Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing — Helen Keller
I was 19 when I “escaped” my mothers’ house. With my fathers’ help I untied the apron strings around my neck and moved into a small apartment, found a new job and started to breathe.
I turned 29 in 1978, and freaked out. Being a millionaire by the time you were thirty was a common myth back then. And, I wasn’t going to make it. Fame and fortune seemed like the way to separate myself from my childhood.
After a couple of months of being a failure, my solution was to start telling everyone I was 30,
Honestly, it worked. Psychologically, we often just need to embrace what we fear and get on with our lives.
It wasn’t as though my 20’s were wasted. (Many might disagree.) I had used living and the sense of adventure to put in a chronological distance from the past and experience a self-esteem that had been denied me.
By the time that I was 29 I had:
had a few relationships
been married and divorced
had a number of jobs in construction, delivery, production jewelry, and a short stint as a telemarketer.
gotten a vasectomy, a tattoo, an earring, and a braid
read a lot of books
written a bunch of poems
declared my first bankruptcy
Started and failed at my first business
met people of most every social class and lifestyle.
begged, borrowed and stolen food and money (usually to live)
been homeless and hitchhiked around the southwest US.
had my first mental breakdown (only realized or acknowledged this later)
been involved with a cult
And more. These are not in order and obviously overlap.
I don’t regret any of this, but it didn’t set me up to be an upwardly mobile part of the meritocracy.
But, I truly believe that if I had tried the “normal” route after high school I would have not lived this long.