The Challenge Meter

Remember when life was all about getting good grades? When, generally speaking, there were right and wrong answers, and either you solved for X or you didn’t? Ah, how I failed to appreciate those days, dreaming of the time when I’d be free of solving right-or-wrong questions, trading this in for the freedom of creating in a world of no actual correct answers. I didn’t appreciate life back then at all. It seemed like it was all this trick leading up to reality. So I held my breath and waited.

But it’s become increasingly clear to me that I’m not cut out for certain aspects of adult life. I can try. I can fake it for a while. It is a fight every single day, every second of the day, to get just to passable, if I’m lucky. More often then not I’m failing to do even the most basic things right, I’m being belittled and disrespected, perhaps for good reason, by my superiors and peers, and ever little dig eats away at me until there’s no fight in me left. I’m weak and sensitive. That’s how I roll. I fall apart too easily. I’m lucky if I get through an entire day without a top-secret breakdown.

Boo hoo. I’m so fortune. I’m so grateful. I’m so tortured┬áby wanting to do amazing work and somehow running into walls. My 20s were all about figuring out how to get jobs with a bigger paycheck. I lost sight of what I actually enjoyed and instead just chased wherever I could finagle my way into an opportunity. I learned that once the ball is rolling, as long as you keep your head up and eyes on the prize, there is always someone who will give you chance. It’s up to you to take it and run for as long and fast as you can, unless you explode, fall to bits, and wait for someone to pick up the pieces and shove you back together for the next go.

I hate being so weak. I’m most comfortable in any situation where I’m made fun of and shot down, because that’s all I know. And I can’t stand up for myself to anyone who is certain they are always right, especially when I’m never certain in any of my own suggestions. I’m yet again tempted to disappear as I am staring at this impossible mountain to climb where there is no possible path to success, only a few ridges along the way to precariously balance on before I fall over or just keep climbing.

How long can I hold on? I don’t know. I’m really starting to stop caring about money. I like money, sure, but I’m over buying shit. I’d love to be able to get to $1M before I simplify my life and move to bumblefuck the middle of nowhere and enjoying pseudo retirement (i.e. do work that is meaningful and low paid) – but what if I don’t, does that matter? In the grande scheme of things maybe happiness is just a small house with a backyard in some town no one has heard of, spending a long, slow-moving life with my love of choice, who I happen to have, thank the dear lord.

I’m fairly certain I can’t go on like this for much┬álonger. Suicide doesn’t seem like a sensible option. But packing up and trading in someone else’s dream for defining one of my own may be a better bet, before I’m tumbling down a jagged cliff with nothing but jagged ice to catch my free fall.

 

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2 comments

  1. anonymous says:

    Hang in there and don’t torture yourself too much. You’re not alone. Even people who look like they have their shit together externally have issues in private.

  2. Taylor Lee says:

    It sounds like you’re pushing yourself pretty hard with the new job and starting to suffer from burnout. Are there any smaller but significant projects at work that you can push to completion short-term to help fuel and upward rather than spiraling momentum? More importantly, do you have avenues to decompress after-hours? Things to focus on other than beating yourself up about the day’s faux pas at work? Are you taking advantage of them?

    Hope things turnaround for you soon!

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