Filling My Dharma Through Food (Or, How Asperger’s/Autism Will Make Me a Better Chef)

Today around 9:50 AM local time, I received maybe the most life-changing phone call to date. I have been admitted to the Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio location. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined I’d be going to culinary school, much less America’s premiere school for the culinary arts, but here I am. Life sure has a way of throwing us curveballs, doesn’t it?

I know, this is a very interesting development for someone who started cooking from scratch out of pure necessity a little over a year ago (due to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease). I grumbled about it initially, only to find out that I was naturally good at it (it must run in the genes – my great-grandmother could cook like nobody’s business and my mom is a pretty damn good cook herself). The discovery that would follow as I cooked more scratch-made meals was twofold: not only was I naturally good at it, but I also loved doing it! I could always count on an evening in the kitchen to release the day-to-day stress incurred by my current day job as a crane lift engineer (a career that I never found satisfying in the almost 5.5 years I’ve been in the business).

As I embark on this exciting new journey starting in early May, I can’t help but draw some parallels between my new career and a TV show I recently started watching, as it’s quite parallel. For those of you who have seen The Good Doctor, I’m sure you recall the many instances in which Dr. Shaun Murphy has all these images that flood his head for a particular case, thus coming up with some quite radical and unorthodox, yet most often highly effective, solutions for surgical patients. In this series, it’s quite obvious that Dr. Murphy’s diagnosis of Autism confers a unique benefit over his colleagues – he’s willing to go where they are not, he’s very thorough and misses absolutely nothing, and he’s just better at his job because of it (his difficulty with bedside manner notwithstanding).

It took me a bit to realize it, but the way Dr. Murphy’s brain works with medicine/surgery is exactly the way mine works with food. I can visualize a certain flavor profile I’m aiming for, and can reverse engineer pretty much all of them by identifying the ingredients that will give me the flavor combination I am looking for. Sure, I’ve had a few flops (I am human after all), but I get it right way more often than I get it wrong. Combine this with my ability to hyper-focus, create workflow routines, among other job-related skills and I might just be a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen (despite the challenges I will face with table-side manner, which will be a thing and I know that going into it).

Sure, I might be good at what I do now, but there’s just no passion there, and there’s very limited ability for me to be the positive role model/influence on the world in this role. As I look to my new role, I hope to turn more outward, offering kids on the Asperger’s/Autism spectrum a new message, one of hope and optimism rather than the doom-and-gloom that the pathology model of Autism loves to preach. I hope to share my gifts with the world, offering flavorful food, and especially to show the world that gluten-free food can be just as flavorful (and, in many cases, more flavorful) as gluten-inclusive food. This new avenue will give me a better opportunity to be the change I wish to see in the world, and that is an opportunity I cannot pass up in this healing journey of mine.

And that, my friends, is what makes this new chapter so exciting: getting that much closer to fulfilling my Dharma.

Looking Ahead to 2021

What a year 2020 has been! My first full year in San Antonio, the COVID-19 pandemc (I was one of the “early adopters” as it were, having the disease first week of March but recovering quickly), lockdowns, the end of a romantic relationship (only for it to evolve into something more meaningful in the end), the completion of a childhood dream of building and owning a grandfather clock, the beginnings of a long healing journey, the election of a new American president (don’t look at me, I didn’t vote for him!), you name it!

The year 2020 definitely brought about its challenges. I uncovered extremely painful truths about my past. I discovered I have Childhood PTSD/C-PTSD as a result of severe verbal/emotional and some physical abuse as a child (I had, up until this year, gaslit myself into thinking “I had a great family” – not anymore). I learned that my mother is a malignant narcissist (and that I, unfortunately, largely followed in that pattern), and that everything she ever told me about my biological father rejecting me was a pack of lies (I’ll likely be reaching out to him in the not-too-distant future). I’m becoming more comfortable with my Asperger’s/Autistic wiring, appreciating it for what it is and what it will allow for in my new career.

At the same time, it’s also brought about a sense of new hope. Yes, I do have that extreme pain in my past (that had largely been swept under the rug and ignored via various distractions – “distractions are amusing” after all), but I’ve learned that CAN be healed from. Healing is painful, much more painful than dwelling on our past traumas, but it’s necessary for us to overcome. It’s far better to go through greater pain now and truly heal and move on than  to trudge forward for decades in that lesser pain.

