Am I waiting for my real life to begin?
There is no time when my "real life" will begin. It happened quite a while ago (35 years this Saturday!) and has been more or less uninterrupted ever since. If I'm not doing what I want to be doing, if I'm not actively engaged in the process of being wholly absorbed by what I'm doing, I'm doing something wrong. It's not going to happen if I don't just do it. I can't say, "Later, when X has occurred." It's just now, because tomorrow is what? Tomorrow is now.
But I am pretty fortunate. Short of actually being a professional superhero, say - or dolphin-feeder, or pirate (or all three!) I think I've got things squared away quite well. My work is good and the rewards excellent. I'm writing, and have had good results. Getting better, even. A future in which I am a full-time professional writer is not unthinkable. A future in which I have a single, steady, healthy romantic relationship is also not unthinkable. In the moment, I'm really just ridiculously lucky to have excellent friends (yeah, if you're reading this, I'm probably talking about you) and live in a remarkably exciting city, and quite comfortably. I'm not meaning to recount my blessings here - I'm just saying, I haven't done a terrible job of pursuing the things I want .. maybe I've goofed off a bit too much and been a little too unproductive. But heck, I generally really enjoy goofing off.
If I am not doing exactly that which I most wish to do, I am at least doing something which is worthwhile and rewarding. And getting better at not getting distracted, too. That said, I'm not beaming from ear-to-ear with happiness, either. It just might not be in my nature - I'm told by nearly everyone who knows me that I "think too much" and they're not suggesting I have an overly prodigious intellect. They mean I insert worrying in places where none is necessary or desirable. To some extent I can moderate that by being mindful - but when I'm down, my capacity to self-regulate thought is limited. This is probably genetic - or at least, certainly runs in the family. Even so, I'm not an unhappy person, either. I think, basically, I'm a generally happy but neurotic person. There are times when the despair seems insurmountable, but those times are always temporary and the clear light of day puts things into perspective. And those times are fairly infrequent, and get less frequent as years go by.
I've over-thought myself out several otherwise good relationships, and overthought myself into hanging onto otherwise bad relationships. I've let those sorts of detachments hold me back from whole-hearted pursuit of a few things - but in general, have managed to muddle through anyway. Basically, I do things. The things I do are often pretty cool, sometimes kind of foolish, and from time-to-time, both. But I do at least do them. There were few enough times when I didn't even try.
At the end of the day, I can say I tried. I did. I made it happen, or failed to - but was rarely complacent.
I think that's good enough. I think. If I keep it up like this, and keel over at a rest-stop in Jersey in my elderly years, I'll have had a lot of fine things to be remembered for - colorful, if inconsequential. But good enough, good enough.
p.s. for an example of overthinking, read entry above.