Failure to Launch

You know the Matt Nathanson song, ‘Headphones’?  He sings, “Ain’t too proud to swim or drown… Ain’t too proud to sink or see it through.”  Well, if you dropped the “ain’t” this would perfectly describe me.  I am terrified of failure.

At 15 years and 9 months, I took Driver’s Ed and then got my Learner’s Permit.  The thing is, the number of mistakes someone can make while driving are astronomical.  It could be something as small as not signaling when changing lanes, or the mistake could result in someone’s death.  To make things worse, the risk of vehicle crashes is highest among 16-19 year olds.  Rather than risk causing one of these accidents, or ending up with a ticket, or even getting a dirty look or mean gesture, I postponed driving.  I avoided driving so thoroughly that my Learner’s Permit expired after a year of inactivity and I had to start all over.

There is a strong similarity between my driving reluctance and the delayed departure from my childhood home.  Taking the appropriate precautions (mainly in regards to budgeting) I could gain the freedom of living on my own, but there is the chance things wouldn’t go smoothly, so I waited to move until I felt more comfortable financially: When I thought I would have a higher chance of success.

SafeThe problem is, I doubt I will be more comfortable financially until I am in my 30s.  I had the great fortune to attend a fantastic College, studying abroad in two foreign countries over the course of a year, and then complete a Master’s degree in Environmental Resource Policy.  The result is astronomical student loans which demand almost half of my take-home pay each month.  This will continue until I am 35 (although, hopefully the proportion between the loan payment and my paycheck will decrease as time goes on).  When I justify living at home, I reference these loans, but the truth is, moving out would be less comfortable than staying at home.

Well, I’ve made the commitment to get out of my comfort zone in order to progress in my life.  I am going to spend the next several months organizing my finances and by next year, I will be launched.


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