So what do I see for myself looking ahead to 2021? I’ll definitely be continuing on in my healing journey, maybe even ramping that up some more with other activities. I’d like to get back into bowling and golf again at some point, and maybe rekindling some musical and artistic endeavors. I hope by the Summer or Fall that I will be in position to resign from my job and take on my new planned role as a full-time student of the culinary arts. Possibly a new tattoo or two are on the horizon also. Above all, I see all roads leading to a kinder, gentler, calmer, more loving, and more spiritual me.

I’ve been so low, for so long. Those days have come to an end. It’s time to start climbing the ladder again.

Aspie/Autistic Special Interest – Clocks/Watches

In my quest toward more self-acceptance of my Asperger’s “operating system” – I’ve decided to begin blogging about some of my special interests; things that make me “tick” as it were (pun fully intended)!

So, the first special interest I have should come as no surprise to those who followed the 1.0 version of this blog and are coming over from that, but for those who are new, I’ll just mention it here – I absolutely love clocks and watches!

And not just your everyday clocks and watches either. I’m taking even more traditional than that – mechanical clocks/watches. You know, the kind you wind up a spring or weights every few days to keep running? Yeah, those.

I remember falling in love with clocks at the age of about 7 when we went to stay a week at my paternal grandmother’s house. She had an old Ingraham mantle clock, vintage circa 1928. It was unlike anything I’d seen, having been born in the era of quartz/electric clocks. I watched with fascination as grandma wound the clock, and listened intently as the mechanism made that unmistakable “whirring” sound as it struck the hour on a richly-toned gong. It was the one thing I looked forward to seeing more than any other on our weekly pilgrimage.

My great-aunt (her sister) also had a pair of mechanical clocks – one 14-day Korean wall clock with a coil gong strike, the other a 1982-ish Howard Miller mantle clock with a German Westiminster chime movement. Again, I was enamored with both – the soothing sound of an audible tick, and the lovely sound of the chime/strike sequences on each.

As I aged, I naturally became curious as to the inner workings of them, so that when my grandmother’s clock broke down, one time I took it upon myself to look into the mechanism to see if I could find out how it worked. I was immediately taken aback by all those gears! I’d never seen anything quite like it, and though I didn’t know the term until recently, I can’t think of anything much more “stimmy” than a mechanical clock movement (well, anything steampunk-ish really).

In middle school I began playing around with the old bell-type alarm clocks to get my feet wet with disassembly/assembly of clock mechanisms. The first few I tried to put back together went into the trash. I got better, though, getting to where I could rebuild some more complex mechanisms over time. What most people have to go to a special trade school for, I learned all on my own.

Time went on, I acquired some basic woodworking skills, and I built a little mantle clock from a kit in high school – complete with German triple-chime 8-day keywound movement. This clock is still at my parents’ house to this day, keeping time and chiming/striking. I’ll leave this one with them, as a part of me for them to keep, no matter where I move.

I built a few other clocks along the way for family and friends, some quartz, some mechanical. That went dormant for several years, until I built my dream prize, the grandfather clock showcased in a previous post:

This is of course the pinnacle of my achievements in regards to clockmaking. Featuring a German triple-chime movement with automatic night slience, it’s a lovely presence in my home, and soothing sounds of ticking and resonant quarterly chimes that fill my humble abode are super stimmy.

So that’s the first of my special interests I’ll share here. What are some of yours?

The Book That Turned My Life Around

From the time my original blog went away until late October were very difficult times for me. I was incredibly depressed and irritable. I had lost all interests in all of my hobbies, and my entire existence consisted of little more than work, eat, drink, sleep. When you hold onto very negative/pessimistic philosophy (such as antinatalism and existential nihilism), something painful as the dissolution of a relationship can absolutely break you.

Contrary to what some might think, it’s impossible to separate your philosophical views from how you live your life. I thought I was doing so successfully for years. I had one set of views, but I didn’t think my lifestyle reflected those views. On the surface, those who knew me in person were surprised to know I held such views, given my seemingly fun-loving outward persona. Of course, this outward manifestation is at the core of narcissism, which I had no idea that I was suffering from at the time.

In the months prior to the downfall of  my most recent relationship (the previous iteration of this blog), I had attempted to overwrite some of my own philosophical code, with studying some different philosophy, both secular and spiritual. While the tenets of stoicism especially rang true for me, it was difficult for me to implement them consistently as I was still “spiritually dead” as it were. As such, I sought to supplement with a study of Buddhism. Though some of it rang true for me too, it seemed these people just sort of came into the world knowing these spiritual truths, not struggling to grasp them. I, on the other hand, having had an atheist mother and a lapsed Baptist stepfather growing up, was never exposed to this stuff. Yes, my beloved great-grandmother practiced Buddhism, but she was never at all pushy about her own faith.

