For as long as I can remember there has always been a burden placed upon me to be perfect, to have a sense of direction, a mission in life, a purpose; I'm not sure if too many understand these words but the truth is these words are real.
My family is not from here, America, so by default I've always had to try a little harder than the rest. "Don't be like..." is a familiar phrase that I've heard over my course of time on this earth. As I sit back and simply think about my upbringing, it's astonishing to think of all the little things which were poured into my psyche, the little things which morphed into even bigger things that make me who I am today.
There are few, if any within my family, who have taken note of what I've done, what I do whether in town or abroad; however, here I sit almost day in and day out in a dark room wondering where I've gone wrong so to speak. Please forgive me for a moment if I bear my emotions within a space, a space so minuscule that only a few words can fit into correctly.
IF I could give up on myself and fade away into a life of obscurity, I would do so in a heartbeat; I'm tired, I'm lonely, and more often than not, I'm lost. There was a time perhaps, I'd have to imagine at birth, when my dad might have thought of me as being Neo from The Matrix instead of, now, more like Anakin Skywalker; alas we have both light and darkness which carries us all.
I'm not the dumbest/dullest tool in the shed, by all means, I'm in the shed for a reason yet for some reason SOME would say, have said, that I've basically failed them and also at life. Please allow me to attempt to articulate this all correctly.
In life there comes a time when one is given a right of passage, a moment of confidence that they can succeed without the assistance of a mother and father. When I was 17yrs of age, I left home and endured a climate unlike any other I've faced during my time on this earth and that climate didn't have to do simply with the blistering cold of the elements as much as it had to do with the coldness of others, others whom to this day I still harbor ill feelings towards. Again, here I am still trying to be perfect in order not to say the wrong thing.
While I was away for a year attempting to better myself through education, I found that life wasn't as easy I thought, I found that some family can simply be family in name. The story that I've told over the years was that my time in New York was great, I learned a lot about myself, I learned perseverance, I learned patience, and I gained character, while overcoming what was less than pleasant living conditions.
In the eyes of SOME this was a failed experiment, the sending off of child to become a man, yet only to return still a child. Before my departure, life was a breeze, there weren't any real trials and tribulations which I had to face because for 17yrs, I was sheltered from the truth, sheltered from the fact that life is sometimes shitty and not always a bed of roses. Yes, I was fully aware that my life was that of grace, in the sense my family had escaped a war and had the chance to be "free".
Alas, what is "freedom" to one who understands that they're a "captive"?
My parents have always attempted to shield us from the pressures/hardships of the world which we live in but I was the child who always saw that things were different for us. I'm often reminded that not everyone is rich in the sense of monetary stature and I understand that WE were not the only ones struggling to stay afloat.
Again, I've already stated that I'm not the dumbest/dullest tool within the shed, I've attended college, I've even managed to maintain a career which now spans over 20yrs of working in the same industry but I'm still looked upon as being a failure.
(Sigh) It's amazing that someone can utter the words, "You've failed me..." to someone who has yet to fail and simply let go of life and self. As I sit in this dark room and think about my path/journey to owning a home, purchasing multiple cars, having close to $100K in an account for a period of time, traveling the world, holding stocks/mutual funds, being a person that most people like, and having zero arrests, kids, or real run-ins with the law... I suppose I've failed by many standards (of course typing this tongue and cheek).
Perhaps my biggest failure was allowing myself to remain so close and not leaving when others prodded me to move away in order to chase dreams which for them fell by the waste-side in many cases. I do not live with my parents (kudos to those who do), I do not ask for money, food, etc.
"You've failed me, my wish for you was that you'd be better, do better..." (Ouch)
We live in a world where success is built upon status, one's house, car, family, schooling, job, and accounts; I'll continue to look at success as being that of inspiration and happiness. I haven't failed per se, I still see the lights and signage, I'm still on the right road.
I grew up within a church that shunned so much, yet it was considered allowable within the parameters of the Bible, I attended a high school that taught rhetoric which didn't truly mention how history, science, people lived, I had interactions with people who would say things such as, "We love you" only to turn their teeth later and bite me in the ass... I'd say I was destined for failure if it wasn't for all I've learned despite of the obstacles I've had to face along the way to where I am now; it's now I understand, "Don't be like..."
I'll save a .50 and call my pop when I've truly hit rock bottom.