As a teenager, even when I professed to be nothing more than a drifter, aimlessly meandering through life, I wasn’t really drifting because there was always a grand purpose forging the greater narrative of my existence. That purpose was music: I simply knew I was destined to be so famous they’d know about me on the Moon.
The leaving of rock and roll in my early thirties wasn’t the sole reason I had a complete breakdown but it was part of a new narrative of failure and lack of purpose. Fortunately, in the aftermath of that breakdown, one of my friendly counsellors gave me a donut. And she nudged me towards the academic world which became my new purpose. No, I wasn’t going to become so academic they’d know about me on the Moon, but I did feel the same sort of vocational immersion and certainty.
Leaving academia behind left a hole in my sense of self that has never been plugged. While I long to return to the comforting fold of literary pursuits I have never again been able to trust my ridiculous body to allow me to stay consistently on top of the study required. Every now and then I contemplate creating a way back only to be beaten down by my physical frailties. Or, worse, to be demotivated by the fear and anxiety that comes from worrying about being beaten down by physical frailties.
All of which leaves me without genuine purpose. Now that I truly have got drifting down to a (not-so-fine) art there is no point to me, nor to the things I know and the dwindling activities I am capable of taking part in.
Moan, moan, moan.