I've decided to revisit a story I started a few years ago, which is basically a love-letter to my younger self, at least to begin with. The simple dreams of youth, the wanting to be good at things, and thinking that being great academically could get me into a great university and somehow put my life on a track that would mean I'd end up doing all the things I wanted. A job doing things I was interested in, mixing with people who inspired me, being successful, etc etc.
I started it as a way to try to sort my life out. To somehow correct the mistakes of the past by creating a story that fulfilled all those ideas that I ever wanted. That would somehow break down all those walls that made me feel like a failure and close the door on the past, while opening the path to the future. It could be a great story too, don't get me wrong. Sure it'd be a little potter like, but there were many versions of that type of story way before that behemoth graced fantasy literature.
But what I'm discovering as I write this story, is that something is really wrong inside me. I've always been hopeful and optimistic, while being rather cautious of investing myself into something. I liked to think of myself as a cynical idealist, expecting the worst but hoping for the best.
Now, however, I'm feeling something different. I'm realising that carefree, lighthearted, faithful me has long been warring with something else inside, that cascade of crushed dreams and expectations that have been swirling around inside me for a long time. And the older I get, the more my optimism peels away to reveal this morass of sadness eating away at me. I don't get excited for things, I don't invest in them any more. Sure you might say that's natural as we get older, we're no longer kids running around being amazed by everything.
But shouldn't we be? Isn't life amazing from 0 to 90? Or do we hit 21 and slowly have to step into this rote abyss where life becomes about working to gain the things we want. Money bringing material things, cars, houses, even relationships and spouses. Sure, we all need to eat, but what are any of those things to what we really want to do. What we really dream of.
Running faster than the wind, speaking to a million people at once and inspiring them, reaching for the stars, and beyond. Being able to giftwrap an idea and hand it to someone. Getting the world to stop, and just listen to each other, and realise there's a better way to do it all.
And somehow, I want to take my faith away for a moment and just look at what is left. To take out that parcel of sadness and not ask anything of myself, for that hasn't worked in some time, but to look at it and get angry again. To invest emotion into the thing that I most hate about myself, the only thing that has been standing in my way the last decade, the biggest part of me that deserves to be denied.
Because I'm not going to be a failure forever. That's not going to be my life. And if I can't get to a place where I finish the one thing that won't make me feel like that anymore, I'll try something else. And then I'll try something else. And then another thing. But it won't be too many, because that ball of faith is still going to be there. And that tells me this world was made for believers, believers in people, believers in themselves, believers in the world. Believers in life.
So I might be older now. No sweat. The real life is going to start now. I didn't do it while I was "young", fine. I'm going to do it better now that I'm older. Because I have more than half my life left and I'm going to get my money's worth.
I have faith.