This blog, like my last, has taken me a while to write because I needed a while to figure out where I stood. Where I’m standing. As I told a friend last week: it seems like every time I’ve come close to identifying what I’m feeling and what’s going on around me, something changes, and I have to start all over. The ground is shifting.
I think this is what your last year feels like. I want to keep my head down right now, to walk in a straight line, to work hard and finish strong — but I am being pulled away, constantly, by the distraction of uncertainty. At the beginning of the semester, it was easy to resolve to stay focused, stay humble, keep learning. Not so anymore. The chasm of graduation is more overwhelming the closer you get to the edge.
What it comes down to is this: in March, less than two months out from my final exam at Carleton, stasis is insupportable. I have to begin making decisions, looking forward, accepting inevitable change.
How, exactly, does one do that? Can somebody tell me?
Stasis is insupportable. The ground is shifting. I cannot remain any longer where I’ve been. It’s occurred to me that if I don’t go after the things I want, I won’t get them. (I know, right?) So I need to conquer my indecisiveness.
The last time I made a life decision this large, I was in high school. I wasn’t even technically an adult. My parents and I made the decision together. Now, after five years of university, I am in charge of my life in a way that I have never been before (and I suspect that as time passes this trend will persist). I have been doing a lot of hard thinking lately (read: a lot of staring into space), wavering between confidence and crippling self doubt, and I’ve concluded that I must — again, in an unprecedented way — take responsibility for my own life.
For some people, that will probably be easier than for others, i.e. me. I have been supported by my parents, sheltered from life by my introversion and even my education. I read about things; I don’t do them.
I have been willing to appease others — roommates, parents, friends. I have a tendency to avoid confrontation, to be passive, to be safe. That, like everything else, needs to change. I’ve been accepted to graduate studies and so I need to decide where to study. And even after I make that decision, I’ve only staved off the real world for, like, a year.
Am I ready? To move on? To be okay without school, that structural influence that has regimented and defined my everyday life since I was in kindergarten? To face new people, new places, new situations?
Am I brave?
I have to be. If I am honest with myself, I know what I want in my life. I thought, for so long, that I didn’t. But we suppress parts of ourselves because they don’t fit what others expect of us, or because the things we want don’t seem realistic. Maybe you don’t have that problem, but I do.
Stasis is insupportable. The ground is shifting. I cannot remain any longer where I’ve been. It’s occurred to me that if I don’t go after the things I want, I won’t get them. (I know, right?) So I need to conquer my indecisiveness. I may have to be a little bit aggressive, for once in my life. I have to grow up.
I have to be brave.