During a week-long trip to see my parents in Abilene in the middle of October, I finally got my breakthrough. I had been following motivational speaker and ex-monk Jay Shetty on Facebook for awhile, and ad space for his new book Think Like a Monk kept popping up in my feed, almost as thought it were nagging me to read it. It sounded interesting for sure, and though I resisted for a couple of days, I finally listened to my inner voice that was telling me to check it out. I gave in and ordered the Kindle version of the book and dove right in.

I was enamored from the start.

Instead of a person who came into the world knowing these spiritual truths, here’s someone who was like me at one point in his life – someone who thought success was defined by the pursuit of fortune, rather than the development of meaningful relationships and sharing one’s gifts with the world. Instead of chasing his Dharma (his life’s calling), he was chasing celebrity and riches, until that one person reached him.

It was at that moment I realized it was just that the right person hadn’t yet reached me. I needed a specific person to do it.

Shetty’s book was exactly what I needed. It broke me in the areas I needed breaking in, and inspired me in the areas I needed inspiration in. It was my jumping off point to being able to recognize my own unique talents and abilities (and that includes those afforded to me by my Asperger’s/Autism OS – to the point I no longer wish to be “cured” of it!), and that while a supposed “dream career” was out of the cards for me, it simply wasn’t my Dharma (true calling). It was my spring board to get me to turn outward, instead of wallowing in my own defeats, to turn those defeats into something beautiful to share with the world – it germinated the seed to pursue culinary arts as a career (the seed had been planted some months ago, and laid dormant until the right time).

Think Like a Monk taught me to embrace myself as I am, a unique person with unique abilities, and not to compare myself to others. It taught me to love myself in a non-narcissistic way for the divine being that I am. I had struggled with the topic of neurodiversity, even after coming to understand the viewpoint over recent months. Though Shetty never really addresses the topic of the autism spectrum, his words drove the neurodiversity message home for me in an indirect way, leading to greater self-acceptance.

Regardless of where you are at in your life (but especially if you are struggling to find your happiness, meaning, and purpose), I’d highly recommend giving Think Like a Monk a read. It’s a fairly quick (about 11 hours) and easy read that changed my life. It might just change yours too.

Be well.

A Fresh Start

Well fellow WP people, I have returned to the blogosphere!

No worries, I’m not expecting a warm welcome back. I’m sure many of you know the circumstances regarding my sudden disappearance in September. I know I’ve made some egregious mistakes over the past few months, in both my blogging life and personal life.

If, in your view, these mistakes are absolutely unforgivable, I understand entirely and don’t hold anything against you. I will simply wish you the very best in your life’s journey, and I hope you have a healthy, happy, successful life. I genuinely want for you all the best life has to offer.

For those who decide to stick around, I’ve decided to make a fresh start with a new site. As you will see, all of my previous blog posts, pages, etc. were imported into this site, so you can access them anytime you want. Almost all the images are gone, of course, and over the coming months I’ll see how much of those I can reconstruct.

As for my fresh start, I’ll be trudging forward in an attempt to heal some deep personal and professional wounds. Recent studies have led to the realization that I suffer from Childhood PSTD/C-PTSD, caused by serious childhood trauma from both parents, but most notably my mother, whom I have discovered is a malignant narcissist who was enabled by a codependent stepfather. Unfortunately, I wound up taking on after my mother, and a large part of my healing will require a task that many say is impossible – recovering from narcissism myself. It’s a long, arduous road, but I’m not going to shy away from it.

My healing regimen lately has involved some serious dives into self-acceptance and self-love (most notably accepting my Asperger’s/Autism diagnosis and seeing the positive aspects of it), some study of psychology, positive/optimistic philosophy, working with a great counselor/psychotherapist, and lots of meditation, dietary changes, and supplementation as needed. I can already feel a difference, even if I have a long way to go.

As far as personal life updates, it is time for a career change. I’m sick of being stuck in an uninspiring career that won’t really get me anywhere. Given my recent discovery of cooking and my love for it and natural ability, I have decided to make a career out of it. I hope to be attending the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio starting next summer. I currently have an application in, waiting to hear back from this. A large part of my healing journey is going to involve fulfilling my “Dharma” – my life’s purpose. Cranes are not my Dharma. Neither would have a commercial airline pilot career. It’s clear to me now I was born to be a chef, and to share that gift with the world.

