It's like Russian Roulette, but without the sweet relief of death.

(Is that title too morbid? It’s, like, one in the morning as I write this, and I don’t always make the best decisions at one in the morning.)

Here’s the million dollar question:

Is this my rational mind talking, or the depression and/or anxiety?

I’ve been preoccupied with my future, lately (always). I’ve been thinking about school and all the decisions I’ve made (or were made for me due to my indecision) and the paths I never really took.

I’ve been wondering how many of my choices were made out of fear, or out of habit, or out of trying to please others, or trying to “get it right.” (Which is impossible; everything is wrong all the time and you just have to find the wrong that works for you.)

Like, let’s talk about school, since I linked to a post about school just a second ago. Right now, my declared major is Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics. I could do that. It will be a struggle, because math and I aren’t buddies, but it’s achievable if I work at it. And I could work at it.

But, is it what I really want to do?

Because, when I look at who I am and what I want out of my life–and I have been flipping back through my journals and re-reading what I’ve at least been writing about wanting for the last couple years–and there are a few things that consistently come up. One of those things is working from home.

Dieticians can’t really work from home. I mean, there are a few options:

  • Running a health blog
  • Online coaching
  • “Consultant with food companies” whatever that means (“food company” is a vague, broad term)

But, other options? Food photography? I don’t need to spend $100K on a semi-medical degree for that. Recipe development? Not my thing. Sales rep, marketing, social media? I may as well have stuck with majoring in marketing; I’d be finished faster and it would be less expensive. Freelancing articles for health publications could actually be something I’d be into, but “freelancer” by its definition is unsteady. If I’m paying enough money to put a down payment on a house for my education, I want steady employment. I want a return on that investment.

Between the ages of twelve and sixteen, I wanted to get a degree in creative writing. I loved writing. I wrote my own original fiction all the freaking time. But, everyone told me I needed to have a “real job,” too. I could just “write in my spare time.”

So, I went to school to get that degree for that “real job” (which I still haven’t gotten eleven years later because I walk onto a college campus and just feel lost) and I didn’t have “spare time,” anymore. I didn’t have energy, anymore. And then I was out of practice, and writing needs to be practiced–

Witches. Writing is not like riding a bicycle, okay? You forget how to do it. You forget how to structure a plot and write believable dialogue. And, when you’re twenty-three-years-old and you’re writing worse than you did when you were seventeen? That’s frustrating and discouraging. And I got discouraged and I stopped. So, shoot me.

And, now I’m wondering if I missed my calling? If maybe I should get that creative writing degree because that’s what I’ve always enjoyed. That’s what I always wanted. If I’m going to freelance or work from home and have an unsteady career anyway, I might as well be unsteadily doing something I love, right?

That sounds rational.

But, it might also just be the depression actually saying, “Six more years of school, minimum? You’ll be almost forty before you finish,” or the anxiety saying, “Math? Seriously? Math? Forget six more years; you gotta factor in another three for making up all those math and physics classes you know you’re going to fail or drop.” That fucking bullshit self-loathing demon saying, “At least if you fail at writing you’ll fail at something everyone expected you to fail at, anyway. No one expects you to actually make a career out of writing.”

School isn’t the only thing I’m doing this with, by the way. There’s more, but I think you get the gist of my thought process.

So, I’m playing Russian Roulette with my future because I don’t know what is or isn’t rational, anymore.

On the bright side, I’m so confused trying to figure out if this is rational or not that I’m too preoccupied to feel sad or anxious.

Silver linings, right?

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12 Comments on “It's like Russian Roulette, but without the sweet relief of death.

  1. This all sounds very familiar to me! People look back on their youth fondly, but I remember a lot of stress, poverty and worry about the future. I decided to be “sensible” and not do a creative writing course when I was 19. Instead, I got a journalism diploma that I never used. I’ve bounced around all sorts of jobs, some of them making pretty good money. The one I do now (teacher aide) pays terribly, but it makes me happier than being comfortable in a job I hate.

    It’s good to have some long term plans, but you can only look so far ahead. There’s a huge amount of pressure on people to have it all mapped out from an early age, yet at the same time the world and workplaces are changing faster than ever. Do what you want to do. Figure out what that looks like for the next 12 months, and worry about everything else later. Once you commit to a course of action, opportunities will open up that you would never have conceived of, because you weren’t open to them before. It will be scary, but that’s how you know you’re alive, right?

