So, over the last few weeks, little things have been popping up. Little things that, at 3am when everything is magnified and every catastrophy is far too pronounced, real or imagined, have become crossroads. If life is a road map, I'm standing in the middle of the 401, watching off ramps and hoping to whatever force is out there that I don't get run down.
A fast conversation over 3 emails today made me realize how intangible things in my life are right now. Experiance is not something you can feel, or hold, or taste, or touch, or pin up on your wall. We don't recieve bits of paper that say "You worked here for X months/years. In this time, you did all of these things. This is now something you have." This isn't Girl Guides. We don't get merit badges. Some people are lucky enough to get references, people who can say kind words to back up your claim that, despite the lack of some certificate or trophey or trinket, you did stuff. What I've realized that policy, that big book of corporate fear, dictates that I don't have references. And over the last year, for all my fretting and my panicing, the midnight tears and shuddering, paralyzing terror that people "like me" don't function in the real world, I haven't gained anything. I haven't gained another reference. I haven`t built up another imaginary button, another `Hey, I did this too!`
As I talked through the big decision I have to make with Katie, she asked me "How long do you want to be a person on EI?" Truth is, as much as I don't want to be a person on EI, I don't want to fail again either. I don't want to have to go through that heartbreak again. I don't want to spend 3.5 months doing something, and once again coming away with nothing. Only this time, if I lose my EI for this, it will be less than nothing. It will be nothing plus the innability to survive on my own. Taking a job for a line on a resume and maybe a reference, only to be demoted in life back to that kid who moves back in with mom and dad?
I'm actually considering giving it all up. I find myself thinking more and more about working in a resteraunt, making food. I can do that. I know I can do that, and I can probably do it well. I know I probably wouldn't make any money. I know it would rot my skills. But damn it, it would be safe.
I'm starting to think this out on a limb thing is really over rated. We are told, take chances, take risks. I took a chance. I took a risk. I wish every single day (and I'll repeat that: EVERY SINGLE DAY) that I hadn't. For all the degrees of miserable I would have been if I'd stayed, I wouldn't be this. I wouldn't be everything I never, ever thought I would be.
In 10 days, I'll be 26. At this point in my life, I really thought I would be... well, working, certainly. I thought I'd be making an impact. I thought I would be at least close to debt-free. I thought I'd have to wear a suit every day. I thought I'd be proud of myself.
I also kinda thought I'd be a librarian or maybe a crew member of the star ship Enterprise.
I guess this is what a quarter-life crisis feels like.