So that’s what’s up with me these days. I hope you all are well. Please let me know, I’d love to hear from all my old friends, and maybe some new ones!

Cheers!
-Lynn – “The Inked Autist”

PS: I completed my Grandfather Clock on 9/26/2020. Here’s a picture of the final product:

A Letter to My Younger Self

It’s been just the very start of a long healing journey for me the past year. Going gluten-free, changing various lifestyle habits, incorporating yoga and meditation into my daily routine, studying different philosophies even. It’s been a wild ride for sure.

However, there is still one big sticking point I need to overcome, and it is critical to addressing my own narcissistic tendencies (I’ll use that term as it’s likely not full-blown NPD; just many of the elements thereof). At the root of all narcissistic personality styles is a rejection of oneself. This is true of me too in that I’ve rejected myself for nearly three decades, and that’s three decades too long.

With that, I decided to write a letter to my younger self. It’s time to get in touch with him again. I’ve come to realize I miss him. I’ll share that letter here, not as an attempt to seek validation or sympathy, but for those who might be struggling with something similar, because I know I’m not the only one.

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Dear younger self,

It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from you. A long while, at that. Almost three decades. It’s been about that long since we parted ways, only to never see or hear from each other again. I figured it’s finally time to reach back out to you.

I knew then that you didn’t want to play house with the cool kids. You didn’t want to partake in any of their silly games, yet I forced you to anyway, even though you’d have rather been building things with Legos or K’nex. I tried to make you fit in, tried to make you popular, because I wanted you to be so badly.

When it became impossible for you to do these things with the cool crowd, and you did what you would rather have been doing anyway, you got called every last name in the book. You always got picked last in gym class. You got called a geek, a loser, a weirdo, among other unflattering names. Instead of standing up for you, I sided with them. I decided that they were right and you were somehow defective. Not only did they reject you, but I also rejected you.

I realize now, that forcing you to do things you didn’t want to do, and the later rejection of you, was a huge mistake.

In my rejection of you, I caused you a lot of hurt. My trying to make you fit in made you so uncomfortable to the point where you melted down frequently (I know now this isn’t your fault and is part of who you are). When you melted down, that damage was compounded by the verbal abuse you endured from both teachers and parents as well as the physical abuse you endured from your parents (who did not know who you were either, so please do not harbor any resentment toward them).

When you were subjected to these things, I still didn’t stand up for you when you were manipulated into thinking you deserved it. Your grades suffered at school because you were so depressed.

I failed miserably in my duty to protect you, a duty I swore upon you from the day I was born.

I’m sorry. I’m really and truly sorry.

It’s time to right the old wrongs. It’s time to accept you for who you are, rather than what the masses think you should be. There’s nothing wrong with you. You are a good person at heart – kind, caring, loving. Those are the things that truly matter in life. I want you to really reflect on and take to heart the warm, nurturing words of your great-grandmother. She saw through all the negativity and criticism and loved you for you, as you were. She knew the true you, even though nobody else seemed to, and she loved you for it.

If you are so willing, I’d like to welcome you back into my life, with open arms, no strings attached. It’s time I wised up and appreciated you at your face value, rather than trying to mold you into something you weren’t, and subsequently rejecting you when you couldn’t be. I know now that you can truly be yourself around me, and those around me. It’s really OK.

Please give me, give us, that chance to build you up.

I love you, and I’ll be here for you when you’re ready.

Yours Truly,
Your older self

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Thank you for reading, and I hope this helps someone.

A Very, Very Uncomfortable Discovery

I’ve always known I am a very broken individual. My parents were not well equipped to handle an autistic child (of course I didn’t know I was such until 14). As such, the abandonment, the comparison to my neurotypical peers, the shaming, even the verbal and physical abuse I endured at the hands of my parents from early childhood have left me scarred for life.

Add this to the bullying I endured at school all the way up through grad school no less, getting shut out of my dream career, among other emotional beatdowns I took throughout my early 20s and I’ve been torn down all my life.

Combine this with some body image issues along the way, and my discovery of a very negative philosophy in my mid 20s (that resonated strongly with me because of how bad I felt at the time), well let’s just say it was a perfect storm.

