Lately things have felt different for me in my life. I think I’m struggling with depression again, as if depression were some kind of compulsion beyond my control. The truth is that people feel down sometimes and that’s normal. I am a “people” and therefore I’m permitted to feel down. But while depression is certainly agitated or alleviated to a degree within the realm of my own personal choices, I nevertheless feel like it is some kind of beast beyond my control, ready to strike when I am most weak.
It has indeed struck again.
Oddly enough, I started feeling this way weeks before watching the new Star Wars movie but I really noticed it afterwards. Without giving any spoilers (I won’t even mention the plot), the movie transported me back to a time when I was a little boy. As a little boy I watched the original Star Wars movies and used to wish desperately that I was a Jedi. I wished that lightsabers were real and that I could use the Force. I remember holding my hand up to random objects as a kid and truly believing that if I just “felt the Force” well enough I would be able to move it. I used to watch Stargate too, absolutely captivated by the worlds beyond my wildest imagination. Unfortunately these emotions of wonder and awe often led to depression, particularly in my teen years. After all, I was not a Jedi. I still have yet to find a Stargate. No one has ever bestowed a special, unique supernatural ability upon me. I was always just me; a self-hating and sensitive idiot with a penchant for self sabotage and lack of discipline.
So anyway, the point is that I’ve recently been feeling like that little boy again. Upset at all this reality for being reality, upset with who I am and the way that I feel about myself deep down, and helpless against my own inability to seemingly change anything.
It’s like I’m looking in the mirror and realizing that I’m probably never going to become a man who makes most of his money doing creative things. I’m going to have to devote more of my life into some form of work that I get less pleasure out of but puts my family in a better financial position. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself. It’s just sad realizing that it’s the only thing that really matters to me. I don’t give a crap about sports, I just want my daughter to be okay. I could give a shit about the latest Television show on Netflix, I just don’t want my little girl to be depressed like her old man gets sometimes when she grows older. I want her to be happy and not self absorbed like I am. Throw out my Xbox, I’ll never use it again—I can’t remember the last time I did—all I want is to give my daughter a good future. That’s my mission now.
My purpose isn’t music, my purpose isn’t to write some great novel, my purpose is to get that little girl grown up safely. That is the one task that matters to me more than anything.
But it’s also the task that I sometimes feel like I have the least control of.
I can’t protect her from every evil in the world—there is far too much of it. But I want to. I want to keep her innocent and happy as she is. I don’t want her to grow up and realize that I’m really just a failure, to feel sorry because her dad doesn’t make enough money to take her mom out on vacations, or sorry because I never really did become a full-time author like she knows I always wanted. I don’t want her to look up at me and see all these things that I’ve failed at. I mean, I know that she’ll always love me as her father, and to her it doesn’t matter what I do, but if I keep feeling the way I do, someday she’s going to know that I’m deeply sad about certain things in my life. And to think of one’s parent, to see that they are sad about something totally beyond your control and theirs, that’s a terrible feeling.
That’s what I’m afraid of.