My life has not at all gone the way I expected.
I’m poorer than I expected. That’s not surprising now; because of world changes, I think most of us are in North America. At my age, my father could support a family of five, a house, and a car on one salary. I make an equivalent wage and there’s no way I can afford any sort of mortgage for any sort of house, let alone do it with enough left over to operate a car and feed and clothe all those family members.
I’ve had far more struggle than I expected socially. I knew something was wrong when I was in public and high school–I never had a girlfriend–but I had no idea of the complexity of the problem. I had never heard of ‘face blindness’ or Asperger’s Syndrome’ or any of those things. I have had to learn painfully and by hand many social things that most people pick up automatically, and even then, it takes an act of will to use the knowledge. Not just the mechanics of how to be social, but there are entire realms of connection that were unknown to me and beyond my horizon.
Largely because of that effort, I’m far, far behind others socially. Most of my friends are married. My best friends are grandparents, for Pete’s sake. There are no real prospects for marriage in my future, and I do not expect this to change.
There has been a lot more death in my life than I expected. Family members dying; the family was destroyed as an emotional grouping, and I am now alone.
When I had to make the decision between following my art and following the money, I chose the money, and ended up poorer as a result. Partly this is because I could not imagine how to live off my art; that was one of those social skills I knew nothing of.
But it’s not all negative things.
I did find an old dream to be alive: the solar power that excited me in high school has proven to be far more alive than I ever expected. And it looks like world events are making it relevant again.
I did meet a woman a few months ago who thought I was ‘cute’. It’s very rare, but it has happened. Shame that we aren’t all that compatible.