Because of what I learned from my recent Frozen post about the importance of vulnerability…  I am going to challenge myself to cross-post from my LJ more (which, for the record, is mostly a place for venting and otherwise highly-personal and self-indulgent angst.)

This was written about a year ago, so I’m thankfully not in the exact same headspace anymore having gained wisdom and coping skills, but a lot of the fears and reasons for them are still here (very slightly edited for confidentiality, as my LJ is not anonymous as this blog is)…

There’s a lot about my life that I’m unhappy with. I am really tired of living in my city, for one. It was great for awhile, but over the years I’ve grown and changed, and I think we’ve grown apart, like outgrowing a great pair of jeans that fit perfectly once. It’s too cold (that was always a problem, actually, SAD and all). There’s too much going on. Too many choices, too busy, too fast, too overwhelming. And as hard as I try, I don’t feel like I fit into the social culture. There’s just this air of…pretention, particularly in my neighborhood.

My university is awesome in some ways, and completely frustrating in others. I simultaneously feel like the classes are too challenging and not challenging enough. (I’m a total scatterbrain when it comes to logistics, like keeping organized and managing my time and making it to class on time, and in these areas I’m really struggling and it hurts my GPA, but in terms of the content of the classes I often feel like I’m not learning a lot.) And the other students… I have to cut them some slack, because so many of them are still teenagers, but well, they act like teenagers, and I’ve kind of forgotten how to deal with that. And really, school and my city are my entire life right now, so having problems with them doesn’t leave me with much to be happy about.

I have all these grand dreams about how I’m going to live a fabulous life someday. It’s the only way I can get through the day sometimes; shift my focus to the future. Tell myself this is all temporary. Someday, I’ll be done with college and its bullshit, and can work (which I generally find much more fun and fulfilling than school, even if all jobs have their pros and cons). I can move to a perfect place, a place that is warm and sunny and green, with people who are accepting and tolerant of differences and don’t look down their noses at others, and where people aren’t rushing around all the time but take time to just be and let things happen as they happen. I remember doing this in high school too. I worked my ass off to get good grades and be a “good” (obedient) girl, so that I could go to any college I wanted to, and finally escape bullying and have freedom to be independent and my own person. 

I’m not sure if I’ve ever been fully present. 

I can’t run away from my problems, because the problems aren’t with my city or school. The problems are with me, and with life in general. There are shitty people everywhere (albeit perhaps different kinds of shitty, but shitty nonetheless). There is shitty weather everywhere (take your pick…freezing cold, scorching hot, tornatoes, hurricanes, earthquakes?) The fast pace of cities may feel overwhelming at times, but I get bored easily in the suburbs or rural areas. And college… yeah, sometimes college really sucks, and I’ve certainly been at it long enough to be really tired of it. I don’t get the hands-on experience that really makes me feel alive and fulfilled, I feel like I’m living in a bubble apart from the world, there is next to no external structure (which means managing my own time, which I’m horrible at), and it involves a LOT of reading and writing, neither of which are my favorite activities in the world. But I do get to set my own schedule, and can do all my work outside if I want to, and get to choose to focus on what I’m most passionate about a given semester, none of which are true of most jobs.

And then, of course, I can never escape myself.

And that’s what I’m afraid of. And why sometimes, life doesn’t seem worth living. What if it never gets better?

So I’ve basically been living my life in a state of paralyzing fear. Fear that I can’t change. Fear that no matter where I live and what I do with my life and who I hang out with, it will always be the same. I’ll keep falling into the same traps, repeating my mistakes over and over as I have been, being my same old broken self who can’t even get dressed in the morning a lot of days, never mind change lives or travel the world or get a masters degree or start a family or any of the grand things I dream about. I dream because I have to. Because it’s the only thing that keeps me going. Because if I didn’t, I’d have no reason to do any of the things I have to do but really hate doing. But deep down, I’m scared that I’m kidding myself by having goals like that, by having goals at all.

Which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I don’t believe I can pass a class, or make new friends, or go to that event, or do this neat internship, or do whatever it is I want to do, then I won’t really try. What’s the point, anyway, in working so hard just for nothing? I might go through the motions half-heartedly, but it won’t be enough, and I’ll prove myself to be the failure I always thought I was.

I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what will happen to me. Maybe I’ll get everything I want in life, maybe I’ll face disappointment after disappointment. But if I don’t even try, I’m guaranteeing failure before I’ve even started.

I have to try. I don’t have another choice. 

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.


2 responses »

  1. I see a lot of wisdom in this post.

    I spend so much time worrying about the future, and how I can’t afford to live like this forever even if it’s what’s right to me now, that I’m having trouble appreciating just how good of a place I currently am in. Living in the present is extremely difficult.

    For what it is worth, you have grown up quite a lot since I first met you.

    • Thank you! For what it’s worth, so have you. Also living in the present is difficult for pretty much everyone. Sometimes it is neither possible nor desirable even. All we can do is do the best we can. ❤

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