If you’ve been following my posts on this blog (all two of them), you’ll (hopefully) know that I’ve been telling the story of my journey from graduation to where I am at now – I thought this would be a good way to kick things off before delving into more specific topics.
Last time, I ended off with a hint about something that I stumbled into in late January of this year, and have been pursuing since – The Storytelling Project.
I was all set to crack that can of beans wide open this week; to let you waft in the sweet smell of preservatives, when I came across this image:
Immediately, I knew that I had to take a bit of a detour. See, that image has essentially been my life the last few months. Despite the excitement that has come with pursuing The Storytelling Project, I’ve also spent much of the time feeling like shit.
It’s the result of a number of things: the shot confidence that comes from multiple job rejections. The financial stress of only having part time work that barely (if even) covers expenses. The emotional ups and downs that come with still working through the after effects of a breakup.
It has been a constant struggle to stay motivated and upbeat; to get out of bed some mornings. I routinely have days where I don’t. Well, except to eat copious amounts of cereal.
Side note: Cereal is the greatest fucking thing on the planet
Within this maelstrom of emotion, I’ve spent a lot of time dwelling on my failures, fuck-ups and missteps. Those three things characterize much of my last few years.
Example: when I applied to the University of Toronto’s Philosophy program, and then switched out of it after two weeks, and into English…which lasted another few months. English to history, history to…Middle Eastern Studies? How’d that even get in there? To, eventually, settling on a major in Peace and Conflict Studies. What a mistake that was. At U of T, the PCS program starts in second year. At the end of that first year in the program, I wrote a paper and gave a presentation called “Why Peace and Conflict Studies Sucks” (I think my professor really enjoyed it).
I wanted to drop out.
But…I didn’t. I didn’t have the courage to face the black hole that life would have become. The uncertainty, the second guessing and the limitless (read: overwhelming) choice.
Besides, I was already two years and $15,000+ in, might as well finish what I started, right?
Besides, I was “supposed” to get a degree, right?
Besides, despite my dislike of the experience, my marks were excellent, so I should just be happy; grin and bear it, right?
But the fuck ups are not limited to school.
From bad financial decisions…spending money I didn’t have on shit I didn’t need.
To career decisions…failing to move quickly enough, or with enough motivation and drive to secure jobs; failing to suck it up and work jobs I didn’t want when the need for money was greater than the need for job satisfaction.
To relationships…failing to see beyond my own somewhat abnormal obsession with work; failing to balance my priorities and fucking up one of the few things that had been consistently positive over the last couple years of this journey into adulthood.
Our failures, fuckups and missteps litter the road from adolescence to “real people life”. As I stumble down that path, tripping over all that is strewn about before me, I’m realizing that the hardest part of that transition is not letting the fuckups drown you. The hardest part is realizing that everyone has them, and that they don’t make you any less than you are. Realizing that, in the grand scheme of this thing we call life, they really aren’t all that big a deal.
I can’t pretend that I’ve gotten any good at any of those things (I also can’t pretend that I am not currently sitting on my bed as I type this, drowning my feelings in a box of Ritz Bits sandwiches). I just know that they need to happen.
Hopefully, through this blog, we can try and get to that understanding together.
Until next time.
Bonus! This song made me feel really crummy today. It’s great, though…