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Well I can't sleep and I've exhausted all else. Might as well do this. This is the last week of home net access for me. My TV is gone. My front tires are looking very bad.

I'm not depressed. I just don't want to do much. I'm moving into my Winter. I'm 26 and I can't afford new tires.

Not riding a motorcycle... and thinking about riding a motorcycle every single day... has got me down. Bleak prospects for lucrative employment have got me down. Another long road toward finishing school has got me down. Having far fewer accessible friends than I did two years ago has got me down.

This summer promises to be one of the worst ever. I'm playing catch-up. My best-case scenarios for the next 3 months leave me in bad shape.

It doesn't really bother me the fact that I may never have another date in my life. I'm fine with that but it's beyond the scope of this particular post to explain why. My despair does not stem from this, I don't need someone to "complete" me, and a companion is NOT the answer to my problems.

What I'm not fine with is my financial situation and lack of career and stability. Never in my worst musings at age 18 did I think at age 26 I'd be where I am today. Steve Molepske, you were right. You were SOO right.

This is no way to live. At 26 I should not be facing several more years of this. At 26 I should be there (somewhere). My high school reunion is in 2 years, fer chrissakes.

I am getting old. At 22 you can laugh that off, knowing you have a lifetime ahead of you. At 26 you are supposed to BE something. And not because other people say so, but because IT'S YOUR LIFE! No, sir, at this age it is NOT about how young you still feel, it is about whether you've become an adult, a man, or are still in the gutter. Prepare to be judged, because 27 is coming around, and I'm on a decidedly unfriendly curve.

Lately I've woken up from troubled sleep with the ONE TERRIBLE THOUGHT: I am 26, a failure, and going nowhere.

It's overwhelming. It's frightening. Inertia is the irresistible force I'm fighting. How do I get myself out of this??? How do I get my boat turned around in the murky soupy grey and pointed toward what I need? How do I see myself as somebody successful, who's lived up to his vast potential, who can afford tires for his car?

If I continue with the mindset I've had for the past several years, I will be in my 40s and a failure. I will be 45 and unable to afford tires for my car. I will be 43 and unable to ride a motorcycle. I will be 47 and struggling to pay bills. I will be 42 and buying Ramen noodles. I will not have **done** anything. I will be bitter. I will be poor. I may be dead.

A 26 year old with no money, no home, no job skills. It's not funny and it's not cool. And it's certainly not what I envisioned 8 years ago.

The past year has taught me a lesson. I am a shame to myself, my friends, and my family. At 26 I should not have to explain to my mother that I have no money. I should not have to go to a nice restaurant with friends to watch the game and order water and pick off of their plates. I should not have to drive around with steel wires sticking out of my tires.

Trying to find a motorcycle to ride has taught me a lesson. The only bike I could afford, at $800, came down with various problems, rendering it useless for the time being. The $1000 it will cost to get me on the road should not be as monumentally out of reach as it is.

Listening to people online purchase all kinds of brand new bikes has taught me a lesson. I should not have to merely dream about what it might be like. The idea of buying a new bike, or a new car, or a nice used car or a nice used bike should not seem like a pipe dream.

Driving for James Wood has taught me a lesson. At age 26 it is not so heinous to live in a small, respectable apartment. However, at this rate, I will live in a small apartment at age 46. Driving to people's homes, being confronted with breathtaking houses on gorgeous land out in beautiful townships challenged me.

I do not want to live in an apartment or ratty old house all my life. I can't imagine life at 45 in an apartment. I might be dead.

I want to succeed. I want to be able to drive a car that makes ME happy, that I payed for with hard-earned money, that I can afford to keep running.

I want to be able to have a REAL home. An actual home. Not sharing a building, with strangers right on the other side of the walls and over my head and rules.

I want to be able to buy food. To go to the store and not head straight to the dry soup section. To not fret when milk has gone up another 50? To buy enough of everything that I don't have to budget my eating over a month. To know if I run out I can always come back. To pick up nice stuff, to try new things, to not have to keep a running tally in my mind so as not to exceed some preset budget limit.

I want to be able to buy a motorcycle. One that works. I want to ride SO BAD. I want a bike to be a prized possession, something that brings me hours and hours of intense, almost unexplainable joy and peace and freedom. Not many can understand what riding means to me, but it's almost spiritual. I will never be able to ride with the track I'm on now.

I want to be able to afford Christmas gifts. I want to be able to replace clothes each year, and buy new ones for special occasions. I want to be able to upgrade my computer every 6 months, to not feel like I'll have the same slow lame machine for the next several years. I want to be able to make things--things for the house, things for the garage, things for the vehicles. I want to be able to do good things for the world, and help people, and make things better. I want to be able to support my mother, who's going to need it in another 8 years. I want security. Health insurance, car insurance, homeowner's insurance. I want to be able to go out and do things, new things, in new places, without it meaning I can't eat for the next week or my bill will be payed late.

I dare anyone to berate me for wanting to succeed and acheive a modicum of financial freedom and security. This is the USA, and you have the right to work hard and acheive rewards for your work. We have the right of self-government, of individual liberty. Nobody tells you you can't do something, and nobody has a plan laid out for you. You are not entitled to receive for free what everyone else has worked for, and you should not be entitled to bitch about the fact that others have achieved where you've failed.

Here I am at ground zero. If, in 15 years, I am still in some lousy, no-brain McJob, living in a 200 sq. foot apartment, eating ramen noodles, driving a 15 year old car and not being able to afford tires, tightening the belt and never doing anything that requires cash, forever doomed to window and catalog shop, to dream but not experience, to live in abject regret... it will have been MY doing.


It's time to make some very tough choices. I see the path I'm on, the road to Loserville, the road to 45-year old total failure, the road to utter unending dissappointment and despair. I'm already on the 26 year old steps of that road, and the view from here is pretty sickening. It only gets worse.

More of this later.