In My Mind

From the first time I ever started therapy, and even before therapy…I was always feeling like I was behind everyone else in terms of where I should be in my life and what I should be doing at certain ages. I was fine until I graduated from community college. I had my acceptance letter to my first choice university in my hand, had attended orientation and was right on track with what I was “supposed” to be doing at the age of 20. Until life blew up. Until shit hit the fan. Right before I had to make my final decision to attend my choice university and register for my classes and move, things didn’t feel right…my woman’s intuition alarm was sounding. My mom was acting weird and home became SO stressful for me that instead of leaving for college, I chose to move out on my own instead…giving up my university dreams and psychology degree. I THOUGHT I was only giving it up for a little while until things settled down…but things only got worse. I found out that my mom was dating (and technically cheating on my dad)…a man I actually knew beforehand and who was a friend of mine and my brother’s before he ever met my mother (for kicks, I’ll throw in the fact that this man is about 15 years younger than my mom). I found out that my mom was divorcing my dad after almost 25 years of marriage…and then the clincher: I found out my dad was sick. (I got sick to my stomach when I found out my mom was still going to go through with the divorce even after we found out my dad had stage four cancer.) I don’t need to go into the details, but in a nutshell, I moved back home to take care of my dad, lost my dad, moved back out on my own, lost L 8 months later, made a stupid decision to chase a boy across the state thinking I was going to get married and get on with life, only to have that blow up in my face (in a way, I felt I sort of deserved that explosion). Then I had to swallow my pride and ask to move back home…where I’ve been for five years now. Even after I first moved back home, I was pissed because I felt my life veering off track and I was not happy about it. I was watching my friends graduate from college with their degrees and getting married; some were even having babies at this point. I did, at one point after coming back home, feel like I was getting back on track when I went back to school for my pharmacy technician certification. It wasn’t the psychology degree I wanted, but it was something. I excelled in school, landing myself another set of honors cords and I was surprised (and QUITE pleased) when I found a GREAT job not long after completing school and before my unemployment money ran out. I LOVED that job, I LOVED my coworkers (initially), I was good at this job and honestly…what MORE could I have asked for in a job? Complete health benefits, a guaranteed schedule with great hours Monday through Friday, great pay with two guaranteed raises a year and a two and a half minute commute with an hour for lunch that allowed me to go home and refresh myself for the rest of my day. It was PERFECT. And for the first time since moving back home, I finally felt back on track and happy again. I was making considerable progress in reducing my debt, I was close to having enough money to move out (I was even looking at condos and townhomes to put a down payment on and work towards OWNING) and I felt things were falling into place. Then life said, “You’re happy? LOL! One sec…”

