Friday, June 24, 2016

Years and Goals

When I was 26 years old, a lot happened. I got my first "grownup" job (meaning a full-time permanent position that I could potentially keep for a long time, as opposed to a summer job, part-time job, or temp job). I also got my first apartment and started living on my own. While I don't actually do chores or take care of any grownup responsibilities around the house, I do pay my own bills, and anyone who hadn't seen what I wrote on Facebook during this time would have viewed me as a good responsible successful adult because I had a job and lived on my own and was supporting myself. And I do not appreciate that one bit.

I knew that I wanted to be a princess divastar hedonist - basically, not do any work and just go around having lots of fun and being all glamorous and feeling special - as early as I can remember. I'm estimating age 3 for when I would have been consciously aware of wanting this. I had not achieved that lifestyle at age 26.

26 - 3 = 23 years

I wanted to drop out of school since I began school at age 4. I had not achieved that goal at age 26. I had in fact lost my opportunity to quit school because I graduated, which is not the same thing.

26 - 4 = 22 years

I wanted to be a professional writer since I was 6. I am very close to achieving this now, but I had not reached this goal by age 26.

26 - 6 = 20 years

I wanted to be a Broadway star since I was 14. I had not achieved this goal by age 26.

26 - 14 = 12 years

I wanted to get major revenge on my college since I was 18. I made significant progress at this goal by writing The Unencrypted Truth, but I will not feel like I've achieved it until I publish a book about the school, so I had not achieved this goal by age 26.

26 - 18 = 8 years

The goals I have just listed are all goals that I still wanted at age 26, even the ones that were a bit out of my grasp. I did not list any goals that I truly lost interest in.

I wanted to move out of my parents' house and live on my own and support myself when I was 24. And I don't mean that I didn't want to move out when I was 10 because 10-year-olds don't move out - I mean that as a child, I saw myself doing a lot of different things when I was a grownup, mostly being a writer and an actress and a general superstar - but I never pictured myself moving out. I never wanted to get married or have kids, and I honestly was planning to just live with my parents forever. I was 24 years old by the time I had a true desire to move out.

26 - 24 = 2 years

If you refer back to the math problems above, you could hardly call me successful at age 26 for having a job and an apartment, if you add up the years of dreams that I hadn't achieved, and consider that I had only wanted to get a job and support myself for about 2 years before I did it.

I'm very, very close to being successful now and achieving some of my life-long goals. I just want to remind everyone that people have other dreams that have nothing to do with acting grownup and responsible and being good productive citizens, and it really hurts me to know that most of the people who gave me approval for getting a job and an apartment (and I'm not talking about my close friends who were psyched about my apartment - I'm talking about people who *approved* of my getting a job and an apartment because that was what I *should* be doing at age 26) would *not* have been supportive at all if I had managed to achieve all of my other life goals without having a job and being financially independent and living on my own. (And yes, this would have been possible because I could get paid to write without necessarily being paid enough to live on, and I could be between shows long enough that I need to live with my parents in the meantime). Remember to support people in what they truly want out of life, not just in what you think they're supposed to do.

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