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It all still felt like a vacation until Christmas Eve. My stuff was still en route via FedEx Ground, my brother and mom's side of the family still had no idea I was staying, I was seeing everybody again for the first time in weeks or months, sleeping in the Guest Bedroom, drinking and eating and partying like it's 1999.

and then just like that it was all out in the open.

So I guess I just move forward here, wading in an open sea trying to find the nearest land as quickly as possible. Sure, I know the superficial plan: get work, make money, do what I need to do. Make a life for myself, settle in, get back to that routine and all that.

I was reading this essay by Chuck Klosterman, when he discovered a video game called The Sims. For anybody who's unaware, it's like this virtual world where you create a character based on you (or whoever you want yourself to be), you create a house, and you go about living this virtual life with the abject goal of keeping Yourself happy. Eat when you're hungry, go to work, sleep when you're tired, socialize when you're lonely. The only real difference between that and real life is that the game doesn't go deeper into the psyche. Bottom line, after feeding yourself, garnering a wage, and dating when you're bored, the only way the Sim You will ever be happy is when You go out and buy shit you don't really need. A new plasma screen television will go a long way in improving your overall quality of life.

What I've discovered in my time away is that your possessions are only a distraction. They prevent you from having any real feelings, because if you sat around thinking about your life, ultimately you'll never be completely satisfied. So you buy a plasma screen TV with digital cable so you can sit around watching other people who have far more interesting lives. You watch that DVD or that television series to kill a few hours you would've otherwise spent sitting around feeling nauseated. You pick up some hobby in hopes that you'll find what you really want to get out of life. You play that video game because ultimately you'll never be who you really want to be, but you can live vicariously through a virtual You for a few hours each day.

But, I guess that's what they say, right? Never be satisfied; always be striving. The easy decisions will always bring about a temporary sense of ecstacy, but ultimately life is really fucking hard. Of course, that's the whole point too, right?

For some, it's easy. You figure out what you want to do, who you want to be, and you go in search of that. But what if you're me? What if your whole life is based around the fact that you don't know what you want to be and you never will? That security for later in life, that stability in your current situation, ULTIMATELY will leave you feeling empty inside.

I can't tell if I'm 100% unrepentant about every decision I've ever made or in 100% regret. There's a lot to like about what I've done and who I am - and apparently I'm well-liked enough to engender a grandiose response to my promised continued presence - but I find the whole fucking thing too overwhelming to understand. Who am I to be so missed? When inevitably I'm the guy who constantly disappoints.

I'd almost rather be a guy most people don't give a shit about; then there wouldn't be all this internal pressure to be somebody. I've always kind of strived for complete anonymity, which flies in the face of human nature. Everybody wants to BE somebody, I just want to be a nobody. Then I'd have a built-in excuse for feeling dissatisfied with everything.

I'll tell you one thing, I wasn't made for being the center of attention. It'll be nice when things get back to normal and I'm taken for granted again. People say that like it's a bad thing, but being taken for granted is not only normal, it's comforting. Knowing that somebody will always be there, that you can count on them to be this familiar personality.

I guess ... my being so far away was taxing on a lot of people? That's a concept I can't even fathom. I can't understand having that kind of impact on somebody else, not even for my family. I've been so used to being that guy who's always there, who's always me. When the commotion dies down and I have a chance to settle in and think and breathe again, maybe I won't feel as anxious as I do right now. I mean, they're right, yeah I'm young and have time and blah blah blah, but eventually you've got to pick a bush and start pissing, right?

Well, I'm going on 27 and my bladder's filling up by the year. Now that I'm home, it's time to start narrowing down on a leafy shrub and get my dick out of my pants.