I have tried, for the last 18 months, to figure out where I went wrong. What did I do to fuck things up? Yes, some people made some poor choices that affected me greatly but I refuse to put the primary blame on anyone but myself. Yes, my coworkers and boss made my life a living hell for three months before I figured out what was going on…but what did I do to make them do that to me? I was 27 at this point and not only was I deeply hurt but subconsciously, this was a sign that I was not meant to have what I wanted for myself…I wasn’t meant for the life I had so meticulously planned out. Yes, I was still young…but now I was even further behind in the race of life. So I decided to end my life and give it up because I didn’t think I would ever catch up and I was hurt, I was angry, I missed my dad, and I was SO tired of things not going my way. I had a fucking plan for my life and NONE of it was happening. Obviously, my attempt to end my life was not successful. I woke up in an ICU angry. Not only was I pissed at whoever was to “blame” for saving my life, I was pissed that a decision I made was taken away from me, that my plans failed AGAIN and not only did I fail to end my own life, I then had to deal with the consequences of the choices I made (i.e. knowing full well I had lost my job, worrying about going to jail for committing a felony and everything that came with such a serious attempt on my life including the medical and psychological repercussions…everything I was planning on NOT having to deal with because I wasn’t supposed to have survived). I was mad that my dad was no longer here, I was mad at the endless parade of chaotic emotions and failed relationships, I was mad for making a stupid decision to chase a boy, I was mad at having to move back home when that was the FIRST thing I said I wasn’t EVER going to do once I moved out on my own the first time. I was NOT going to move back home after I left. I wasn’t going to be like my older brother who was constantly moving in and out because of his own poor choices. I’m mad now because I have royally fucked up my life and with each passing year, I only get further and further behind. I’m mad because I’m not “on track”…I’m not doing what I am supposed to be doing…I’m not following MY life plan and MY goals. This is NOT how I planned my life. I am a textbook Type A personality, stubborn as fuck and OCD to the core. I make a list, I set goals, I make a plan and that shit happens because THAT IS HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO WORK! That’s how it’s supposed to happen…that’s how I operate and it pisses me off when things don’t go my way. I don’t mean to imply that I’m selfish and I want want want and it’s all about me me me. I made a plan, I set goals and up until last year, I followed that plan and I met those goals. But due to circumstances out of my control and because of certain decisions I (and others) have made, here I sit…staring the age of 29 in the face, living at home, without a job, three suicide attempts under my belt, unmarried and no children. This is NOT what I had planned…this is NOT what I wanted for myself…and I have yet to get to a point where I can accept that “it’s okay” things didn’t go as I had planned and just because you make plans, things aren’t always going to go AS PLANNED. I consider myself a pro at pill popping…but that acceptance pill is just one pill I can’t seem to swallow. I haven’t completely lost my willfulness (and honestly, I’ve probably gotten more stubborn over the past year, if that is even possible) and part of me wants to accept that shit happens…move on and make your life what you want now…get back on track. But another part of me is like NO…this is NOT how things are supposed to be, this is NOT what I wanted and I’m mad about it…and I can’t seem to let that anger go.

This entire rant to say that I constantly feel like I’m behind, that I’m not where I feel I should be and that I’m not doing what other people my age are doing (e.g. marrying and having babies)…and this song captures ALL of that emotion. It’s important to note the title: “In My Mind”…because this belief I have, that I’m behind and fucking up, is ALL in my mind. People, namely my therapists, tell me all the time that it is completely okay to not be where you envisioned you would be right now. Does it kind of suck the hind one that things didn’t go your way? Absolutely. But it’s not too late to fix it…and it’s not even so much about “fixing” my life (aside from fixing MYSELF) but more about just ACCEPTING my life for what it is: that it’s okay to not be okay right now, move forward and go BACK to your plans and pursue your dreams…get back on the horse after you’ve fallen off.

“In My Mind”
by Amanda Palmer

In my mind
In a future five years from now
I’m a hundred and twenty pounds
And I never get hung over
Because I will be the picture of discipline
Never minding what state I’m in
And I will be someone I admire
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I’ve just forgotten how to see
That I’m not exactly the person that I thought I’d be

And in my mind
In the faraway here and now
I’ve become in control somehow
And I never lose my wallet
Because I will be the picture of discipline
Never fucking up anything
And I’ll be a good defensive driver
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I’ve just forgotten how to see
That I’ll never be the person that I thought I’d be

And in my mind
When I’m old I am beautiful
Planting tulips and vegetables
Which I will mindfully watch over
Not like me now
I’m so busy with everything
That I don’t look at anything
But I’m sure I’ll look when I am older
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I could be that person now
But that’s not what I want
If that’s what I wanted
I’d be giving up somehow
How strange to see
That I don’t wanna be the person that I want to be

And in my mind
I imagine so many things
Things that aren’t really happening
And when they put me in the ground
I’ll start pounding the lid
Saying I haven’t finished yet
I still have a tattoo to get
That says I’m living in the moment
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I could win this win-less fight
But maybe it isn’t all that funny
That I’ve been fighting all my life
But maybe I have to think it’s funny
If I wanna live before I die
And maybe it’s funniest of all
To think I’ll die before I actually see
That I am exactly the person that I want to be

Fuck yes
I am exactly the person that I want to be