Jumping Out Of Junior Year And Into The Abyss

Jumping Out Of Junior Year And Into The Abyss

The opposite of fear is love and I won't punish myself in the dark anymore.
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As classes come to a close and I lay in bed getting lost in my thoughts, I can't help but be content as I let my mind wander. For much of my life, the idea of letting my mind get the best of me was terrifying, an immediate death wish. Delving into the dusk of existential dread and those pesky demons was a living nightmare and one I couldn't foresee an escape route.

Only now many moons and moods later am I able to allow myself to get ahead of myself without a sense of fear.

Wrapping up my junior year as it is for I'm sure many like myself a harrowing task within itself. In fact, I may even say it is the best year of college. Though it is not short of the mental breakdowns and early sunrises that await you after a hard night of work, I feel it's a very humbling time. It's one that only after completion forces you to reflect on where you've been and where you're headed next year aka the big one.

It brings me back to my junior year in high school. The two share their similarities of grueling work, never enough time to get it all done, and tears, lots and lots of tears. And as I mentioned my peak year of staying up at night in unadulterated paranoia with many questions left in the air instead of answered. While I often can get in that headspace still from time to time, I lay here writing this three years later in a bed thousands of miles away from the one where those terrors began. I tucked those nostalgic fears in the covers of my childhood bed and haven't missed them since.

Now when I have those wildfire thoughts I am much less worried. Instead, I fire out my thoughts from a place of curiosity with hints of excitement peering in now and then. I take in information and let it flow through me. The thoughts I have at night have become therapeutic instead of the shackles trapping me to my room.

It's not always easy, especially when having to deal with the past. That is the easiest way to sidetrack any sort of progress or hope. It's hard to focus on who you've become when you get caught up on who you used to be. If you're looking for the quickest way to bring you down, think of the last time someone said they wanted nothing to do with you anymore. Double points if the person saying it was to yourself.

But this doesn't have to be the case. The past is not always a burden, but a reminder of time. Each instance is a benchmark even the bad ones! Hidden under your not so great moments, it's telling of what you were going through during the time and what you were looking for but weren't able to communicate it others even to yourself.

You no longer search for what you did wrong to the friend who expressed they couldn't be there for you anymore. You no longer trace back over your relationship for what created those cracks where you slipped through. Even with the accidental recrossing of paths, you can go your separate ways without any strings attached.

You no longer think of when your first love stopped thinking of you. Of who said what, who did what, and if it was even such a good idea in the first place. You don't think of what life they're living now because that's ancient history, almost a different lifetime. Energy is wasted on thinking of those who make us feel weak.

And of course, those littlest things that are meant to be earthquakes aren't anymore. After years of disappointments, unexpected flair ups, and mistakes, it takes a lot more to explode. I feel how I have endured more and the resilience I have developed over the years. Oddly enough, I feel I have been able to embrace the more loving, emotional, and passionate I've become.

The opposite of fear is love and I won't punish myself in the dark anymore. I try my best to keep that promise. Some nights I definitely lose and the walls slowly build up around me. But there are also nights like these that are able to overpower such times. Nights where I lay down in the bed of my dorm, uncertain, but blissfully navigating my way into the waters of the different paths ahead of me. Time may not always be on my side, but it has an extended stay for now. And I hold onto it for all it's worth, wandering and waiting for whatever's bound to come next.

Cover Image Credit: Thinking Like A Village

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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