I have a picture in my head of what I’m going to be.
I’m going to be big. Not too big—I’m not going to be talked about hundreds of years from now like Shakespeare or anything. I’m not going to last long enough for people to start arguing about whether or not I actually existed. But still, there will be people who will know my name—people who I haven’t met before. That would be enough for me.
I’m going to be stable, and I’m going to land my dream job, and I’m going to be satisfied with it. I’m not going to go home after a long day at work and feel like nothing I did mattered, or like it was all just a big waste of time. No, I’m going to change people’s lives.
I’m going to make a difference in this world.
I’m going to be happy. I don’t entirely know how yet, but when I look into my future, I see it. I see me—50 years old—smiling and serene and satisfied with my lot, and proud of my past self for not giving up. I’m going to have a system of support around me: friends, colleagues, a partner maybe (if I get really crazy with the happiness).
In short, I’m going to be okay. I see it. I feel it there—just there—just beyond my reach. And, if I just keep trying, just keep reaching for what I want, I know I can get there. I can. It’s just…
It’s hard to remain convinced that what I see is real—that it’s achievable. I can get everything I want if I just keep trying. I mean, I’m not going to spend my life eternally trying and have it not be enough just because I wasn’t born in the right place, to the right family, or knowing the right people. That would never happen.
But at the end of the day, do my doubts even matter? Because, hell, maybe my doubts are correct. Maybe my vision of the future is a lie that I tell myself to make these meaningless work days go by a little bit faster and to make these constant rejections feel a little less final.
But either way, I think I need to live as though this vision of the future is real. I need to pretend that I can be big and stable and happy, so long as I just keep trying. Because at the end of the day, I know that I can’t give up now.
If I give up, then that vision of the future is guaranteed to be a lie. If I keep trying, then how can I know for sure?
So, I’ll keep trying. And I’ll keep telling myself that the picture in my head is what I am going to be. Because that’s what I want. More than anything in this world, that is what I want.