I constantly talk about what I still need to learn in life, but lately I’ve started thinking about the things I have learned, especially during this year. Reality has pulled me down to earth, which, admittedly, I desperately needed.
One of the biggest reasons that I had suffered my academic faux pas this year was that during high school, I honest to God believed I was special. I thought I was smart, I thought I was talented, and ultimately I thought that some kind of bright and idiosyncratic future was waiting for me. Maybe I thought I would be a writer, or an artist, or an actress. None of them particularly special nowadays, now that I think about it. To tell the truth, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, I’ve never known. It’s always been some far-off thing that I didn’t have to deal with until the day came where I had to decide, and I still didn’t know.
I hated the idea of a university, I thought that it was so average. Being surrounded by thousands of academics, living the average college life, wasting time and ending up in an average job. I thought I was better than that. I wanted something different, something special, specialized schools that weren’t as pretentious as I found universities to be. I always said that university wasn’t special enough, it wasn’t original enough. Typical thoughts of a teenager trapped in a small town, yet to see the world.
That was the idea that I had going in, and look what I ended up with. I ended up with the people who dropped out of university, specialized schools with no academic merit whatsoever. And the place where I thought I would find people like me turned out to be the sea of pretentious people that I wanted to get away from. Though I was probably like them, I too was pretentious. But I wanted better, I’ll always want better.
At least now I know that life isn’t exactly what it seems, especially not when you’re cooped up in a small town and life is based on what you see on tv. But I thought I knew everything. I had no plans and no direction, no ambition except to be noticed, and yet I was some genius willing to waste the money of my parents just so that I could feel special for a little while longer. I was an immature child who was scared of facing the future, though that hasn’t changed much.
I have previously mentioned my intention to study Law which has lead to internal conflict which I have yet to share with anyone. It makes me feel like a coward, and in all fairness, I am a coward. I am scared of disappointing my parents and people who expected greatness from me. I don’t want to be some broke ass artist living in a dump to survive, I want a safety net, and that kills me. I always expected more from myself, but I guess this is growing up. Making peace with things like this, letting go of certain parts of ourselves as we leave childhood behind.
I had to move out of my college apartment last week, something I was absolutely dreading. Admittedly, it was quite cathartic. I cleaned the room, threw away some of my belongings and packed my life into a bag. Just goes to show how easy it actually is to close a chapter in your life if it can all fit in a suitcase. There was no sentimental goodbye to the miserable little apartment, but I still wonder whether I had let go of something that was not meant for me, or if I had simply given up.
Either way, here I am, this girl who is seen as someone who works hard and is ambitious, back home and working as a waitress. Never in my life did I think I would be the girl who ended up this way, but oh well, at least I’m not pregnant.
I sometimes feel like I don’t have the right to be sad about it. It was all my fault, after all, it was my poor choices, and ultimately my decision to discontinue my education and come home. I feel like I am judged for being sad about it, like my peers think that it means nothing and I should move on, but I do feel sad. I’ve never realized how lost I am in life, people like me aren’t supposed to be lost. I just wish someone would tell me what to do with my life, that I would have a steady vision or even a dream like my friends. I am not only sad about coming home, I am sad about the fact that I had let it all get this bad, and that deciding on a future means betraying myself. I am sad because I don’t know myself at all in a place where everyone seems to have everything together.
As a child of no more than twelve years old, I had heard somewhere that the teenage years are the most confusing years of your life. Growing up, friends, changing, and ultimately questioning who you are. I laughed, confidently, and told myself exactly who I am, I never thought that I would question it. But then again, this is the same child who sat in front of the mirror and told herself, “I simply can’t be ugly, why would I be ugly? I am me. God wouldn’t make me ugly, not when I am me.”
Sometimes I think that people stop wondering who they are and they just are, the way they are. Just as simple as that. Stop asking, wondering, and just be. It sounds so easy, but when it comes to it, maybe I just haven’t reached it. In the same breath, I would like to say that I didn’t know that I was learning these lessons while they were happening. It was only a few days ago that I realized that my perspective had changed completely. That’s part of the beauty of it, feeling the same, looking back and suddenly realizing you’re a bit different.
I know that I need to stop complaining about this incident, that I need to get my shit together. But what would help was one person that understood, one person that actually understood me and loved me, not just tolerated me. I’d much rather prefer beating myself up about this. People don’t understand that there’s a difference between complaining, and the actual self loathing that you can’t just let go of.
It’s the same idea with my art. Everyone had always thought that I criticized it because I wanted attention, when in reality, I saw every flaw, every mistake. The same with myself. Every flaw, every mistake, I scrutinize, I replay, I criticize. I have said every possible bad thing to myself, so I never quite understood why anyone else was needed to criticize me too.
But oh well. Just burning more bridges until I have nowhere left to go, I guess.