I always believed that I would be a person who made a locally major impact in the world. I never had dreams of global dominance or anything, but I always thought I would be someone important in my community. Someone people looked up to, someone people wanted to talk to.
And I can’t help but feeling that that is all but gone now.
I mentioned during my fat post that I had a few obsessions related to my disease. Body Image was one, this is another, success.
I was always obsessed with the idea that something great would come out of me, and I always used 27, the age Jimi Hendrix died, as my barometer. Now my obsessions are all negative.
I didn’t make a “top 30 before 30” list.
I never won a major award, in my entire life, for anything I ever did.
The highest level of career success I have achieved is “entry level ______”.
I’m sort of the definition of bum. People seem to like me, but professions don’t.
Turning 30 was hard for me because I feel like it was an expiry date on my ability to achieve something, anything, with my life. So many of my friends were able to achieve great success before 30, most of them really, so why not me?
The bipolar episode I had two years ago really threw me off course. I was in an entry level job but I felt like I was doing something, going back to school, right on the edge of my final push towards greatness before I turned 30. And then it happened and I have been reeling ever since.
Some people tell me, and you are probably thinking one of two things: either, most people don’t achieve that kind of success so you should find comfort in providing for your family, or there is still plenty of time to find success in life, you’re only 30.
To the first part, I’m not every other person. No one coming up in school took me aside and told me I was average. No college professor wanted to meet with me after class because I had an average idea he wanted to explore with me more. No. They all told me I was exceptional, special. I want nothing less of myself now or I will feel like I settled.
To the second part, I’m not sure why 30 was my marker, or 27 before it. To achieve goals we often have to make deadlines and if you didn’t achieve it before the deadline you feel bad. There is still time for me, I know that. This blog is my attempt to be respected in a field that I have never tried my hand before.
Turning 30 and knowing I was still fledging around, with no expertise to give, to value to bring, no insight to share, was the most difficult thing I have ever done. And I imagine it is only going to get worse.