    The title is great, not too morbid at all!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I know that I can be happy and enjoy either path I choose, it’s just figuring out which is the “right” one for me and what I want in my life and trying to figure out how much of this uncertainty is logical, rational thinking, and how much of it is fear of doing something that I wouldn’t have expected myself to do.

      Thank you for that advice! The next twelve months are easy. That seems like an excellent place to start. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am 46, and this is the best piece of advice I can give you. Do what YOU love. Fuck the opinions of people who tell you what you should do. You live only once, and when your time is up on this earth, it should be free of regret. So, follow your heart and feed your soul with your passions and live the life that you have always dreamed of. You owe yourself the best possible life and nothing to anyone else! You can do anything!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You are smart, you are really, really good at writing, you are always busy doing creative projects e.g. craft and sewing as well as writing, and you have school stuff to do. I’m pretty sure you can do anything! Are you doing other writing aside from this blog e.g. submiting articles/stories to magazines, entering competitions? Huffington post? Because your writing is sharp and clever and you can write about anything- you are easily good enough to make money writing right now plus you are original and unique, there’s no one else writing exactly how you are. And you have the work ethic and so for example you could write something about something that’s going on in the world and have it submitted the same or next day, because you managed a blog every day in October. We your readers believe in you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much! That means a lot that you think I’m good enough that I could get paid to write, even without a degree. I’ve never submitted to any websites or anything, because I get so anxious about it and I definitely don’t think I’m good enough. I’m sure Huffington Post and similar site get thousands on submissions and I feel like I wouldn’t have much to offer. It’s so nice and reassuring to hear that there are people that actually think I’m good at what I do!

      Seriously, Sadie, thank you so, so, so much! You have no idea what hearing (or, as it were, reading) that means to me. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey just for fun, why not have a go entering New Philosopher magazine competition, 1,500 words, theme is stuff, consumerism, waste, recycling, objects. I am writing ‘a personal reflection on stuff, consumerism and objects’ just to practice writing something to order rather than just my blog. You can see last issue and its articles on line and comp details, you have to subscibe to that or it’s sister magazine which is a women’s magazine-feminist not fashion- And when I’m travelling I intend to submit work to ‘travellers tales’. It is all good practice. You really are good enough!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m 53…and I’m just getting my second calling. My first ended when I had my daughter. If you feel writing is your love…give it a go! You can write while still in school. You do have so much going for you in that area.

    Incidentally, my daughter is currently decided upon social work with a concentration in geriatrics as her college major when she graduates high school this year. Honestly, while she loves doing great thing and loves elder populations….part of me really wonders is making films is actually her first love. She is really really good at it. Her plot and screenwriting skills are amazing. She directs. She edits. She…….knows it’s an extremely tenuous profession (which I think is why she is going towards social work…it’s more reliable).

    It may take you a really long time to find what it is you are truly called to do. Don’t sweat it.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. I know rationally that it’s silly to be worried about not finishing school until I’m in my mid/late-thirties. People today are living longer than ever and thirty is kind of the “new twenty” or whatever (although, judging by how some of my friends in their thirties act, it might be the new sixteen lol).

      Being interested in the arts, be they illustration, writing, film, is so shaky. Doing what one loves is great, but (at least, this is how it is for me), growing up poor definitely makes a person long for something stable and reliable! I hope your daughter continues to make films. Thanks to websites like YouTube and Vimeo, she also has the opportunity to pursue what she loves even while going to school for something more reliable.

      Thank you, again. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do think she will continue her film making into college – even if just for a very expensive hobby. LOL She is submitting her second film for judging in the TX state high school film competition. Last year she made it to semi-finals. This year she wants to go to finals so she can see her film on the big screen. They’re both on YouTube. I should find them for you.

        However, I completely understand being in the arts = no money. We have several friends and family in the field and they all say the same thing……have a backup plan!

        You’ll do great; don’t always buy into the “gotta know what you wanna do” pressure they put on people these days. Heck…the little old man who has a gallery a few doors down from my store. He is 83 years old. He started painting in his 40’s and he’s self-taught. It took him a long time to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life…..

        Liked by 1 person

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