in that aspect, where you end up in life can be luck of the draw…who your parents are/were and how did they behave in raising you. Your teachers have a big influence, as well as other adults, siblings and friends do also.

As an adult there is responsibility of course for your own life, but it’s a lot easier to take responsibility when you’re taught how and if you weren’t abused and neglected. If you were abused as a kid, then you’re left to filter through all the junk yourself.

Not everyone was or will be effected this way. Some will be effected in the opposite way that I have been and travel, help lots of people, adopt pets, volunteer at animal shelters, visit Africa and build places for orphans to live and be cared for. It may have even started as a way to get away from the abuse.

Not everyone reacts the same but either way, you are not only left to figure out other people and relationships, but you’re usually left with not really knowing who you are too. I think that having been lost, having my essential identity stolen from me, I was left depressed and demotivate and left me without authenticity, trying to be what everyone else wanted…guessing at it. Wanting to be me, but not knowing what that meant.

For me not knowing who I really am/was, also made it impossible to know what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to focus my energies.

Getting out of the brain washed and trauma bonded state though is challenging. I have it drilled into my psyche that I am not powerful. That I am not capable and that I can’t.

I used to believe that if their was a will there was a way, but I utilized that strong belief more for my own immediate gratification instead of working toward a better life for myself and others in the future.

That future is now and my life is a result of a series of choices.