I don’t always know who I am. And I don’t know if that’s okay.
I’m about to graduate soon. I don’t have a career path blazing in front of me; I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I don’t have a ‘dream job.’ I have dreams, but I bounce these back and forth like ping pong balls.
I want to be a writer, a reader, communicator, designer, photographer and historian. I don’t know if I’m allowed to have this many dreams.
Mostly though, what I want is to be me. Which again, is an issue because I don’t know what ‘me’ is.
I’ve been part of somebody else for the longest time. I’ve spent roughly 3 years living as a half of a whole. No complaints there, but I’ve become used to always listening to an opinion that’s not mine. Every decision I’ve made, whether it has been my hair color or major research projects, has been shared.
This hasn’t been so bad, simply because I’m used to doing things on my own, with advice from trusted sources. But recently I’ve realised that I’m not a complete person. And that’s a problem that I intend to fix asap.
You have to understand, I’m very used to being just myself. I was never the sort of person who would do things just because other people did them, or vice versa. I never needed validation for my insanity, which was useful because I’d never have found another person who was willing to run out into blazing thunderstorms with me. Or roll down grassy knolls and gather bruises like candy wrappers walking up a sharp hill. I did these things because I wanted to do them; I didn’t tell anyone about them. I didn’t need to.
I’ve been called odd, weird, annoying and just this close to insane. I’ve loved being an odd-weird-annoying-just this close to insane girl. Until I took a good hard look at myself and realised, I’ve stopped.
Relationships, especially modern long term relationships, are as difficult as they are gratifying. Yes, you get the fabulous experience of always having someone to rely on and talk to and what’s more, they’re yours and isn’t that great? But then there are more insidious effects: you become so used to talking to them and relying on them and being around them, that when it ends, you’re left standing, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Suddenly, they’re off your social media; every time you get a text you perk up. It’s not them, though. It won’t be them anymore. And so you feel lost and lonely among cluttered Facebook and Instagram feeds.
“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.” Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
This sort of model doesn’t work anymore. Primarily because if your SO perishes, you probably won’t and inversely, the fact that he remains is sort of an issue and you have to keep yourself away from him/her. Block, delete, whatever. Eat your heart out, Catherine Earnshaw.
Tl;dr: I think I’ve left a lot of myself behind. It’s sitting there, atop the disturbing emotional baggage that’s collecting dust on the other side of a door marked “Never open again, please PLEASE.”
I used to be a lot more insane. I used to be louder. I used to be fearless. I was never a worrier. I stood up a lot straighter. I never had trouble expressing my thoughts.
I don’t blame anyone for beating me down. I beat me down. I thought that if I was just a little more mature, I could figure out why adults act the way they do. If I didn’t dress the way I wanted to, everything would automatically be okay; I’d sacrifice my sundresses and ripped jeans and I’d be golden. I thought I could become stable – a shock absorber – and take care of everything everything everything.
I was trying so hard to be older than I am, stronger than I am; I nearly drove myself crazy but not in the fun, enjoyable way. And none of it, never any of it, was worth it.
Most of my friends have not known me as purely myself; there has always been an added appendage, another soul attached to me. I have always been loyal to a certain human and never fully to myself.
And now that it’s all over, I am coming back to me. I’ve started to listen to myself with the same consideration I have listened to those I’ve loved. I’ve lost a lot of self confidence, but hey, collateral damage is unavoidable.
I am who I am, and I will continue to be me. There is extreme turmoil: graduation, unemployment, heartbreak, reparation and big decisions. It’s a vortex and spot in the middle sits little old me. Confused but soon to be happy.