It is 5AM and I cannot sleep. An hour earlier, I had lain in bed dreaming of being trapped in a dark building, with Soviet-style oppressive guards planning to kill me. I barely escaped by taking an elevator down and walked quickly down the street. It was a sunny day and I was right by the park which I had crossed when entering the building. I tried not to garner unwanted attention but was suddenly aware that I was wearing slacks, shiny shoes and a white shirt, very much like a missionary, which made me stand out as an escapee from The Building. A policeman spotted me, so I turned down an alley, thinking I had to avoid notice. Suddenly it was nighttime and a third world hell greeted me. I sloshed through mud and drying concrete and got more and more lost. Lights from the work crews shone on the unfinished work, piles of rebar and brick blocked my way in every direction. I had to turn around and get out of this alley…. then I woke up. It was 4:30AM
Being awake was not much more pleasant. I lay there in my bed in Livermore, CA, sun not yet up, trying to go back to sleep. I thought, my God, what am I doing, I just left my job of 15 years to go on a so-called adventure, but so far all it is is uncertainty and fear. I’m not up to the task, this is going to take an enormous amount of energy and time, and who am I kidding? I can’t even muster the discipline to sell my motorcycle. My house is not ready to sell, and the market might tumble any month now. Every minute of inaction weighs against me. I only have so much time before everything goes to hell.
I have been telling people that I want to live forever, that I love life. Medical science is advancing, maybe I’ll be one of the lucky ones to live to 200 years old if I work it right. I wonder, is that because I finally found comfort and stability here at my job, and now I’m throwing it all away? Am I giving up a chance for a longer life, based on what? A vague sense of being unfulfilled? A desire for new experiences? Is that really worth it? Am I the biggest jackass that ever lived?
Well, welcome to my Monday. I have one month left before my last day at work, on June 1. It’s official and there is no turning back. This grand experiment in freedom and travel is about to begin, and if I’ve ever been this worried and uncertain before, it was during a dark time of my life I don’t care to go back to, which was my teenage years. It all seems very inauspicious. Very ordinary.
What do I have to contribute to the world, other than what I’ve been doing? Am I totally being overconfident? My deepest fear is to fail, lose all my money, and be left out of the good life, all the while realizing that I had it and tossed it away. And in the process, struggling to no avail, wasting my life in a struggle for mere survival that doesn’t even interest myself other than it contains the constant urgency of not dying, not failing. Stress and mortality are correlated, this “retirement” or whatever is very stressful so far!
Haha, I hope your week is going better than mine so far. 🙂 You can see how dark my thoughts can go in the morning. I call this worried part of myself “morning Rich,” and I’ve decided he’s not going to get to steer the boat. But something deep inside me is saying, hey at least Morning Rich is not the kind of guy to take us over some giant waterfall and end up drowned.
I can’t stand to let Morning Rich have the last word. But it’s morning, and this is Rich, so I guess it is what it is.