What It Feels Like When Your Livelihood Is Replaced With Indifference: A Confession

Flickr/ Cincono
Flickr/ Cincono

I was alive once. I was never indifferent. I could put into words what I felt.

I can’t do that anymore. I’m tired. I’ve started sleeping through my days, I’ve become a lazy observer of my own unexceptional life.

I never find it easy to wake up. I spend hours in lame negotiation with my alarm even though the sleep doesn’t feel that good. I don’t have nightmares, my dreams are just a little unpleasant. I’ve tried to analyze this and think that maybe I don’t see a reason to get up. It’s not a bad theory.

I’m generally optimistic but always mildly sad. I never fool myself into feeling purely blissful for too long. What brings me comfort is when people tell me that they’re also afraid.

How strange it is to notice a day pass, then four more and it’s those two weak weekend days again, then a few more times around and it’s a whole month that’s behind. I’m not particularly sure what day it is today.

I’m still young but it’s already too late for more things than I thought. I’ll never be a great chess player, a great tennis player, a teen pop star, a doctor. These are very specific you’ll say. They are. These don’t matter you’ll say. They don’t. They’re still lost.

College is also over. I could have done it much better. There’s no use in seeing it now.

I’m in a new city and can’t imagine becoming established here, building a life, whatever that means, a more anchored existence if that’s even possible.

I don’t know who my friends are or what I’ll end up doing for a living. I’m far away from my family. I miss them but can’t stand their presence. And once in a while when I bang my toes against my bed frame or hear of some young person dying abruptly in the news, I remember that life is fragile and simple and that I should probably move back to my hometown, have dinner with my parents two or three times a week, marry a nice local girl and get it all over with in a tidy way.

I refuse to believe that time is passing. I refuse to believe that there’s something sinister about it. It passes by you with such a harmless air like someone who’ll fit in at any party. It’s impossible to believe how cruel the world is when you’re looking at a beautiful view, which is what I’m doing right now. The tender lights below remind me of all the intimate, solitary lives around us. You almost feel like we’re all loved, like there’s someone about to tuck us in.

You only notice time later on, and I see it when I’m home for the holidays and look at Dad. I remember glancing over at him as he was reading by the bed lamp and thinking “I wish I could save him” over and over. He’s already so old, so far into those years of decline. He doesn’t believe in God. He’s too lucid to be happy. He’s scared as hell. I see it every time I look at him. He hasn’t had a relaxed smile in decades. I don’t bring it up though, even though it would make him feel better to cry next to me.

I remember hours of uninterrupted concentration back in school. I was possessed. This does not happen anymore. I’m much more distracted, pulled in all directions. Nothing manages to sustain my interest for long enough. I like my phone for its power but it’s become the enemy of the great future I had imagined. I’m tired of checking my email all day long, I’m constantly striving to get rid of my destructive habits but the fact that I have to constantly strive makes me wonder whether I want it enough.

I don’t know if I’m close to anyone. I’ve never been in love but still hope that it exists and isn’t just something adults do to keep some hope alive. I don’t see people. I see personality types and character flaws that I would never consider locking myself in with for the rest of my life. I end friendships on a whim. I look at the messages I send people and wonder if I’m just using them to some end. Even when I’m happy, I can become anxious again in a second. I haven’t learned to master anything. I’m still mostly just afraid of the world.

I don’t want to be driven by fear. I want to be driven by love. I don’t want to do anything for the sake of financial success because the world has taught me to hate people who only run after that. But I do want to succeed. I want to be entranced constantly, to abandon myself to an art and work at it every single day in a ritualistic, beautiful sacrifice. I want to do it knowing that it’s why I exist. I want to become the best at it and have people cry when they see what I make because it rips their heart out of their chest. I want to be an adventurer.

My old self isn’t far away. He’s right here in fact, if I just wait long enough in my place. He will walk towards me, slowly like the old man he is, as I stand still for a few thousand nights and my face slowly falls apart. He does not expect me to move, he does not expect me to do anything with my life or go anywhere. He’ll come and get me no matter what, even if I’m waiting for him beneath the covers in the room of my lost childhood, the room that still has my old school schedule taped to the wall and my notebooks that are heavy from all the ink and the ski medals I won when I was ten. He’ll find me. I suppose that means there’s no need to wait for him anywhere. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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