When I started writing this blog, things came a lot more naturally to me than they do now. I don't know if its just the winter closing in or if I've had some sort of profound mental shift, but expressing things just feels a bit harder than it used to. In the beginning, I was keen to document all the little things that had made up the scenery along what I had dubbed the 'scenic route' that my life had taken – now, things in my life and my mind have taken up a much broader outlook, with real tangible rewards and consequences. I have no doubt its a much better place for me to be, but things overall do seem to have taken on a much duller pallet without the time to stop and admire the scenery. Maybe, to torture my metaphor further to the point where Amnesty International will have to step in, I've exited the beautiful if random forest of my scenic route and am now heading through the industrial estate portion of my journey?
I've always felt over the years that within my mind, I was stuck at the stage where I dropped out of school, and by extension, life. That the world had passed me by, and that my destiny and path were out of my own control, that I was merely sitting and waiting to react to whatever life had to throw at me next. Dreams of escaping my situation were always just that – far off dreams that relied on ifs, buts and a myriad clauses and conditions, 3 steps away that just needed a bit of luck to push me in the right direction before I could start to work towards them. Earlier in the year, I even managed to find one that would solve everything, transplant myself from all I am now virtually back in time with a simple change of scenery, and let me start over at 17 again while the real world waited on hold for me to take all the time I needed to find my feet.
I'm not 17 though. And regardless of what I've missed, and however extensive I might think the list is, the fact is that I've grown and learned lessons along the way from whatever other sources were available. They've not been conventional, and I'm aware that I'm in no way a typical 23 year old, but the fact remains that I've lived enough to see the world differently than I did then. And as nice as it would be to put my current, low-value 'wasted' life on hold while I venture off to reclaim everything that I've missed, the fact remains that while I was putting reality on hold, it would still change behind me.
So now, a different option has come up. One that I honestly never thought I'd see, but having presented itself I feel for the first time in my life has put the power of my own path back into my own hands. Instead of going back and trying to salvage anything... I can go forward. This isn't a dream or a fantasy, happening to some alternate version of me who can just manage to go out or who is untroubled by pain and fatigue, this is a genuine chance for me to find a place in the world, just the way that I am. It hurts to give up on that dream, but in exchange for something real and tangible, I'm sure that it will be worth it.