A few days ago, after dropping my brother off at his girlfriend’s place and waiting till I have to pick him up again, I found myself sitting in my car in the parking lot of a nearby Burger King.
I had a lot on my mind. Money problems and just this heavy feeling of dissatisfaction with my life hovered over me. My lack of progress with my writing goals and everything else weren’t helping. So whenever I get in a mood like this, in order to keep it from deteriorating to full blown depression, I picked up my trusty yellow writing pad and wrote a list of my problems, a list of what I wanted, and a list of actions I could do right now to get what I wanted.
One of the things I’ve wanted for a long time now was to move to the United States; perhaps in an artsy and more liberal sort of town, somewhere in California I was thinking. So when I was trying to think of how to make this happen, one of the obstacles was my brother. He’s currently living with me, and I can’t really do anything till he turns 18 next year.
As I was setting up a deadline, I realized that when he turns 18, I’ll turn 26.
And just like that, a realization hit me across the face like a wrecking ball.
I’m going to be in my late twenties very soon.
Very, very soon.
It’s been a decade since I know for sure I wanted to leave Puerto Rico. Over two decades since mom moved us here and never looked back. That’s too freaking long. What am I waiting for?
And it’s not just the move. I have no career, no education, no friends, and not even a potential soul-mate/significant-other. I feel like I’ve been waiting for my life to start for ages now. What am I doing? Why am I waiting?! It’s not just going to happen all by itself.
It’s not like I’m going to live forever. My mom died when she was 44 years old. If I inherited her lifespan, half my life is already gone.
This is unacceptable.
Thus drastic changes need to happen and happen soon.
For starters…my younger brother is going to go back and live with his aunt.
I suck at parental guardian. He doesn’t have much respect for me anyways (I made this decision the moment I discovered he lied to me and stayed at a friend’s place for two days instead of staying with his aunt for the weekend). I can’t be his babysitter forever. I’ve done all I can. His life is in his own hands, just as my life is in mine.
Now I’m unshackled. I no longer have a valid reason for staying in Puerto Rico.
Well, okay there is still the whole I have a house, a car and a job here, and don’t have the income to live in the USA and pay rent at the moment. But I’m going to be 26! No more excuses.
So, I’m going to look for a job and an apartment. Not sure where yet. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d really appreciate it. I’ll start by looking into my first dream choice of San Francisco (though I’ve heard it’s insanely expensive, nothing’s going to happen if I don’t at least look into it).
Next, I’m not going to mess around anymore. If I truly want to be a career novelist and illustrator, then I have to work twice as hard a professional in just one of those fields, especially if I want to succeed without formal education.
Discipline, Hard Work and Relentless Persistence.
Hopefully, these will be the keys to my success in this endeavor…and save me from ending up homeless and living on the street.
Thing is, this has always been a weird dream of mine. I’ve always admired and looked up to those who trained, and trained, and sacrificed, and worked until their hands bled. It’s the main reason I love the Olympics, sports movies/manga, and the Oscars. I keep imagining all the hard work and effort they had to put in to get to where they are and I’ve always wanted to do that. Lock myself up in a room, go nearly insane, and emerge victorious with quality, masterful work.
But I always held back. It was most likely a self-esteem issue. I didn’t think I could do something like that. I’m nothing great, after all. I don’t have the drive, passion or skill for such a feat. Also, it’ll probably kill me or make me miserable, and in the end I’ll burn out quickly and have nothing to show for all the hard work.
Excuses, excuses, excuses.
It’s gotten to the point where, I’m no longer striving for a goal. I mean, yes, I have the goal to make a living from my work….but like I said in a previous post, that is a secondary focus and should be secondary.
This is my life. I can’t spend the rest of it just worrying about how much I’m making and how to cover my expenses. These are important, for sure, but what I want to do…is to live a life I enjoy NOW instead of later.
Thankfully all I need for my idea of a perfect life is a change of location, a simple job that pays my minimum expenses, a few great people I love to keep me the occasional company, and hours and hours of writing and drawing.