Posts tagged with "future"
I am seriously considering switching out of the English program.
Maybe not now, but soon. After a year of university, I’ve reached the dawning realization that maybe a career in publishing isn’t my dream after all. I want to write, of course - I need to write - but I am not happy where I am. I could truthfully admit I’m damn near miserable, writing six-page essays in M.L.A format and sitting in two-hour lectures about onomatopoeia and taking god-awful Logic and Quantitative Reasoning courses just so that I’ll be “well-rounded.” I couldn’t care less about getting A’s, or maintaining a gleaming four-point-oh G.P.A, or - quite least of all - the piece of paper I’ll receive that sums up four-to-six years of blood and sweat and systematically-conditioned torture, which I’ll be expected to frame and hang in my office cubicle with pride. I suppose I’m critical about post-secondary education in general, but even more so because I’ve dedicated a year towards striving for a career I don’t wholly want. I need to quit questioning myself and admit the truth, in utter frankness and sincerity: I am not happy. I do not want to be here, studying what I am studying. I do not want to be an editor for a publishing company. I may not even want to work in publishing at all.
I want to write novels and screenplays, articles for magazines and newspapers, feature spreads for periodical journals; I want to interview other writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, photographers. I also want a career in fashion - designing editorials, blogging, capturing the visual aesthetic of beautiful clothing. I want to work in the music industry, attending live shows and reviewing albums online. I want to choose scores and soundtracks for films and television shows. I want to make movies. I want to open my own coffee shop that hosts open-mic Fridays for young musical artists wanting a start in the business; I would sell donated used books along with lattes and cappuccinos and chocolate croissants. I want to travel around the world and blog about foreign food and customs and cultural traditions. I want to pursue just about every artistic career that is extremely difficult to succeed in and hardly earns enough monthly income to make a decent living on. As naive and idealistic as this statement may seem, these are the pursuits that I would be motivated enough to work towards, possibilities for my future that could make me truly happy. It’s a reckless and terrifying thought - changing course, questioning all I thought I’ve wanted for the past few years - but after meeting people who dedicate themselves so much to what they do - whether that be designing, directing, creating music, or even serving customers - I realize that it’s their passion that makes them so vibrant. I am pale gray in comparison, with my A- essays that I take zero pride in, the writing I force myself to enjoy because I’m “supposed” to (as much as I respect Shakespeare, I can hardly press a quarter of the way through one of his plays without falling asleep) and contrived, mimicking poetry. I’ve been aiming towards a life that isn’t mine; a life that seems promising in theory but is tasteless in substance. I don’t fit in this world of “higher-level learning” (insofar, at least) and I don’t have my whole future mapped out as neatly and precisely as I had (naively) thought.
So what am I going to do? I am not going to abandon university altogether (as much as I despise the sometimes ostentatious atmosphere of post-secondary, I’m still intellectually curious enough that I want to continue exploring other fields of study; besides that, I’ve only just completed my first year, and I don’t wish to surrender to a lifetime of greeting-and-seating so quickly.) I’m going to take courses that I actually want to take, as scattered and foreign as they may be; art history, more Gender Studies classes, maybe even script-writing. I’ll learn the basics of a new language - Spanish or Italian? - and brush up on my French. I’ll start saving up my money so I can travel somewhere (anywhere?) I’ll keep writing in copious amounts and poring over the spreads of fashion magazines and watching beautiful films; I’ll introduce myself to more passionate people and learn more about what they do, and maybe even volunteer myself for some collaborative projects. I’m only eighteen, and I don’t have to know what I want to do, or who I want to be. I may not know until I’m fifty-five and verging on retirement; I may damn well never know. I’m beginning to learn, however, that your occupational pursuit does not define who you are. I could juggle twenty artistic projects at once and be more than happy. My ultimate goal - as for now, at least - is to experiment, and to experience. I need to be sincere to myself and claim my life so it’s mine.
The night I woke swimming
in your heat, the moon
a bone splinter through
pale curtain gauze, is the night
that fills my shoes.
wading shin-deep through rivers –
cobalt waltzes on Lakeshore Avenue –
the sound of television static
through warm rain, shadow lips
and ticking stoves –
Time is an intrusion, distance
is a key. I am light
and you are the sand
that filled my shoes.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve changed within the past few years. Even when I think back to the beginning of this year, I feel as though I have become an entirely different person. We often don’t consider how much mistakes and experiences shape us, but after a relationship that lasted for eighteen months of my life, a new relationship with someone who I had been good friends with for over half the year, and all the friendships that I’ve lost, gained and maintained since elementary school, I can safely say that I have been influenced by just about everyone and everything. I’ve also been influenced by teachers who have encouraged me to value learning and to continue writing, and I can’t express enough how grateful I am for the greater and less trivial lessons they have taught me.
