It’s been an insane year, in a good way! Book published, workshops, caregiving and bringing my business back on an even keel. So I’ve been dormant on my blog and want you to know I am moving to more normal time-line postings!.
This post was written on February 24, 2015
I’ve really been struggling with my depression recently. It seems to take more and more of my emotional energy to get through the day, so by the time I get home, I am emotionally drained and don’t have the energy to be happy. Tears seem to be always threatening, and there’s a heavy pain in my heart that doesn’t go away.
I. Just. Don’t. Care.
I’m not suicidal (I’m much too interested in what’s going to happen next), but I am feeling that my life is pointless.
I was talking to a friend today. Her daughter wants to be a writer, and is attending Tulane University in Louisiana. She is studying creative writing, and her mother encourages her. But her father, more practical (Like you, my friend says, pointing to me), thinks she needs to get a degree in a field where she can make a living.
It’s a reasonable thought. Engineers, scientists, lawyers, doctors make more money than writers, unless they are Ann Rice, J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King. For me to make the same money I do selling insurance, I’d have to sell 10,000 books….a year!….just to equal that. At this moment that seems a bit daunting.
It’s funny, my friend sees me as practical. I have learned to be practical, but it’s broken my heart in the process.
You see, I listened to my father, and I got a business degree. I don’t regret the business degree in that I met my beloved husband Ernie at Pepperdine, and it has helped me with my insurance agency….but it’s not what I dreamed of. My dream was to go to Columbia and study writing. I wasn’t strong enough emotionally, nor did I have the backing of a parent telling me to chase my dreams, and my parents made too much money to get any kinds of grants or scholarships, so I took the money path.
After all, in my childhood, money was our family’s god, our idol. I’ve written about my father’s insane chase of money, and how it in the end destroyed him and our family. In the end he was abused by a woman who wanted his money and married him when she thought he was dying. She took everything and he missed living life. The last words he ever spoke to me was “I regret my life.” He spent his life craving money yet left it to a stranger.
So I’m a little warped by money. I make good money, but I’ve created a golden trap for myself. There are bills to pay, mortgage payments, vacations I like to take.
I want to run away and join the circus, but the reality is I can’t. Or at least, I have chosen not to. (See how we speak to ourselves?) I have married a man with tap roots deeply entrenched in the soil, and he wants to stay put. I want to stay with him, so I am tethered by a love-chain to the ground when I want to fly.
Since I was in elementary school I have wanted to be a writer. I devoured books, and loved to escape into different worlds. It made childhood easier. I wanted to create those magical worlds myself, and scribbled furiously on my novel while driving around the country in our camping trips. Being a writer seemed to be the noblest calling I could think of. Writing allowed me to vent onto the pages what I was unable to verbalize in my family. But I didn’t. I chose the safe path, the predictable path, and it has crushed my soul. I love my Ernie, but I yearn for the gypsy wanderlust life.
I tell my friend to let her daughter take the creative path. Don’t smother her daughter’s soul in business, or engineering, or law, if her heart is not in it. That’s a deadly trap that takes 40 years to kill you. Maybe she won’t make as much money as she could being a professional, but hopefully she will be happier.
And in the end, isn’t happiness what we are all really chasing?
Now it’s Your Turn! Tell us how you find happiness.