Last update
2021-10-21 11:57:59

    “I just feel like I should be doing better.  I’m nowhere near retirement.  I’m working two jobs: I’m a licensed tour guide, and I make videos for businesses.  But even that’s not enough, so recently I’ve started working for the census.  I don’t want to run down the census: it’s fine, it’s great, it’s important work.  But I’m ashamed of it.  Because I’m sixty-five years old, I’m a college graduate, and I’m supposed to be done by now.  I’m supposed to be coasting.  But I’m not even close.  I feel like I still don’t even have a grip on the basics: how to make a living, how to keep my house in order, how to take care of myself.  And it feels shameful.  I feel not grown up.  Like I should have learned all of this so long ago.  And I’m afraid people will think it’s pathetic.  Worse than that.  They’ll think I’m incapable.  So I’ve been keeping a lot hidden.  I haven’t even told my colleagues about the census.  And that’s one thing I’m trying to work on— not keeping things hidden.  Because I know this shame isn’t healthy.  It isn’t right.  I’m luckier than 99 percent of people.  I’ve been sober for 39 years.  I have the greatest wife of 32 years.  I don’t have any crippling debt.  I’m doing OK.  I shouldn’t have to hide my situation.  And being more open has helped.  Because once I start telling people, and I see they’re not judging me, and that they’re still loving me, the shame tends to disappear.”