I was always quiet and reclusive, particularly within the past two years (when I finally stopped denying this and instead began to accept it as who I am), but I am often very moved by other people and their words, the slight glimpses of their characters. I love being alone, yet I love being surrounded by others. Despite that I was not as engaged with high school as I perhaps should’ve been, and that I didn’t condure enough of an effort to talk to those who I may have gotten along with, I was effected by just about everyone. And even though I couldn’t stand being in the same room with a lot of people I attended high school with, there were those people who seemed smart and interesting and sincere, and even though we weren’t friends, I was inspired by their opinions and their individuality. I think those people gave me hope, and I didn’t realize until now that I will miss seeing them in class and in the hallways five days a week.
And then there are my friends, old and new. I may have been a little tipsy the other day when I said this, but I truly meant it when I said you were beautiful human beings; all of you are. Each and every one of you have pushed me to become a better person and to take the best kinds of risks. At three o’clock in the morning I laid upstairs and stared at the ceiling and listened to the onslaught of rain against the windowpane, the shouts and laughter from outside, the hum of voices two doors over, and felt feather-light knowing all of you were so near. I think that was just about the best feeling in the world – to realize this was my present, our present, and nothing could take that away from us. Most of you will never read this, but I want to thank you all for those moments regardless. I really do love you all, despite your mistakes and weaknesses; your flaws are only gorgeous in my eyes. I hope we can feel infinite together someday soon.
Since two years ago, I’ve learned that romantic relationships extract an emotional but gregarious side of me that even I had never witnessed within myself before; I think I have unwittingly begun to apply these traits to other aspects of my life, such as my friendships and my writing. I have become more open to other kinds of people and new experiences that I had once misjudged. I’ve kept the morals that I’ve always had, but I’ve since realized that just because someone drinks now and again doesn’t mean they aren’t a principled and intelligent person, and just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to abandon what you love to do. I have begun to see my parents as humans, and I understand that they are the way they are because they care about me. I’ve become more open with them, and even though we are entirely different people in just about every way, we get along well. I have realized that there is much more to people than how they look, and that it really is true that beauty emanates through character and imperfections as opposed to physical appearance. I try to absorb everything around me, to bask in the brevity of every waking instant, and to remember that there is a life outside of all that I presently know.
The changes that will occur within the next few months will be very difficult for me to accept, and it may take a while to be okay with everything. However, after talking to one of my best friends last night, he helped me realize that I do not have to grow apart from the people who are worth staying in contact with; I simply have to make whatever effort I can, and allow fate to run its course. I am content with the person I’ve become and how my final year of high school was spent, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I revel in the quiet, but I think it is the chaos in existing and feeling that moves me above and beyond all else.
I’ve always been the kind of person who embraces change. I love the changes of season, I love to plan, I love the prospect of new beginnings and the hope and clarity that reinvention brings. Sometime this year, however, I realized that for once I am satisfactorily content with who I am and my life in its entirety. I have yet to get my driver’s license, or a part-time job, but these achievements now seem trivial in comparison to all the things I should be happy about; for instance, I am beginning to claim responsibility for my actions. I have come to terms with my social anxiety, and have accepted that I will always prefer observing people rather than mingling with them. My friends are some of the most beautiful individuals in the universe; every day they unknowingly remind me that I must keep my faith in human beings, despite all the ugliness in this world. They have encouraged me to grow and inspired me in ways that I could never quite explain. My boyfriend is always sweet and supportive and teaches me everything from piano scales to feeding ducks from the palm of my hand. I adore my English Lit class. I write constantly, and will be writing for the rest of my life, no matter what. My teachers this year have motivated me to value the art of poetry, and my love for it has grown so much that I have begun to write my own poems. I am happy with how life is; I have never felt so like myself as I presently do.
As lovely as yesterday was, it left me feeling desperately sad, and helpless – helpless, because the aching reality is starting to sink in that before we know it, our lives will never be the same ever again, and there is nothing we can do to avoid the inevitable. All of these ridiculous adventures involving strobe lights, Bailey’s brownies, bad horror films, “anti-sleep” sleepovers, SkipBo, twelve a.m. bus rides, Truth or Dare games, and laughing at the most absurd jokes will be over just as suddenly as they began. Despite how grateful and comforted I feel that three of my best friends will be staying here with me this fall, I can’t resist the thought that everything will be drastically different anyhow. The boys are moving across the country, I am growing apart from one of my closest friends since childhood, one of my other close friends will be attending post-secondary in Victoria, and a number of my other friends will be leaving not just the country, but the continent. I know things will turn out all right; that’s just how life is. I will build new friendships and make new memories and face new challenges in university that I can’t even begin to imagine as my current self. Soon our “present” will be our past – not our pasts, but our past, because those are memories that are ours, that belong to each and every one of us as a whole. I hardly mind that we are graduating from high school; I am welcoming that change, above all. I’ve been ready to graduate for a good year or so. It’s just I simply can’t stand the thought of leaving behind, or being left behind. I have always deemed myself as independent; I suppose it’s never occurred to me how deeply I rely on those I love in order to remain intact, unbroken.
I know I should be celebrating with my friends and enjoying our final days together to the fullest, granting every moment all it can possibly deserve, but that word is still there, stark and simple and ugly – final. Last. The end. I have unwittingly begun to detach myself from the people and life I have grown to become so satisfied, so complete with. Words cannot leave, they cannot be taken away, therefore language has become my sole conviction.