Been feeling down lately. Wait, what am I talking about? I’ve been down for a long time. Every now and then I’ll get into a little episode of depression, just like most of us humans. It’s normally inexplicable, and equally harmless. Most times homoeostasis is returned within mere days, but I’m starting to think I may actually have a depression problem.
At first, I thought it was just a bout of homesickness. I don’t particularly care for my life at the moment. So far I’ve managed to convince myself it’s merely a transition–I must simply “hang in there” as it were, while my beloved girlfriend completes nursing school, which will allow us to move anywhere we please–or so the theory goes. The problem with this is I can only convince myself for so long. The cold hard truth is that there is a big difference between plans and reality, and reality has never seemed to have much of a predisposition for conforming to my plans–in fact, it seems to almost have its own plan for my life. I would prefer it left it to me. I find that reality is almost always wrong.
My friends from back home ask me what I’m doing in Baltimore, and when I tell them I work for an engineering company that has me write computer software for the government they’re pretty impressed–if only I were also. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’m no longer particularly interested in it. In fact, when I coded as a hobby I vowed I would never rely on it for a paycheck, simply because I cannot maintain an interest in some arbitrary project. I have the “open source itch,” as it’s come to be known. That is, I have an urge to code particular things I’m interested in, and not something that a project manager tells me to code. Fortunately I’m not in that situation–I get to code however I want, with whatever method, style, or language I prefer–but I still don’t get to pick what I code. When I first started this job I ran at full speed; I completed two major projects in the first three months, one of which had been in limbo for nearly three years. I am good at what I do, I just don’t like what I do.
So what do I want to do? Due to various encounters–positive and negative–with the healthcare profession, I would very much like to attend medical school and work as a pain management physician. I don’t know if I’m smart enough, and I don’t think I’m young enough. If I wait until my girlfriend has finished nursing school I will be–at the minimum–three years shy of thirty before I can even start pre-med. I just can’t convince myself this is a realistic thing to do, especially seeing as how we have plans to start a family around that time.
I dreadfully find that I have fallen into the exact same predicament most members of our society do–one that I promised myself I would never be trapped into: not achieving my dreams. Most of us have something happen in their early twenties, and you think “oh, I’ll just wait a year until I can figure this out,” or “I’ll just take a few years to get this right,” and then you turn around and it’s been five, seven, ten years. I’ve spent a mere twenty-three years on this planet–four of them taken away by intractable pain that isn’t stopping anytime soon–and already I feel the pressure of time slowly pushing me farther and farther from my dreams.
I see my friends saving money, buying houses, having families; I see me stuck, as if running in a dream: never quite able to catch what you’re chasing. No matter how hard and fast you run, it only gets farther anyway. I’m very afraid that I’ll become like so many blue-collar families–like my own parents: spending their entire lives attempting to ensure a better one for their children. That’s simply not what my life was made for. It was made for greater things than these.