The fact it is raining today in Los Angeles only sets the scene for this post - the fact that it is one of the most depressive days I have experienced in a very long while. I am in a dark, vile, horrible mood - which makes the pile of deadlines I am buried under feel all the heavier.
The details of what precisely triggered this mood are not important; let's just say jealousy kicked it off.
The long and short of it is this:
I was born in 1982. In the 1980s advertising/media that marketed toward children were vastly different than that of our parents before us. My earliest recollection of messages - subliminal or blatant - were of wide-eyed saccharine cartoon characters telling me I could be anyone I wanted to be and do anything I wanted to do with my life. Everyone - from my parents, my teachers, my peers, my idols, traditional real life heroes, media ranging from Care Bears to serious, coming-of-age movies - told me I could do anything with my life so long as I worked hard to achieve it.
No, I can't.
I can't do what I have been wanting to do for a few years now because the kind of insurance I have dictates that I can only leave the country for 4 weeks (that's 28 days) at a time. This means nothing to many, I realize, but to me this is imprisonment. I want to live abroad. I tried once and failed due to getting sick and having nowhere to turn to. Two years ago I fell in love with another country and was so sad to leave it I cried on the day I left, very tempted to just send my friend home and stay behind until my money ran out.
I tried to ignore the void in my heart - distracting myself with achievements in work, relationship and family and friends but it has been no use. I am miserable and everyday I feel like I am not leading the life I want to live.
This is not who I am; I have absorbed those messages implanted into me and grown up with the mentality that one should pursue their dreams no matter what. No family member, no significant other, no friend would ever going to hold me back.
(Aside: I hung back from a chance to study abroad and have no regrets about it because the elderly feline I stayed back for was of more value to me than anyone else and did not have the capacity to understand my absence.)
It destroys me that I cannot live by my own philosophy. I'll take whatever opportunities I can to travel, though, and experience what I can within my limitations, until hopefully one day I have none.