Fancying myself a writer, I have spent more time as a secretary, providing technical support to internet users, or taking the easy road in newsgroup flame-wars than I have in creating fiction or crafting thought-provoking essays.
Fun is easier than work, no question.
15 years ago (or so), during one of those half-drunk, deadly-serious conversations that reinforce an already-strong relationship, I told my cousin (and life-long friend) Morgan (then called Karen, but that's a different story entirely) that, if I had not "made it" as a writer by the age of 30, I would take a serious look at my life; re-evaluate my aspirations, expectations and goals.
The deadline passed some time ago.
Since then, my novel remains a work-in-progress; I have self-published 3 or 4 short stories written during that time; posted same on my website; I've experienced 3 serious relationships and a number of flings; I have no children. I've gone from temp jobs to full-time employment, albeit in an industry and for a company of questionable stability.
Truth is, I never did that promised re-evaluation, not really - not like an audit, let alone like a forensic analysis.
Instead, I gave "it" another year. And then another. And another.
I did publish those zines. I acted in a play. I learned the basics of html and launched a website. I've made and lost friends and lovers. But in many ways, not all that much has changed.
I have experienced no epiphany.
I make a little more money now than I did then, back in the good old days of the (first) Gulf War; I've continued to read and to learn; my politics have shifted a little to the right of Anarchy; I've discovered the internet; I've had my heart broken and letters to the editor printed in Frank Magazine, The Comics Journal and The Globe and Mail.
I still aspire to be a writer, to earn my living through my thoughts and words, not so different from the teenager I once was.
So, it seems, the interregnum continues.
Over the past year-and-a-half I have written 2 short stories (1 a love-letter of sorts to my then-girlfriend; obviously: that didn't work. The other, an attempt at pornography and seduction; it failed as the latter but may find a space on my website, whenever it is I get around to updating it). The aforementioned letters to the editor. Newsgroup posts and, lately, livejournal entries. And, of course, scribbled notes after work in my local watering-hole.
The novel taunts me still.
Both polyamory and long-term monogamy remain rumours whispered late at night.
I continue to rail about the state of the world, but do little about it. I fantasize about unobtainable and inappropriate women and, occasionally, get them - only to re-learn why they were so.
All of which is to say ... what?
That I can't have a mid-life crisis because I have yet to master adolescence?
Or, maybe, that I should spend more time living in the moment, and less, worrying about "success" as it is defined by others.
It's fucking hard to say, you know that?
I am basically a fairly happy boy, yet not a satisfied boy. My circle expands, yet it remains a circle.
And why am I telling you (whomever you may be) all of this?
I guess I'm not, really. I'm talking to myself - but I don't mind if others listen in. Maybe someone will have something useful to say in response.