The thing of which I am most afraid, is getting to a ripe old age where some RN hopeful has to wipe my ass for me, or worse even still, change my daiper because I’m so old and can’t take care of myself.
And at that time, reflecting back on my life and feeling sad and regretting all of the opportunities I didn’t get, all of the chances I didn’t take, the rules that I was afraid to break… the beautiful life that I missed out on. Looking back on my life and realizing that it seems like a week ago I was in my 20’s and not living my life to its fullest potential. And then again at 30, and 40, and 50.
I never had a childhood or teenage years. I went from living with my parents to being institutionalized for a whole year, to being a mom at 17 to being married with 3 kids by 24. I’ve never had the chance to live my own life for me. And I’ve had to constantly work to not only keep my head above water financially, but also to keep my sanity in check because I’m so on the verge of losing it so often.
Now, at the young age of 44, my kids are grown up. My oldest daughter is a newleywed and an RN, my son is 23 and a heroin addict (they can’t all be perfect) and my youngest daughter who will be 21 in a few weeks, lives about an hour away from me and works at McDonalds while she is also a full time student working her way towards Veterinarian School. So 2 out of 3 of them are well adjusted despite my inability to be a good parent. My point is, they are old enough where they can take care of themselves and don’t need me like they used to. In fact, I often cry because it’s so hard to spend time with them. Our schedules are so different and we are all so busy.
Now feels like the perfect time to go and live the life that I missed out on. I want to travel, maybe move away. My main issue now is that I am the GM of a busy restaurant. I work AT LEAST 70 hours a week. I schedule myself to not be in the building physically 1 day a week, but end up working from home on that day. I commute an hour each way and work 12+ hour days. I’m back to again, not having any time for me.
I’ve taken 3 weeks off (Drs orders) from work because I was becoming increasingly depressed. Not eating, not sleeping, and almost never showering (dry shampoo is my best friend) and I spent my last 3 days at work crying in the office. I knew I needed to get away. Now that I have this time off, I’m trying so hard to decide what to do with my life. My anxiety is so bad that I wake up in a panic every morning. I don’t want to go back to that job. I’m terrified that I will have to. But I’m just not sure what else to do.
My overwhelming need to do the “responsible” thing and go to work every day and make my car payment and help my mom with money keeps me feeling stuck. I do badly want to break free. I want to be able to spread my wings and fly. I feel like I need permission and approval from everyone around me to just live life for ME. For once. I don’t wanna wake up in 20 years and look back on my life and feel like I haven’t truly LIVED. If my life were to end tomorrow, I would have so many regrets. Not for things I have done, but for the things I HAVEN’T done. The problem is that you need money to go out and enjoy life, and despite making just under $70k a year, I’m ALWAYS broke and scrounge between paychecks.
I just don’t know what to do or which is the right direction to go in.