For over a year, I’ve been a poorly-written side character in the story of my life.
Somewhere along the line, my ambitions turned into dreams, and only dreams. Something nice to look at, appreciate, and then move on. They stopped being things to pursue.
I’d leaped at things that were out of my reach. And when I failed to grasp them, I grew bitter. To want and not have made me feel powerless, so I told my dreams to fuck off. I found new pursuits, pliable ones that would behave exactly as I wanted. My new goals were easily doable, achievable, just an arm’s length away. Popcorn goals. And every day I achieved these insignificant goals and patted myself on the back, and died a little more inside.
We talk about want like it’s a bad thing. Like we should all learn to stop wanting things and be content with what we have.
But it’s not. Want can evolve into greed, like rightful wrath can turn into murder and genocide and sexual desire can become rape and molestation. Want can turn sour, but it’s a good, necessary thing at its core.
Want keeps us moving forward. On its own, want isn’t enough to keep us alive…but lack of want will kill us. Bit by bit. The dead don’t want.
We are meant to want, and be unfulfilled. Life isn’t about succeeding. Life is about wanting. Life is about trying and failing, trying and failing, trying and getting just a little bit closer than before.
I forgot that. I learned to want little things, and I worked for those things as little as I wanted them.
But I want again. I want things that are so far out of my reach I can hardly see them. Things that I cannot achieve on my own. Things that depend on other people, on random chance, on God. And that makes me feel powerless.
But that powerlessness doesn’t scare me right now. Call it faith or foolishness, when I look at the swirling maelstrom of the world, I grin hard and dive in.
I’m done being a bit character. I’m ready to be the protagonist.