I'm Disappointed, and it's Wonderful

I’m not where I want to be. This isn’t what I thought I’d be doing, or the life I’d be living, 10 years ago. A week doesn’t go by when I’m not disappointed in myself, and I think that’s great.

If that seems like a contradiction, I should probably explain: I like my job (most of the time), and the people I work with/hang around (almost always). I’m a better man today than I was a year ago and, besides, I’m pretty good at self-selecting myself the hell out of situations I don’t want to be in. 

But I still haven’t run at 15 km/h in an exoskeleton or flown in one of those wingsuits. I’m not a New York Times bestseller. I don’t have a smithy, haven’t gone to art school, or learned to program my own AA video games, and my mountain fortress neither exists nor is it staffed by loyal ninja chefs and forever puppies. Someone said I’ve lost weight – if you’ve seen me, that means I need to exercise more. These are all 0th world problems, I’m not even sure they belong in real numbers. But I’m disappointed. It’s because I think I can do those things someday, maybe even tomorrow.

And I’ve found I like people who look disappointed. Not whiners – a career in the Marines didn’t endear me to people who can’t tell the way the wind’s blowing (hint: draw a line from the burn pit to you). Not pessimists or realists, who can’t wait to tell me how things are going to go wrong. I mean the people who have seen a better world (in their heads). Sure, they’ve taken beatings, a few wrong turns, and we’re all going to die; there’s something childlike about their unrealistic expectations. Their heart breaks every day. But the moment they get a chance to grab a foothold on their pie in the sky they’re going to lunge, because they still expect it behind every closed door and around every street corner.

And I’m grinning like an idiot because, on a good day, that’s still me.

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