I don’t know what I feel anymore. And I guess feelings aren’t everything. I have had beliefs and I’ve had my beliefs change when I learn something new, or realize that something I believed is not true. And sometimes feel like we as humans know nothing at all.
I no longer feel excited about life. It’s not all the time. Maybe 75% of the time I feel okay about life. The rest of the time I feel we’re not headed anywhere good. I feel like I’m not headed anywhere in particular. The older I get the more lost I feel. It has a lot to do with the way I feel about my life in general. What have I accomplished or done that I could feel proud of?
Now some people would say to me, “You have two great kids who are intelligent young adults.” But my kids are not my accomplishments. They are my offspring and my family and have their own lives to live. I feel like a failure sometimes because I don’t have some great career. I’m not famous. I don’t even have a job. My body seems to be falling apart; I don’t even trust it sometimes.
“Oh, but you had a career with the Navy,” some might say. Well, I failed at that too. It was difficult to go up in rank and I eventually gave up. I only stayed because by the time I realized I hated it I had been in too long to just quit. At the time you could stay in the Navy for 20 years as an E-5. That was my rank. By the time I got out of the Navy I was so tired I couldn’t see straight, and my desire for music was gone. I felt like a failure.
I started working at a Food Lion Distribution Center in Florida. I worked there for almost 2 years before my lower back got to a point where I needed surgery in 2010, a two level lumbar fusion. I have not worked since. I moved to South Carolina in 2011 and have not been able to get a job. I got some interviews but no luck getting hired.
I started school in 2013, Culinary Technology. I was doing great. I have a 4.0 GPA. I have 4 classes left. However, I could no longer stand long enough without pain to get through the classes. I have had to take a break.
In June of 2016, I had another surgery on my neck because of pain and a nerve being pinched, weakening my left arm and hand. After that, I decided that maybe I should take up playing the saxophone again. So in July, I bought a new one, a tenor sax. After about a year of practicing my fingers on the right hand started to tingle. After several months of that my hand would be totally numb, tingly, and in pain all at the same time when I’d awake in the mornings. It felt like there was a car parked on my arm. I had carpal tunnel syndrome. I had surgery in December of 2017 to correct it.
The surgery worked and I had instant relief. But after all this, I feel a little run down, unlucky, somewhat broken. And it’s hard for me to feel optimistic about my life and the choices I have left.
This is me right now. I don’t know when or if things will change for me. This is not about “having enough faith.” I don’t know what this is about. Sometimes I feel sad. Sometimes I’m happy. Sometimes I feel nothing. I don’t blame anyone for it, not even myself. It just is what it is.
Sometimes I am bewildered by my circumstances. I feel powerless to do anything about it. I do know that I am blessed. There are people who’re in worse circumstances. But I think it is a natural desire of the human spirit to reach for more and want to achieve more.
At least I can still play my sax, even if it is just for my personal enjoyment. It’s an outlet which I need very much.
That’s all I’ve got today.
Well shit Tony, you described my life. Just keep moving forward my friend. Life will nock you down and spit on you while you’re down. Life hates me sometimes and I hate it back. We are however, blessed in the arms and eyes of the lord. He will never give you or me more than we can handle although there are many day it feels like it. I’m always here if you want to vent. XXX-XXX-XXXX. Who was it that was tested by God, but he wouldn’t disobey him and then finally asked WHY? The man lost everything and still had faith which I know you do. Sometimes it’s just our own mind set. Take some time for yourself. I’m developing arthritis in my thumbs and knees. Not fun, and shit hurts. I’m not famous, or rich. I’m going bald and I have habits that plegged me all my life. You can dwell in the negative or make a decision and move forward. Move forward inspite of the pain, inspite of the downs. Just keep moving. E5, at least you were able to retire on active duty. They threw me out like old laundry. Be good Tony.
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Thanks, Dave. That helps.
Ahh man! This is heart breaking. I’m glad you’re able to write through it. My husband has to remind me in his letters from prison that we are still blessed. Its hard, incredibly hard when life just throws bad your way! All I say is, you are strong and you are going to find your way. Blessings~
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