I made it here. Where I am right now. A place a never expected to be and to be existing. I was positive at a young age that my life would be exhausted by the age of 18. I decidedly never made any plans to be walking this earth beyond that age. No plans.
I had this idea from the age of 9 or 10 that I would either have died in a freak accident or I would have done something drastic and not survived it.
Here I am, almost exactly two months from my 26th birthday, and still trying to get a grasp on how I made it here. Narrowly avoiding a couple freak accidents and bad situations, I have made it well past 18 years old.
It seems as though I may be here for a while.
I’ve had fear around every corner at the thought of that. As if someone is waiting to hit me over the head with a bat on my way to get groceries. That’s coming up on 8 solid years of constantly stressing myself out about when that semi truck is going to roll over on me. No matter how much I expect it to happen, it never has. Me writing this is a testament to my still being alive.
Recently after a bike ride my friend and I grabbed a 12 pack of Genesee Beer, Rochester’s finest terrible intoxicating liquid, and went sit by the train tracks. It was our unseasonably warm spring day in April and we were just waiting out the rain. In the passing moments we looked at some graffiti and sat down to stare at the snow melting as the trains went by. Letting conversation start and stop with the folk-punk bands on the radio filling the gaps in between.
Our inevitability to talk about our collective, and slightly dismal, childhood days comes along after about 3 beers sometimes. I think that goes for a lot of us. What’s extremely interesting to me is that they are able to remind me that I have been chugging along after all of these years. With this person jumping through the past with me, I’m able to revisit those through someone else’s eyes. It makes the memories refreshing and not so difficult to stare down.
As if my past is the barrel of a gun that could collapse me at any moment.
This friend of mine has an eerily amazing catalog of my childhood experiences and things I said and did 10-15 years ago. At some point I decided to do everything I could to forget about 4 years of my life. I did it pretty well too. I hardly remember the ages of 9-13/14. Not that many of us are really keen on trying to remember adolescence and early teenage transitions.
I went ahead and told this person about some of my experiences since my 18th birthday and the confusion that has ensued with my still being alive and all. Walking, searching, and trembling many years beyond my expected expiration date. There is sheer terror at when I realize that I am still alive without a real end in sight. Mostly on not knowing what to do with my life and when I should slow down my impulsive life changes and decisions. Or do I keep fighting to figure out this 10 year existential crisis I have been living in?
The “plan” was to never have to worry about growing up, and now that I am bridging the gap between having a fun time being young and the responsibility of getting my life together is ever nearing. I think in my 26th year will be focused much more on what has happened over the last unexpected years as well as what is happening here. Right now. Today. To find a way to make tomorrow a little easier with a little more work. Because there is a fire inside me that I haven’t been able to grasp yet, but I know it’s in there.
Now I am not going to listen to the critics about my (sometimes seeming immature) life decisions, but I do know that they are starting to affect the people around me negatively because I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. I figure if I keep following what it is I love to do, I will figure it out.
Endlessly romanticizing my unplanned life.
There is just no way that I can live in this world without enjoying these grace years that I have been existing in. It feels like it is my obligation to live this to the fullest and on my terms. I hope more people do the same. It’s scary as hell, but it has never lacked a good lesson and been without great strides in my personal growth. It won’t be for you either, sometimes you just have to go and see what’s out there. Now go!
Dusty Medler is a writer from Rochester, NY. HE has been finding his way from living couch to couch and learning how to live comfortably under the lense of depression. His writings primarily focus on personal vulnerabuility and openness to create a space where he is able to connect personally with his readers. Follow him at depressivedusty.wordpress.com