The other day I went to dinner, a show, and a casino with an old friend of mine. Even though the details of the evening are pedantic and irrelevant, a specific conversation during the ride between two of the places really piqued my inner thoughts. I have made several choices throughout my short lifetime that have led to my current lifestyle. Although I am taking classes through an online institute, I cannot afford to do my full time studies and work full time as well. I know there are many people out there that have done, and are currently doing, such a thing. Unfortunately, I am unable to find the strength and energy to do the same. Because of this, I live with my father at almost thirty years of age. I’m not going to say that living with my father is a terrible thing because he continues to pseudo provide for me while giving me a wonderful place to live.
During our ride to the casino, I told my friend that I needed to start fresh. When he asked what I meant by this, we had a relatively lengthy conversation regarding what it means to start fresh. After my first few years of college, I moved into an apartment with one of my best friends from high school. I continued dating the same girl for the same amount of time and hung out with the same friends. I then moved back home, pursued a few new opportunities, and eventually ended where I currently am in life. Now like I said before, I don’t regret my life up to this point, nor do I want to go back in time and change anything. I am who I am because of the choices I’ve made.
My friend, on the other hand, finished his first years of college and moved out on his own. He moved to a brand new town, with a new job, and new friends. Nobody knew who he was, nobody knew of his past, and everything he did was constructing a new life. When he finally changed jobs and eventually moved back into town (even though he lives on his own), he felt like a brand new person. Realizing that the experience of being on his own in a proverbial brand new world catapulted him to a mental state of a higher maturity. The experience helped craft him into a better adult, a better friend, and a better overall person.
I have never gotten to experience that independent life where everything was a new experience. Because of this, I have become a product of my environment. Everything I am, was, will be, and have been is because of my environment. Growing up, I was influenced by my family in regards to my hobbies, my life choices, my religious beliefs, and even my love life. Somebody once told me that we seek love with the same familiarity of our current lifestyle. We stay in protective bubbles, seeking comfort in what we know, and not what could be.
Even though I have branched out from the majority of my family in terms of my environment, I am still nothing more than a product of what’s around me. I have zero religious beliefs, but my family is filled with Christians. I have never been prejudiced towards homosexuality, yet a majority of my family disdains it. Family members throughout my current life, and those that have already passed, all sought careers in technical, business, and left-brained professions. However, I have always sought right-brained tasks in acting, writing, music, voice work, and journalism. These are just a few examples of the differences between myself and my family members.
But I am still a product of my environment. I went to local schools, eat at local restaurants, visit local venues, and rarely leave my state. I speak with a local, Midwestern accent, and I enjoy the same foods and tastes of somebody from this region. Entertainment that I enjoy is based on what my family liked growing up, and what I learned to like on my own. Everything I do, say, am, and will be is based on my environment.
But I want something new. I want something exciting or dull or reverent or nostalgic or familiar. I want everything that I’ve never had and everything I’ve always had. I need to feel like a different person. I am almost thirty years old, and I haven’t been on a date in over six years. I haven’t felt anything outside of the normal array of emotions in so very long. I have almost become apathetic and stoic because of my environment. I need inspiration. I need motivation. I need determination. But above all, I need to reshape who I am as a person.
I am a product of my environment, but I will not let myself become complacent. I refuse to die as a nobody.