One of the things that they don't tell you about mental illness is that it means you're supposed to be happy with the minimum.

For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why just basic adulting took so much work. Why did other people seem to have it together so much more than me? When did they find the time for all these things like cleaning up their houses? In reality, I deserve a medal for functioning on some basic level. But growing up with the normal expectations of a “gifted” middle-class kid, and my expectations for myself don't necessarily conform to what's actually possible. It's not that they're that high, it's that my capabilities simply aren't what normal people's are.

Accepting this has been a struggle. I don't want to think that where I am now is the most I'll be able to accomplish; I don't want to be on my deathbed and have to content myself with “I was a decent bureaucrat.” But what I'm actually capable of doesn't have any real correlation with what I want.

The obvious answer is to find a passion, something I can do where it doesn't matter whether I'm good or not. This has failed to occur so far, and I'm not sure I should keep waiting. I've been doing the experimenting thing for 20+ years, and it hasn't really borne fruit. Instead, I have to figure out how to be more comfortable in my own skin, and how to accept the realities.