I used to dismiss my trauma and say I had it good, even though I know I didn’t. This denial was my life for so long, along with some serious rage, resentment, contempt for life and just those around me, and dare I say some serious projection of my own misery on others in the form of my antinatalist philosophy. What I endured at the hands of my parents and peers all those years turned me into the last thing I ever wanted to be, and though I wish I could deny it, recent discovery makes it impossible to do so.

It turned me into a narcissist.

Now I’m not the type who stands in the mirror and stares at my reflection obviously, but it’s the truth. My defenses have been so amped since childhood that it wired me such that I do very legitimately fit the profile for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

As if I didn’t need another reason to absolutely hate myself.

Talk about a double-whammy. ASD and NPD is a nasty combination. Talk about doubling down on alexithymia and rage/meltdown states in times of sensory overload and extreme stress. It’s not fun, let me tell you.

I realize I’ve done a lot of damage over the years. My past is littered with lost friendships, short-lived relationships, long stretches of unemployment, burned bridges, among other things. It’s depressing really.

I know there’s no cure for NPD. It’s something I have to manage as best I can going forward, now that I’m armed with this knowledge. I think it can be done though. All I know is I’m tired of being miserable day in and day out. I know I want to be the very best version of me I can, and that means learning to live with this just as anyone who has a chronic illness has to. It’s going to be a difficult journey, maybe the most difficult one I’ve ever embarked on, but I know it’s a must if I ever want to have a happy and fulfilling life (unrepentant narcissists really are dead inside, don’t let their “masks” fool you).

Now excuse me while I go sulk, because I can’t think of anything worse to be…

My Experience With Neuro-Emotional Technique

If it’s one thing I know all too well it’s pain. Lots and lots of pain. It’s been weighing me down for a long time, to the point it’s taken a toll on not only my mental health, but physical as well. It’s not been fun and it’s been affecting every aspect of my life – work, friendships, relationships, etc.

Several people had suggesting counseling for various demons I carry around, but that just does not work for me. I was forced into counseling as a teenager and it made no difference whatsoever. It was a waste of my time and my parents’ money. I knew that wasn’t an option.

So fastforward to the present. Now that I’ve started a journey to mend my physical health, mending mental health is part of it too as it’s all linked. Counseling isn’t an option, but I need some sort of mental healing. That’s when Laina suggested to me to look into Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET).

I only have limited understanding of what it is or how it works, but what I can tell you is that NET is in no way counseling or talk therapy/psychotherapy. Rather, NET uses elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine and chiropractic care to correct imbalances caused by painful or stressful situations (a better explanation can be found here). You never know what event your body wants to talk about in any given session, but something usually comes up.

Sounds like a bunch of hooey right? Don’t get me wrong, I was skeptical too. VERY skeptical. Alas, I’ve been weighed down by so much shit in my life that I was willing to try anything.

I’ve only had three sessions so far, but here’s what I can tell you – it’s amazing. The experience is incredible. During all three sessions I’ve had some significant event or concept has been “pulled out” – all without telling the practitioner anything major about my past or any painful/stressful memory/life event. One’s body tells the story without much need for verbal cues. It’s almost like an emotional detoxification as it were.

So what do releases feel like? Well they can be varied, but in the end the best way for me to put my experience is that it’s almost like an emotional detachment from that event or memory. It’s still there, but it’s like you’re no longer hurt, angry, etc. about it. It’s just what it is. In the end, I’ve always felt a lot lighter and more relaxed/at peace at the end of a session. Stressful shit does pile up on you and weigh you down after all.

I might not know the hows or whys, but I do know it works and it’s been more effective in just three sessions than years of counseling or talk therapy ever would dream of being. It’s very efficient, and I’m all about efficiency.

So that’s just my experience with NET and I’d highly recommend it to everyone. We all need a good mental/emotional detox as well as physical. I definitely feel better and am in a better place because of it.

Neurotypical For A Day

Maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s most or all of us on the autism spectrum, but do you ever wonder what it’s like to be neurotypical? If you could choose to experience life as a neurotypical for one day (with the guarantee you could revert to your previous state in 24 hours’ time), would you take that opportunity?

By extension, would you continue to exist as neurotypical if you found it easier/more palatable to do so? Or would you choose to revert to your previous autism-afflicted state despite the difficulties that come with that?

While I’m still on the fence if I would accept a cure should one become available (note: I don’t think one will now nor ever), it would be interesting just to see what it’s like to be “normal” as it were. To be able to flow with the way the world is designed. To be the one catered to instead of ostracized.

