Wednesday, July 04, 2007

It's Damn Near...

...5:00 in the morning and I'm still up. Today or yesterday I should say was a pretty damn awful day for reasons I won't go into here but what it made me realize is that I am in need of a profound change in my life and I needed it, like, yesterday.

I've been running for awhile. Left Miami went to Atlanta. By default ended back up in Jacksonville. Ran away from Jacksonville and landed in Tallahassee and really want to leave Tallahassee and go...somewhere.

Now I'm intelligent enough to realize that it's not the place, its me but it doesn't stop me from looking for something...whatever it is that keeps me running. Some would say I'm having a quarterlife crisis. But this crisis has been brewing since high school.

I have never ever felt in place or like I belonged. Until, just very recently, I managed to feel less like an outsider and more like I fit in somewhere and wasn't some grand anomaly. But in all honesty I know in my heart of hearts that I'm not doing what I should be doing or in the place I need to be. And its frustrating. This restlessness has been haunting me since high school.

Now if I were to be completely honest I have always, ALWAYS done what is expected of me. And I would have never gone to college when I did if it wasn't for the face that that's what was expected of me. I didn't really want to go. I like learning but stopped liking school once I hit high school. And most of what I learned in my life I've learned outside of the classroom on my own time in my own way.

I would have benefited greatly from taking a year to intern or travel or do a little soul searching to figure out who the hell I was at 18 and what the hell I wanted to be. And not "be" in the since of do I want to be a doctor or a lawyer but "be" in the since of what kind of person did I want to be, what kind of citizen, what kind of friend daughter...individual.

But being the poor Black girl who's mother's one goal in life was to send her to college, I took my poor, black, ass to school. And I was miserable. Let me repeat that: I was MISERABLE. There's no other way to put it.

And do this day. I keep doing what's expected of me. And I am still fucking miserable because of it. In the last six months I have gotten two Americorps Vista positions turned them both down. I have talked my way out of applying to several jobs that I was really interested in and I had a job interview for a pretty cool position in Miami that I turned down. Why? Well one, I'm a chicken-shit but more importantly it wasn't what was expected of me. Everyone keeps telling me "Finish school," "Get that Masters." My mother (with the help of my 65 year old aunt) made it abundantly clear that she expects me to finish this degree.

Except...this ain't what I want to do. It's just not. I've come to grips with that. But now comes the hard part. Those two words that can strike fear in the strongest of hearts: Now what?

1 comment:

orangemoon said...

I really hear where you're coming from. Have you actually read "Quarterlife Crisis?" Good shit. I bought it a few years ago when I almost quit grad school.

This is a shocking revelation for me: You, feeling like you don't know where you fit in? And miserable in school? I'm surprised, but I guess we don't always see what's not readily on the surface.

This is going to sound all flowery and psychology-y, but what is your vision for yourself without all of the expectation? What in your heart of hearts do you want to do? Or is what you're looking for the lost opportunity to sort of flounder and "find yourself"? And what are you running from? (I really sound like my therapist right now.)

Expectation is definitely a mutha...