I spend 40-50 hours a week in an unhealthy emotional state. Paranoia, anxiety, helplessness, fear, and lonliness rule my waking hours. It has come to the point where I have to isolate myself. I wear a pair of headphones and try to think of ways to avoid everybody just so I can salvage and embrace the withering remnants of my safety net. From the outside, I'm sure, it just looks like I'm being lazy; nothing new in the United Corporations of America. But the people closest to me know that I am anything but lazy. The people close to me know that I am dedicated, determined, loyal, and capable of suprising bursts of greatness.
So why do I put up with it? I've been rationalizing the suffering by saying that I need the money so I can provide my family a safe place to live. I want my children to have opportunities which I was deprived. I want my wife to be happy and worry-free. I've come to the realization that this is all a delusion. None of it will work unless I, too, am happy. If I continue with what I have been doing, I am just going to need more money to pay for a shrink to tell me that I'm somebody special. I will need more money to pay the personal trainer to tell me that I'm making progress toward being beautiful. I will need more money to pay the doctor to write prescriptions for drugs to make me feel better. In order to get more money, I am going to need to work harder and for longer hours to get higher paying positions. I'll probably also need to drive further. Since I'll be spending more time away from home I'm going to need money so my wife can have reliable transportation. I could continue this plot-sequence for quite awhile but I think you get the idea.
Everything I've been doing is going to backfire because I'm ignoring one key factor. My own happiness.
So what will make me happy? I've been wrestling with this question for months. Maybe even years. I had to dig deep into my past looking for scraps of happiness. The things I've been able to come up with so far are:
- I need to help people
- I need a mommy. Bear with me here. The times I've been the happiest are when I have somebody that takes pride in me. Somebody with authority that encourages me. Somebody that trusts and supports and comforts me. Ironically my real mommy seldomn provided these to me. My best mommys have been my 6th grade band teacher, my high-school choir and Spanish teachers, and (this is very strange) my Drill Seargeants in the Army.
- I need immersive work. My work must be engaging and cerebral. I need work that I can get lost in for hours without noticing that time is passing. The only activities that I can remember doing this for me are playing music, riding bike, and writing.