Swimming in a sea of melancholy with no true purpose or lust for life, a huge wad of money in the bank, and a drug habit are three things that do not make a fantastic combination. At 25 years old you have a lot less grounding in life than you think. Perhaps I was in denial at the time due to the sudden death of my brother. Perhaps I thought the money was a safety net that would magically protect me and guide me where I need to go. I had no one I felt I could trust, but more importantly I couldn’t trust myself.
I had been listening to my impulses for over 10 years so it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. The right thing to do was to just go with my gut and consider my actions later. The right thing to do was to distribute my money and attempt to hide it from myself even though I was the one with the lock and key. The right thing to do, according to my shaky, unstable, immature ego was: buy loads of drugs, loads of food, and loads of presents for people I thought that loved me. At the time that felt like the right thing to do.
I did it fast. And I did it without thinking. I got a rush every time I took thousands of dollars out of the bank and spent it on whatever I wanted. There was some type of deluded freedom that made me feel so high I never felt the guilt from being irresponsible with my future. I didn’t care about quitting my job. I didn’t care about supporting myself. I just wanted to support my habits. I wanted to support my ego. I’m sure somewhere along the way on the pleasure pathway next to the reward center in my brain there was a voice whispering “this isn’t the right thing to do” but my ego was much louder, much stronger and had legs that wouldn’t quit.
Now here I am ready to fulfill my dreams, truly seeing the value in that money. The value that could’ve been found if only I had stopped to look. I’ve finally taken a moment to find a purpose. During this profound discovery I’ve also noticed that there is no. money. left. I am hanging on by a thread and I may be working at a job I despise very soon just to support myself. Living a life I’ve always dreaded as an adult. I feel extremely frightened for my psyche and my dignity. They are very vulnerable as it is; add in a corporate job and who knows what could come out of this. Or never make its way out. But I feel like, maybe…. JUST, maybe if I talk about it candidly, and let my inner voice speak, I can somehow get through this shit and become the famous actor-artist ballerina my brother always wanted me to be.
I was walking on the sidewalk in my residential complex by a black metal fence probably bordering the park. It was mid evening, and summer because it was late but still bright outside. I often recall a certain event from that day. I’ve remembered this event since it happened it seems. It pops in my brain even now, 18 years later. I was walking with my babysitter and perhaps her little sister or some other younger child that she was also baby sitting. My baby sitter reminded me of Laura from Family Matters. She had pretty thick black hair, down to her shoulders and dark brown skin. I think she had on a striped shirt. I was no older than 7 years old.
I was walking behind her when I began praying to myself. Or chanting something to myself. Or, maybe I was just talking to myself in a hushed voice. Whatever I was doing was peculiar and my baby sitter told me to stop. But I began again. I was so compelled to continue I even attempted to talk lower so she couldn’t hear me, and she told me to be quiet again with much more aggression this time. I don’t know how many times she demanded me to stop. I believe she had to tell me that children don’t do that, and that it’s quite strange for me to continue to do that — to talk to yourself. I think at that moment I understood I was not like every other child. Maybe even most children. I remember feeling very embarrassed and very nervous and uncomfortable. And very small. Smaller than I had ever felt and I was only 7 years old. That was one of the first times I was filled with anxiety.