Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Let's be honest for a second, here.

Tomorrow I'll be twenty-two (which I guess just means that I can -officially- relate to just about every single Lily Allen song ever written). This one's my favorite.

And like everyone else, I'm trying to convince myself that it's okay--okay to be unsure, okay not to know, okay to acknowledge that I feel a little lost (or a lot lost, even). Okay to admit that even if I am strong, I often don't feel that way.

People keep asking when I plan to graduate from college. The truth is that I don't really know or even care. I finally looked at my credits and figured out that I'll probably be able to graduate sometime in 2012. But I only did that so I'd have a "real answer"to give. I'll get there when I get there. It's kind of hard to pinpoint it when I'm not even sure what "getting there" means to me yet.

I spent the day working on my women's studies final--a series of short essay-length responses to questions about articles we've read throughout the semester. I was geeking out so hard. I loved it. I'm lucky. At least I know that there's still something out there I love, even if I don't quite have a firm grasp on it just yet.

I keep repeating to myself that we're all different--myself included. And we all have our own ways of handling things.

Tragedy, for instance, affects me more profoundly than it does many people, no matter how distant it is from me. And I was surrounded by a lot of it last year. I felt as though I was expected to to push it aside because it wasn't "mine." My friend Liz (who's my age) lost her parents and brother suddenly. A month later, Tracy's house burned down. And three months after that, Sharon's six-year-old daughter drowned in Otsego Lake during a church outing.

I tried to focus on my own shit. At the time, I was very busy with work I didn't really find fulfilling. The trouble wasn't the workload or even the fact that I didn't find it meaningful, but rather, that I couldn't bring myself to admit it. And time was a'wastin'.

Everything that had happened to Liz, Tracy, and Sharon, plus the fact that I was still closeted and thus living dishonestly, made me realize that life's too short. Well-intentioned adults (my parents, professors, etc) kept telling me to chill out because I was only twenty and had all kinds of time to figure shit out. But I had learned the hard way (by attending a funeral for a six-year-old) that you don't know how much (or how little) time you have. No one can really afford to live the way I was living--if you can even call it living.

So this year, I've tried really hard to be honest. I came out to my parents (and just about everyone else who hadn't known). I gave up on editing, transferred colleges, and am undoubtedly happier than I was a year ago.

But since I'm being honest, I'll admit that I'm still scared shitless. I don't really know what's next and know that it's not over because I'm still living and therefore, becoming.

Life is messy. I am messy. Admit it, you're messy too.

It'll be okay.

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