Yesterday morning I asked a guy who's in early recovery how he was doing. His answer was something along the lines of "Oh, well this week I closed three big deals and went out on a couple of business dinners and..." by then I'd tuned him completely out.
I, too, used to think that I was what I did. That was before I got sober. Then I found out that most of what I'd done in my life was a) in a drunken stupor or b) to shut somebody up or c) to make somebody else happy.
Nowhere in there was there anything to do with me and what I wanted.
A shrink once asked me if I haven't derived any satisfaction out of my so-called career on Wall Street. "No", I said. "It wasn't my career. It was my ex's idea of what my career should be." It's not my ex's fault. That poor schlub didn't know he was buying a dysfunctional budding drunk when he met me. I wound up on Wall Street because I thought it would shut him up and make him happy.
I was wrong.
Okay, so what would make me happy? I don't know. I never really thought about it. Oh, I'm good at seeing, in retrospect that I "could've" done this or that or the other thing. But I don't look back, ever, and say, "gee, if I'd only stuck with that I would've been truly happy!" I don't have those kinds of regrets.
I go through this every year about this time. It's Peter Pan season for me and, sad to say or happy to report, depending on how you look at it, at the age of 58 I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.