8 months ago I graduated with my bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in women and gender studies. Graduating to me meant that I would start a "real life" sales job (or any job really), with a salary and benefits. Graduating to me meant I could finally dedicate my life to all of the things I barely had time to commit to for the past four years. These things included modeling, acting, singing, and writing. Things that didn't involve being trapped into an education system I was forced to enter because if I didn't, my parents would be disappointed. And for some reason that meant more to me than my sanity.
I made myself a lot of promises I didn't keep. I told myself I'd do more but what I really did was way less than the bare minimum. I mean, I drank enough water to be semi-hydrated. I ate enough food to silence the grumbles. But I didn't do enough to really nurture myself. The self I put on hold for four years to be.
We're often told we have more time than we do. As if 22 could ever possibly feel young in a world where a child becomes a millionaire for yodeling in a Walmart. Yeah... 22 feels like a world of opportunities with that competition.
And time... time is measured in a lot of different ways depending on who you are. It's when you need to be at work, when you need to start cooking dinner and when you need to go to bed early enough to wake up on time. And those are the best measures of time, the most comforting. Because they're for certain, we know that there is an endpoint but most of all we know there is a beginning.
And then there's measuring things based on your own behavioral version of a circadian clock. Like, when is the right time to have sex with someone? Is it when you know how you feel, do we do it to figure out how we feel? Do we wait for a "moment"? And it's this silly basic gibberish we all think of day to day but never actually say it. It's not exactly daunting, not always anyway. But I think what has always struck a chord with me is that, no matter how passionate we are about something, we still have to choose whether or not we want to follow it. Which on paper, sounds powerful and strong. But that's not how it feels.
Beginnings always seemed and sounded like the easiest step. "To begin" is broadcasted across the world, stamped on every headline. It's the inspiration and energy that fuels mostly everything in the world. I think it's supposed to feel good. But even hearing the word beginning. Sounding it out so slowly it's like I'm speaking a different language, builds up a force inside of me that I have no idea how to control.
I've crumbled, tossed, sprinkled, and flaunted my self-doubt, courage, confidence, and wit in a million different pieces scattered across every connection and soul I've ever met. I scramble, daily, trying to find anything left inside of me to simply start.
I blamed my lack of starting on a lot of things. I thought, maybe it's because I just don't feel good enough. But that's not it. When I am loving and learning and experiencing and most of all expressing, nothing but good is left inside of me to be felt.
I thought, maybe I'm not confident enough. But soon after that thought leaks into my brain you'll find me talking to strangers throughout my day and making bonds that continue to build, shape, mold, inspire and fuel me to keep going. You'll find me wholeheartedly expressing myself in a lot of different ways, unapologetically. I'd personally define that as confidence, who's to really say, but that's not what's stopping me either.
As I sit and struggle to find the words to piece together why it is I can't begin. Why I can't share my thoughts publicly, why I can't even finish this list of things I haven't done and want to do because the list is bouncing around my brain so quickly I can barely keep up. I think I can just sum it up to: I have no idea who the fuck I am.
I know I try my best some days. I know I self-sabotage on others. I know that I have a roof over my head and supportive individuals in my life who see a light in me that sometimes is so dim in my eyes, I don't even want to look at the disappointment, so I keep them closed shut. I know that thing's that I'm feeling we have names for. We have medications for. We know of things that people do to ease their mind in more ways than one for better or for worse. All I know is what I'm feeling in the moment, and that's not even all of the time. But what I've been learning is that the chaos of my thoughts is okay.
We ALL don't know who we are. We're ALL pretending and have some kind of script we share to new people we meet and even lifelong friends because we think if we don't have a plan or a goal or an endpoint, something we can reach and grab. We have nothing.
The truth is, I'm a work in progress. And no, that's not just because I'm 22, freshly graduated and scared of what's to come. I think it's just that there is no definite answer to who we are. And there is no point in time where we will officially know it.
I think we're everything we've ever felt and loved, but who I am, is not going to ever be defined by the things that keep me up at night, by the things I didn't do or did do. It's always going to be the imagination of where I'm trying to be. It means, there is a comfort that indefinitely we will never have to know. We will never get to an endpoint. Because the point, at least to me, is that we are in control over the creation of who we are, and that, that's who I am. The constant creator of my own little chaotic destiny, at 22 and years to come after.