Life is crazy. And with Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted nothing more than to whip up a list of gratitude and submit that for my Odyssey deadline, board the plane, and go home. But it’s been so long since I’ve actually met a deadline, and the guilt of my irresponsibility is unfortunately stronger than my ability to come up with a better topic than this. So in explaining myself here, I will also be making a promise to myself, because if there is anything left for me to say, it’s this:
I started writing at the Odyssey because I had something to say. I had thoughts to share, advice to give, and stories to tell. But as my fall semester at Berkeley grew exponentially in difficulty, I found it harder and harder to sit down and write with the ease that I wrote over the summer. I ran out of things to say because I realized how much more I need to grow. There are a lot of things I could blame it on: the election, a fight with a friend, midterms, etc. I could easily say I was just too traumatized to meet deadlines or too heartbroken to function properly. But in the end it really comes down to how far I allow myself to be overwhelmed by these events. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And if I stand for anything at all, I will not hand anyone the power to make me feel less than whole or to take away my voice. Blaming circumstances and other people does not excuse one from responsibility. For the past few weeks, this is what I have been doing. I handed others the power to hurt me. I decided not to fight back because I thought that if I allowed myself time to mourn, I would get over it eventually. In some cases, confronting the issue works and time heals. But time is not in itself a cure and moving on in life is a two way street. So instead, I will breathe. I will continue to live. I will be okay with not knowing and feeling insecure every once in a while. I will be a million times more motivated to achieve the goals I have set forth for myself. Because if I’ve learned anything from these past few weeks, it’s that I don’t know everything, but I do know that I am capable of empowering myself. And next week I’ll have something to say, not because someone told me I needed to, but because this time I’ll have the courage to say it.