When I was in the 10th grade we were required to do this assignment in English class called the “Sophomore Project.” It was meant to be a way to highlight who we were and who we wanted to be in that space of time. Basically teaching us that nothing is certain and we all grow into new people. Plus, it’s always fun to look back and see our own growth. The times I’ve perused mine, I see a few things that concern me. The first, which hasn’t changed, I am one lazy bitch. I half-assed that project to death. I shouldn’t have even gotten a C. That was my teacher being generous. Truly. Most of my pieces were on notebook paper that I inserted, the night before, into a binder that I had just glued on a piece of paper, to the front, that said “My Sophomore Project” in bold Arial type. For being as imaginative as I was it lacked all qualities of creativity. My mind was on other things, I guess.
The second thing that sticks out is how as jaded as I am now I am not nearly as angry as I was then. Jesus, I was one cranky son of a bitch. I have come to the conclusion it was due to my overwhelming sense of self loathing. At the time I was very, VERY, religious and I was battling my sexual identity. I was also a pimply faced, greasy haired, fat, kid. No one liked me and I didn’t like myself. So I became bitter. I was, shall we say, jaded. It was then that I turned into writing. I took my observations of my surroundings and angst and turned it into words and pumped out a piece of writing I am, to this day, very proud to call my own. It was filled with so much personality that I still canot quite capture. I was on fire. And it was a beautiful thing artistically.
The final thing, and this is the one that worries me the most, was how completely unrealistic I was with planning my life goals and the expectations and my limitations. I had no clue how the outside world worked or how what I wanted out of life (getting a manuscript published or acting in film) was 10% talent 90% luck and just being in the right place at the right time. So for a list of the ten items of “where I saw myself in ten years” one of them was to have finished 10 novels. Bitch, I haven’t even finished-finished half of that, let alone one. Sure I have written one novel length work of fiction but that’s just from sitting down at a keyboard and banging out whatever popped into my head to move the story forward. And even that was a journey. It’s strange how I could, in one hand, hold so much optimism for my future but in the other so much hatred and cynicsm. One obviously cancels the other out, or one could say that they actually balance each other out.
Dreaming is what keeps us going. Giving ourselves something to wish and hope for gives us a goal. We need a rainbow to keep chasing to make life bearable, even if it is unrealistic. In the moment it is exactly what we need. And as I age, the reality of life starts taking those dreams away, but it does not seem to take the same amount of angst. In fact it seems to take one out of one into the other, throwing me off balance. To be brutally honest, throwing me into crazy spirals. In fact I have gone into two. Being out of them I can look at them objectively. I am absolutely embarrassed by them because they were so public, as all crazy spirals are. I made such broad statements by quitting my job and wanting to go to school to study biology to become a C.S.I. technician. Or… becoming a geologist. I mean… These were 100% out of left field. In the moment they seemed to fit. They made perfect sense. Now… Well, I see the truth in my insanity. Which is why my newest thoughts have me leery.
As I sit poised at the cliff, looking down into the jagged canyon of my 30’s, I contemplate going back to school. I had attempted it once back when I was just out of high school but I lacked any real motivation and didn’t quite grasp the “I’m here by choice” concept that comes with going to college. Like many that failed to grasp that, I failed and didn’t attempt it again. Although, I want to return and get a BA in Journalism. But unlike before (when I wanted to be a CSI) I’m not quitting my job. In fact, I’m doubling down and taking further education to get my trainee license for real estate appraisal. (Just in case my enthusiasm somehow peters out, you know?) This would be in the mean time while I wait for the summer semester to begin. Then upon that time I will register for two classes and continue with that pattern every semester until spring of 2017 where I HOPE to graduate with an AA and then move to Long Beach to continue my education for my BA. This is all tentative.
My biggest fears are as follows: 1) that my enthusiasm will lessen or extinguish before I can register for the summer semester or 2)this is just another moment of crazy. The only piece of evidence against number two is that my doctor just put me on mood stabilizers and coupled with the anti-depressants I am currently taking that should put me in a clearer head space. (Shouldn’t it?)
This is the start of a new life. I can feel it in my core.