I can’t be the only one who wonders.

When Bad Decisions Add Up…

I’ll be 33 in 2 months and two weeks. I’ll have been a legal adult for 15 years by that point. If I had my way, I’d have been working in the airline industry for 10 years now (minimum age to be an airline pilot is 23, and the flight time requirements to get in as a First Officer at a regional carrier were much less stringent then than they are now) and by this point I’d either be a senior Captain at said regional airline and ready to move up to a junior First Officer position at a major, if not already in a junior FO position with a major. That’s IF I had taken the course I had planned for me.

Well, as we all know that didn’t come to fruition, because at the time the FAA listed autism spectrum disorders as an automatic disqualification from airworthiness. Times have changed, and now the FAA considers them on a case-by-case basis, but it’s way too late for me. I’m shut out.

Now, I’m under no illusion that airline life is somehow all rainbows and roses. I know it ain’t. It’s a cutthroat business – busy and demanding schedules, a lot of time away from home, lots of paperwork, you name it. There’s a reason the airline industry is exempt from right-to-work laws and why in that industry you can still be forced to join a labor union in all 50 states in the US.

Anyway, being shut out of that led to a series of horrible decisions and why I’m where I’m at now in my professional life. My first intention was to get into horology (clock/watch repair). There was a little shop in Abilene that did that, the owner who called himself “The Clock Doc” was an elderly, yet very unassuming and kind man. I came close to asking him for an apprenticeship and was going to, but was pushed by family and academia into going to college instead. I should have stood my ground.

Needless to say I did not. I went to college, racked up tens of thousands in debt, graduated with a degree that’s all but worthless unless you want to teach, but that’s what I decided I would do so that didn’t much matter. Well, I did wind up a teacher – one year at the high school level followed by two years of teaching at the university level while in grad school. I was good at it, sure, but didn’t really much like it. It didn’t pay that well either.

So I left grad school, even more in debt. When you have an all but worthless degree (mathematics) AND you’re on the autism spectrum – your employment prospects are limited at best, and that showed – being either unemployed or underemployed from January 2012 thru August 2015. By some stretch of unusual luck in what has been a very unlucky life, I managed to get a start into the crane industry as a heavy lift engineer.

And that’s where I’m at today, still. I’ve changed companies once, but nothing has changed as far as my job goes. It’s not a terrible job, pays a bit better than teaching, but there’s still no excitement there.

Make no mistake –  I am not a state licensed professional engineer. My job title might have “engineer” in it but that doesn’t mean I’m a P.E. Nor can I be with my current education – my degree is in straight math, not an engineering discipline. Guess I fucked myself over even more in college too didn’t I?

Had my degree been in engineering instead of math, I could have been a P.E. by the end of August as the requirements are 5 years working under an existing P.E. and a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field. Man would that be nice – I’d make double what I’m making now.

Now, there is still one option available to me to obtain a P.E. license – I would have to go back to school and obtain 20 hours of engineering classes and work under a licensed P.E. for a total of 8 years. I’m at almost 4.5 right now. I still have 3.5 to go, scraping by on what I’m making now, and even less because now I have tuition to afford, plus balancing my full-time job on top of school, among other things. You see where this is going – it simply is not feasible, not to mention I have no desire to even go back to school. I hate school. I pretty much suck at it too – I’m a very mediocre student. I should have never gone.

So where does that put me? Well, this job is all I really know. Well, that and teaching. I’m shoehorned into one or the other, and the latter is not palatable to me in any way. So this is my reality, unless I venture into self-employment, which is also not really feasible as I can’t bank enough to have enough capital to sink into starting one and getting a business loan is tough, not to mention then you’re in major debt to a bank. In that light, that door is also permanently closed.

Sure, I was on fire about it last year, but after I took my rose-colored glasses off I realized I was deluding myself. It will never happen. It can never happen. What the fuck was I even thinking? Holy fucking shit, I go back and read those posts I wrote at the end of March/beginning of April last year and I want to fucking vomit at my own stupidity and delusion.

Alas, I realize that there is only one person to blame for my situation. That person is myself. I fucked up hard, and I’m paying the price and will be for the rest of my life.

The only good thing to come out of my delusion? Relocation. That much I do not regret. That might be the only good decision I’ve ever made. Though I’ll never have a satisfying career, at least I found love again, and that counts for more than a job, career or business ever will.

Oh, and I’ve got my pick of wineries around here I can go to in order to drown my depression. At least I can afford some level of escape.