I was reading all my old school reports and you know something about me is that mostly I was a really good kid and a really good student so all my reports are really nice right? And I was reading them and I couldn’t help wondering if it was obvious back then that I would end up where I have, the kind of girl who is stuck into a degree she doesn’t like, living in a place she doesn’t love? And I think maybe not, but maybe that isn’t a bad thing because maybe one of my strongest attributes is my unwillingness to give up on things I care about.
Maybe that determination is the kind of thing that makes me who I am.
Because let’s be real right – I don’t enjoy university. I get a little kick in my stomach typing it because what a blessed life I have to be able to attend, I am so lucky, I am so grateful and I guess I am educated too – but I am not fulfilled by what I study, I’m not inspired and I definitely am not happy spending every day there trying to pull together enough understanding to write a few thousand-word essay or an exam answer. I am stressed, I am tired, my back and neck are in this constant tight vice grip and it hurts. I don’t like it. But I have to do it because I have dreams and I have goals and no matter how fucking irrelevant my courses are to where I want to end up, taking them is necessary to get that degree and that degree is necessary to get where I want to go and often that is enough motivation to keep showing up to class.
I guess its stressful to be stuck in something that doesn’t make me happy but because it has purpose I think it’s also ok.
Maybe there is an idea that we should live as if every day is our last and I think that’s often translated into activities. We should be yelling and laughing and having so much fun and seeing the world and our family all the time and that’s a nice kind of idea but it isn’t feasible if you have to plan for a future. So I guess for me it’s more important to live every day like it’s my last in terms of being the person I want to be every single day.
Maybe the things I want to do aren’t going to uni or studying or stressing out in the 10000x group chats that I am a part of but maybe the person I want to be is the person who gives all in anyway. I want to be the girl who is determined, who is loyal who is strong enough to weather the longest and most intense of storms. Maybe often I am stressed and confused and frustrated by the communication I have to partake in but maybe the girl that I am values being gentle and kind and having a demeanour soft enough that other people are comfortable moulding themselves to me.
I wasn’t loud or talkative in year 3. I’m not loud and talkative now that I am 20. But I was always determined, I was always gentle, I always loved everyone that I surrounded myself with. Just in a quiet way, a persevering kind of way.
And besides. Even if doing what I do now amounts to nothing, even if this degree turns out to be as useless as it feels then it is all the more valuable to be who I want to be right? They are the bits of me that manifest is the tattoo on my arm and the pink in my wardrobe and the candles burning on my desk. They are the arms of my friends and the photos on my wall and the calls from my family. I can’t do all the things that will make me happy without practising being the person who will appreciate them most now.
Anyway what I am trying to say is that you don’t have to like it. You’re not any less because you don’t like what you’re doing and its ok I think. I hate that I have to come to terms with that but I am also pleased to do so.
There was a while – to be honest I still feel it now – where I just felt stupid for doing what I don’t like and what doesn’t make me happy because it’s not like I am the best at it you know? What is the point?
But I think if you have a reason for keeping on anyway then there is inherent value in what you do.
I am not always determined or persevering or kind or gentle but I try. And I guess I would rather be those then I would other things – even if the other things are more positive in the short term.
So even though it kind of makes me want to cry that I have another 2 and a half years – I know that there are things in this world I want to do and people I want to work with and I know am blessed that I am on the right road to get there. And I’m going to stick it out.
And when I graduate I will be so, so proud.