My days follow a particular pattern: wake up, go to school, watch anime during lunch, come home, spend the rest of the day alternating between various things that entertain me. Recently, ‘apply for jobs’ has wormed its way into the list every so often. It’s the exact same way every single day, and I have become disgusted with myself because of this behavior. I am also scared. I am nineteen years old, and I do not have a job. I also have no idea what I want to do with my life. I have the choice between community college and technical school…still not sure what I want, if I can even get there.
Yesterday my dad, whom I do not see often, took me out to dinner at this Mexican place we love after picking me up from school. Sometime during the wait for out food, he asked me if I knew what I wanted to do in college- if I knew what degree I was going for. I opened my mouth and just barely stopped myself from responding, and nearly cried. Because, as I said before, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. No idea whatsoever, and absolutely everyone has been asking me some variation of “Sara Marie, what do you want to do with your life?” as of late. And all I want to do is ask one question in return: What can I do with my life? I am nineteen years old, and I have no idea what I want to do. I don’t think I’m even capable of doing anything….so I almost told my dad that maybe I would just become a secretary. Or a waitress. And in the moment I stopped myself from saying that I almost cried, because it was then that I realized how pathetic I had allowed myself to become.
Not too many years ago I believed the lie that I could become whatever I wanted. I had aspirations of becoming an anthropologist, or a journalist, or a veterinarian. I genuinely believed that, yes, I could do these things, become these things. But then high school wore on. My grades, never spectacular to begin with, dropped, then rose, then dropped, then rose…over and over again. Somewhere in there my sister entered her freshman year. My honor student sister. My AP class-taking sister. Seeing her first report card hit me like….like something that hits hard. A fright train, maybe. She was better than me. So much better… perhaps not as a person, but academically. And that was all that mattered, the academics. That was what my parents cared about, so in my subconscious mind she was instantly the better-loved. I have always denied that I feel jealousy, even though that’s exactly what it is.
My youngest sibling, my brother, he isn’t academically inclined, much like me. But he hunts and he fishes. He makes fishing spears out of branches, and they work. He’s an ass, but he’s a talented ass. He has a friend that visits him almost every day, and he actually talks to people in the cafeteria, and has people who like him romantically, and he’s the favorite of our mom. He wants to be a marine biologist.
What am I? I am the step child. I am the failure. I am the one with no clue what I want to do. The one who has been told her whole life that she’s a genius and has turned out as an academic failure. I am the one who cannot hold her natural father’s attention. I’m the one who constantly doubts myself, and everyone else, constantly asking ‘do you really love me?’ ‘Am I really your friend or am I only a nuisance you tolerate?’ ‘Daddy, do you really want to spend time with me or are you only pretending?’ ‘Am I truly smart?’ ‘Does everyone think I’m a moron?’
I talk big at school, in public. I play it confident and I pretend that I know what I want and what I’m doing. The world doesn’t scare me, it’s mine to take. I feel like I’m lying to myself and everyone around me….because I am not confident. I do not know what I’m doing or what I want to do.
I hate feeling like this. I absolutely despise it, because while the above is true, it is also untrue, and I have no idea how that can possibly be. Because after I get through with that mood, I get angry. No. I get infuriated.
I let myself get into the daily rut, and I can fix it, so why the fuck don’t I?! So what if you think your siblings are better than you? Clearly they aren’t! Rosy Blonde is only book smart! She knows the facts in the text and nothing more! She collects smart sounding books to put on her shelf, but never reads them! She can talk about history but doesn’t have my passion for it! Her life is consumed my SnapChat and Instagram, and if the wifi turns off she has no idea what to do with herself, but I do!
Fish Boy is good at the few skills he has, but nothing more. He’s a bully and puts others down all the time! He demands and demands and demands and never gives credit where it is due! His critisicms should mean nothing to me, because they are untrue!
It is after shouting at myself that I figure things out. That I figure out who I am again.
I am Sara. I am the Pagan in the family of Christians, and I am loved anyway. I can write fantastically and my family and friends acknowledge fact frequently. I have a passion for history that borders on the obsessive, and I have teachers and mentors who encourage that daily. I have a step dad and a natural dad who both adore me, encourage me, and help me along. I have a person who asks me for help. Me. A person who looks up to me as a teacher figure! I have a fine group of friends who love me, and tolerate my blatant love for BDSM and all things esoteric.
I am confident. The world fucking belongs to me. My future is mine, no matter what it is or what troubles I face getting there, it is mine before I even arrive to claim it.
It is now that I am reminded why I dyed my hair red, and why red lipstick is my Thing. Because red is aggression. Red is passion. Red is not passive, and neither am I. I will not sit back and let myself despair, I refuse to allow myself to simmer in my misery for any longer. I will not just give up when I am two weeks from completion. I will not allow myself to fear adulthood and failure.
I’m fucking sick of being afraid to live. Time to stop.