There are people who appear to have what I want. I wonder if it keeps them from being miserable. How could you have something that good and not be glad to be alive? But of course people are screwed up in all kinds of complicated ways.
Seeing my desires appear to be real is both compelling and tortuous. It breaks through the layer of resigned depression to remind me ‘yeah, this was what life was supposed to be about.’ But then follows the recognition ‘this is not for you.’
There’s just enough false hope left though to keep me coming back to the fantasy. It’s not like it’s logically impossible for me to be in that position. Just overwhelmingly unlikely. Maybe when I was younger. If I’d been braver, more charismatic, more socially functional. If my health had been a bit better.
But still, I can’t categorically say it’s off the table. It feels tantalizingly real. Just beyond my grasp. The things I’d need to do to even have a chance of making it my reality are too massive. And I’m not prepared to make those sacrifices. To accept those compromises. I’m not willing to totally reshape who I am, just for a small shot at that desire. As valuable as it seems, I suppose it just doesn’t feel worth it. Supposing I did the huge amount of work necessary, and got the huge amount of luck required. I still doubt I’d really be happy with it. Because it would be so compromised, and I’d still be carrying so much mental baggage with me.
But that kind of leaves me with the question of what the hell I’m still doing here. If I’m essentially accepting that the things that make life seem worthwhile are beyond me, then I’m just waiting for death. And maybe that’s better for my family, because they’re spared my loss. But it’s hard to actually live with, day to day. Accepting that you’re just going through the motions, running down the clock. So inevitably I fall back into the fantasy, so I can pretend for a while that life could feel meaningful. And then it hurts all the more when that fantasy is punctured by reminder of my pathetic reality.