Sometimes I wake up and ask myself, “Is this the life I had planned for myself when I was 8?” And then I remember, “No, I planned on being a space cop. I’m not a space cop. Which I guess is fine. Since there’s no such thing as an intergalactic police force.”

No, the life I had planned over the years has sort of gone the way of Lost – a confusing blend of questions never freakin’ answered. It’s kind of like how the old saying goes: man makes plans, and God laughs. Or, if you’re not into the whole religious thing: man makes plans, and plans come up INFINITELY SHORTER THAN EXPECTED AND NOW MAN IS LEFT TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT PLANS ARE WORTH IT.

Sorry. Got a little heated. Except I’m not sorry. Still heated. Still very goddamn heated.

Here’s the thing. As my goals changed, I decided that my skills would probably lend best to acting. Or at least I hoped they did. I’d even take daytime soaps. At least those seemed fun. I also expected to have a decent car by this point. You know, something that wouldn’t involve the grace of God/Thor/L. Ron Hubbard just to get the turn signals to work for more than 10 seconds. I was also hoping to have a decent amount of money saved up for a decent vacation for the summer. While I’m young, I wanna be able to actually enjoy a trip somewhere. Anywhere. Anywhere…except for Wildwood, NJ…anywhere but there.

Instead, I’m just now picking myself back up after a brief visit with my best friend Unemployment, and driving a 2005 Crown Vic with the hopes that the brakes won’t just suddenly stop working.

I’ve hit the Flateau.

The “Flateau” is a mixture of “falling flat” and “a life plateau.” It’s the moment(s) in life where you find yourself sitting on the edge of your bed, holding a bag of Tostitos Scoops, knowing damn well there’s no salsa to dip. It’s also the moment when you ask those three questions: Why? When? How?

Why did this happen? Why did I spend years and years preparing for when things would get tough, and then find myself crawling and confused anyways?

When did it begin? When did the exact moment the future became this blurry, as if a steady downpour of doubts started to cloud my judgment?

How the hell do I get out of this?

I suppose it’s all a part of the whole “growing up” thing. Like, the moment when your very first bill comes in the mail, and you have to mentally subtract that disposable income you designated as the “beer fund” to supplement costs.

Flateaus are super scary, though. It’s not like a physical thing you can see or feel. You can’t see the exact moment when you’re gonna get back up, dust yourself off, and prance your way uphill to that big effin’ golden gate of Success.

No, you have to pretend like the Flateau is right in front of you. You have to assume how far you have to climb, how much you’re going to sweat, how long it’s going to take when the next breath will be a fresh one. It sucks. It sucks a lot. My parents have done/continue to do a lot for me, but by no means was I born with a silver spoon cradled in my mouth. I’m working here. Working hard to get my version of the American Dream (which just so happens to involve eating a lot of Rita’s Swedish Fish water ice and watching marathons of Netflix shows).

Are you guys in a Flateau? How did you/will you get out of it? Leave some comments and spread the love. Let’s grab our pickaxes and climb this next beast together.