I sit here, numbly feeling my life slip away from my paralyzed mind. Cursed with enough clarity to understand the opportunities I’m wasting, I lack the ability to effect a change. Lack of ambition? Maybe - or maybe no clear direction for it has ever emerged. I’m that kid on the playground who always failed at being “It” for tag. So many targets, I couldn’t pick just one, and so I ended up with nothing and no one. I was so terrified of that happening to my life: that once again every opportunity would vaporize in front of me and leave me standing, confused and shamed, wondering at my defects and the sudden emptiness of my world.

So I panicked. I seized the first thing that came along that was acceptably good. Proof to show the world that I could better my lot in life, that I would not end up with nothing!

The problem is that I got comfortable. I settled for where I was; expanded to fill my income and my living space, and got to the point of reflexive familiarity with every corner of my world. Change, and opportunity for change, are still everywhere, living in my pockets and breathing in my ear – but where is the motivation to leave animal comfort to leap into dangerous new territory? To risk that security? Perhaps self-disgust will provide an impetus where ambition fails? I’m not a lost cause yet, but are we taking odds?

We make ourselves old, not by accumulation of years, but by the acceptance of mediocrity as our lot in life.

We mistake material security for happiness and then wonder at the flat gray landscapes of our lives, damned by ourselves to a temporal Hell defined by our low expectations and greed.

Killing ourselves by inches, we get what we earn.