I’m debating not returning to college next semester. And I know that as soon as some people read that sentence, they’re going to text me. Before they do, let me explain. This past semester has been my most challenging. I’ve been through rough times before (trust and believe, a girl been THROUGH it,) but I’ve never held such high grounds for myself personally. I’ve never spoken up and fought for myself like this. Not just with this whole marching band thing, but for everything that I believed in. I found this voice behind the mask of Lizzy. I call her Liz, she’s my next evolution. And she’s a fucking warrior.
If I was a Pokemon, Lizzy is the starter one. She can fight, but her levels are weak. She’ll put up a decent battle, but we’ll be going back and forth to that Pokecenter to recharge. I don’t want to say that the girl I used to be was broken and damaged. I’m tired of using that analogy because she was never broken. Looking back at who I was when I was younger is somewhat bamboozling because the heart has always been there. That determination, that fight and passion, that shining light is at the root of my soul.
Throughout time, there were instances that people wanted to bury that spirit for whatever reason. People weren’t comfortable hearing a voice out of me. Lizzy was meant to be seen, not heard. So when I would speak up, I was in the wrong. No one wanted to see a situation from a perspective that wasn’t their own. Trying to get people to do that and being constantly shut down dimmed me. Anyone that forced my light out made me believe that I was broken, that I wasn’t going to be put to use. But a lamp without a lightbulb is still a lamp.
I have always believed that you should fight for what is right. Our society is so controlled by taught thoughts that we trained ourselves to ignore our voice of reason, out of fear of being seen as the ‘other.’ This past semester, I lost that mask and I don’t regret it.
It’s funny to feel this feeling and think about how my entire life has lined up almost unbelievably right. I was meant to get to this point and feel this feeling. Someone once gave me the name iRobot. Wild because it’s true, I have always been like a robot. Lizzy never stops. People never stop in general. From pre-k to college, I’ve been in a non-stop loop of education and extracurriculars, following a straight line. That’s not a bad thing, it’s a privilege really. There have been many obstacles in my life that I’ve had to power through and I did. Completely unfazed, I kept on moving forward to the next thing. Everything has been a test to my sanity and I always believed that it was pushing me towards the breaking point. When was I going to snap?
These past 4 months have been one of the hardest wars I’ve had to fight, but it’s taught me something new that I wasn’t able to see before. It wasn’t pushing me to break, it was pushing me to breathe. When will I finally stop going and just breathe? My car does this thing when I’ve been driving for an extended period of time; a message will pop up on the dashboard asking, “Would you like to take break?” Exactly like that. That’s how I feel in life. I’ve always been this high-functioning robot and still can be, but the world is asking me if I want to take a break. I am human. I have emotions and feelings and there’s so many cracks in my armor that need to be repaired. There should be a period of time that I get to breathe. Maybe this is it.
Don’t get me wrong, I care about my education and I want my degree. Journalism is in my blood and it’s a realistic thing for me to achieve. I didn’t think I’d live to see the day that I’d graduate high school. It wasn’t something that I strived for in my timeline. Graduating was a goal, but it wasn’t a major one. This is. Our college degree is supposed to be the stepping stone to our entire career, the start of life. I want to reach that next level because it’s all I dream about. Working in something that I love, doing something of importance, making a difference. I know who that side of me is. It’s real and it exists, but somewhere along the way, I let that overpower the other half of me. The half that’s been screaming at me to slow down and take it easy. This’ll sound like the classic college cliche, but perhaps I need to do what I want to do and follow my dreams. The ones that aren’t dead anyway.
I’ve been following a certain path for so long, afraid to take a risk and step away from it because everyone usually said that leads to failure or lost hope. As much as I might be afraid of that, I can’t help but wonder where my life will head if I don’t chase after what I want? If I ignore my voice of reason and keep moving forward like I’ve been used to doing, what if that choice leads to a future of continuously ignoring the voice? I want to put that voice to use and get all the ideas out, just to try and see where it could take me.
I’m spending the winter break debating this decision. In my eyes, it’s not a huge life-changing choice, but it does affect a lot of what my future may be. I know we’re all wondering what I will do if I don’t go back to school. I’ve been making plans and organizing it on paper, but I’m gonna be honest; I don’t know. And I don’t care that I don’t know. I mean, isn’t that what life is all about? Not knowing what will come next, but taking every opportunity in front of us in hopes to better ourselves? If we don’t, we’re just living in a constant state of fear. Sometimes, being a little reckless is worth it. Sometimes, there is no plan to follow. We take that chance and figure it out along the way. Et c’est juste la vie.
Peace, love and happiness,