What am I doing with my life?

by | Aug 12, 2022

What am I doing with my life?

I start to stress sweat as I write this but I need to talk about it.

Time is passing quickly and it feels more n more like my life isn’t within my control and maybe I’m really not going to meet my full potential.

This all started on the beach earlier today. My kid was sitting next to me reading and he got up to stretch and he had hair in his armpits?! Not adult male body hair, but a patch of hair.

Imagine my horror!?

If I’d taken more photos, or at least paid for the school photos instead of forgetting, I would have noticed that my son is growing up. Last year was his last in elementary school and I knew middle school was coming but in the middle of signing my book contract and coaching classes and everything else I missed it.

time is flying by and clearly I’m getting older and really…

WHAT am I doing with my life?

It feels like yesterday I was walking around WCU enjoying beer olympics in my tretorn sneakers and gap sweater and having the revelation that people seemed to like me. And they were wayyyyyyy nicer than I ever thought possible based on my prior experiences.

Fast forward twenty-five years and I’m still the same girl. I still like Tretorn sneakers no matter how old they make me look with my skinny jeans and my side-parted hair. And in general, people are still nicer to me than I expect.

I have little lines around my eyes, and my joints are a lot more creaky. And I now understand that I can’t be such a nice girl that people take advantage of me. I know how to keep myself alive. I’ve learned a lot for sure.

Now I’ve reached the stage of life the elders warn you about. The one where years start flying by like a cartoon calendar, and there’s a creeping feeling of dread that you might wake up tomorrow and be eighty years-old and realize you should have done more with your life.

Or maybe it’s just me.

This is not regular ADHD time blindness.

This is a whole other level of surreal, like Drew Barrymore in that  50 First Dates movie where she has no short term memory, but on a much larger scale. I woke up today and realized I was forty-three and I’ve spent seven years writing about ADHD women while missing everything else going on around me.

I had pink eye a couple weeks ago – conjunctivitis is what they call it. Sitting in Urgent Care dabbing goop from my eye on a Sunday afternoon I had lots of time to think back to the great sorority house outbreak of 1998 and the frat boy I was seeing telling me that you get it from poop in your eye.

I remember all of this so well, but yet I missed my son becoming a pre-teen.

I was able to put my contacts in before I got to the beach.

Just in time to see my son’s armpit hair more clearly.

Meeting my potential

Please insert a snicker here. I don’t know a single person who thinks they are meeting their potential. And I realize everyone over the age of ten in this country is stressed out so I don’t see myself as special.

My life is pretty great on paper.

I’m writing a book which is the coolest and scariest thing ever. But it also brings up a lot of questions.
Mainly, what does it mean to selfishly pursue my writing goals and not make money?

There’s this part of me that wants to make it ok to just live a creative life. Whatever that means.

I know someone with a trust fund and no student debt who decided not to have a family so they could make art. They enjoy their life fully, get up every day and do only what they want to do and it makes me incredibly jealous. They are meeting their potential.

I don’t know how to do that. I can’t do that because I don’t have a trust fund.

Like most of you, I labor under the capitalist delusion that if I’m not earning money I’m basically a waste of human space. So I spend a lot of timing worrying that for all the hours I spend I’m not making enough money to take care of my family.

Inflation is a real issue. I’m sitting here on the balcony of my beach rental staring at the sea and feeling guilty for eating my seafood dinner. I spend twice as much on food as I did a year ago, and it’s not just because I eat a lot. Because I work out a lot.

What kind of person pays for personal trainer when the news is telling us we’re in a recession?

This person. This selfish, privileged white cis heterosexual person.

Who is stressed out about what….my kid having armpit hair. Not tweeting for a week. Becoming irrelevant if I don’t “up my game” and hustle like every other white woman with ADHD.

But it’s August 2022.

  • I thought I’d be making the same $$ my husband makes by now.
  • I thought I’d be running a ten minute mile
  • I thought I’d pay off my student loan from 1997 Apparently I’m in good company.
  • I thought I’d have traveled more of the world with my family

This is me relaxing

Since I’m on vacation I should be relaxed.

I should be telling you how well-rested I am and ready to jump back into writing and coaching. But I don’t feel well-rested. I feel restless. I don’t have this unwavering confidence in myself that other people in my space seem to have.

With school starting soon and the ADHD conference coming up I should be ready to go into active mode. But I fear I cannot keep up with the pace of life. Of time passing.

Next week I’ll take a few boys to a local laser tag and arcade to celebrate my son’s birthday. Go to another middle school orientation night, this time the parents stay in the atrium while the kids go to the 6th grade wing on their own. Really hoping I don’t have to socialize.

I’ll make some slides and finalize my presentation for the conference.

Coach my lovely clients, work on the book.

I don’t want to keep missing things and feeling stressed about it.

I want to know what comes next.

At forty-three I’m just a couple years younger than my step-dad was when he died six weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately. So many things left undone.

What would Ed say if I asked him “what am I doing with my life? “

If I told him how afraid I am of becoming irrelevant in the ADHD space. How sad I am that I cannot keep my son little forever, and how much I worry about myself and other women losing their fundamental rights.

I know what he’d say. The same thing he says to me when he appears in my dreams a couple times per year wearing his work suit, glasses on top of his nose.

Everything is gonna be fine lizardbutt. It’s gonna be ok.