my brother called me last night. he asked what was up, and i told him that i was going to take the semester off of school, for various reasons. his answer to this was, “again?”
ugh. over and over, the same thing. but here’s the thing: i am trying to avoid my usual patterns. more accurately, i guess, i am trying to circumvent them. i am trying to take a break and recover, so that i can start functioning from a position of strength, not the weakness to which i am so well accustomed.
the beginning of a new semester rolls around. i am inevitably exhausted from all the previous semesters; from all the days and weeks and months i spent playing catch up, and the time and energy invested in efforts that never ended up as accomplishments. i’ve tried, i’ve failed, i’ve dug myself in deeper.
but i am tearfully, fearfully optimistic: oh, that was so bad, so hard, it has to get better from here on in, right? i can do this if i try really, really hard; if i give it everything i’ve got left. can’t i?
well, i’m sad to say that the answer to that question has been no. the universe conspired, the stars aligned themselves, my courage and strength and kidneys gave out, and i was left holding the bag. and that was where i was headed, again. how many times can i try, almost make it, and then watch all my hard work bear out as nothing? i cried, i cried, i cried; but i let go.
at twenty five years old i feel ancient. i am behind, i’m running so late for life that by the time i join the party it’ll already be time to call it a night. i look around me at the freshmen on campus, the bright young faces and eager eyes, and i think how appropriate it is: freshmen. i look at the boys with broad shoulders, the girls with the deliberate gaits of those with a sense of accomplishment; the third and fourth years that are well on their way to their destinations of choice. i am neither, so i feel like i am nothing.
and so i am compelled by these feelings to push myself, to continue in the face of possible (well, lets face it, likely) failure in an attempt to silence the voices that nurture my insecurity, my feelings of worthlessness and stagnation and hopelessness. voices that are not only in my head, but all around me too (“again?”). but what good is that? have i really learned nothing from these excruciating past few years? wouldn’t that make them an actual waste of time, instead of a misrepresented collection of experiences whose purpose my (admittedly depressed, there were tests done and everything, but seriously, i’m working on it) mind can’t quite yet grasp?
it’s time for me to stop. it’s time for me to dig upwards, out of the hole, instead of downwards toward my annihilation. i don’t feel like i will ever amount to anything, and i don’t feel like i’ll ever be happy, safe or healthy again. but what i feel and what i think are two very different things. i think i can get better, and that if i do i can do good things. i just have to ignore myself, and give myself the chance.