“What am I afraid of? This is supposed to be what dreams are made of…” (Drake - The Resistance).
This one phrase really captures my thoughts at this moment, as I sit and study for finals. It’s these moments, when I’m tired, and it’s dark outside… my mind wanders to far off corners of my mind that it shouldn’t be delving into. I keep those closets locked up tight, because I don’t like what is in them.
Feelings, strange ones, leak out and strangle my mind.
I wonder about the path I’m on and what I’m doing with my life. I’m doing everything correctly, and by the book…but why do I feel so…off? Like a person who smiles when they really shouldn’t be.
It’s those frantic moments when I scream inwardly, “What are you doing? Why are you studying Health Assessment and Anatomy and Physiology? You don’t want this for yourself! Run run run far away.”
And I seek to quiet this conscience of mine that wants to refute everything I’ve ever learned about life - the trajectory we are all pointed towards from out birth. That being: school. college. job. money. success?
So here I am - smart, determined, capable - made for textbooks, and papers and exams. I’m made to be anything that one can correlate with a bright and burning future. I chose nursing, but I know I could’ve chosen any field and been doing just as well as I’m doing now. Here I am, my sophomore year, going into my junior year, seated on a cushion of loans and interest, waiting ‘till I receive the degree that will launch my career and endless possibilities. So why do I feel so…off? Why aren’t I as excited and happy and fulfilled as I should be? Why do I want to run into the distance whenever I look out the window too hard?
”What are you doing?”
Maybe it’s my major? A lawyer …perhaps poly sci? Maybe I should chose something that I wanted. I love writing after all. Maybe I should’ve chosen writing and become a journalist, or I could have written for a magazine. Perhaps I could have written speeches for some of our country’s greatest men! Couldn’t I? But do I have the nerve to simple change my major and everything I’ve set up for myself? Do I have the nerve to look into my parents eyes and witness the disappointment in their eyes. Their daughter…a writer? Is that what they gave up their life in Haiti for….is that what they suffer for? Me, the “only hope”….a writer. And even if they will love me anyway can I look myself in the eyes and deal with the guilt that I will have…the shame I will face. Imagine all the questions and curiosities. Oh gosh, all the sayings: “Really? You could’ve been so much.” & “You have so much potential!” Can I bear the questions that will question my questionable sanity?
But then I say: Fuck it. Fuck them. Fuck it all and do what you WANT. Right? Just do me! And for a brief moment I feel free and happy and eager…until I consider the bills, and the payments, and the debt that I’m sitting on. I consider the debt that will accumulate as I go through even more years of schooling. I think about all my dreams, and aspirations and how they wont become a reality if I don’t make the dollars. I need the “nursing bank”…I need the money in order to meet the needs of not just myself but my future children. I want to give them the world. I want to provide them with all sort of opportunities - jazz, dance, ballet, piano, soccer, violin, private schools, pools, and beaches. But they all require income.
BUT am I worrying too much? I’ll be a fantastic mother and my love is more than pools, and beaches, and cruises to the Bahamas. I don’t need the money, and my future children don’t need it. They need me.
So again….what am I afraid of?
I guess I’m just scared of failure, and the uncertainty that a change of anything could bring. I know my route now. It’s guaranteed. How can I afford to take a risk. I’d be a fool.
And that’s what I’m afraid of….
I don’t want to be foolish. I don’t want to seem weak. I don’t want to seem indecisive.
Not to others, but to myself.
“I want to be better than good enough.”
I’m afraid of disappointing myself more than I’m worried of disappointed the world. And this fear of “the unknown” keeps me in college…in school…studying and learning, while my body earns to just live - travel the world and use my love and compassion to change everything.
I sit and wonder, how can this world as a 17 year self what do you want to be when you grow up, when I haven’t experienced 1/1,000,000 of everything this world has to offer me. The path I was born on has trapped me, and yet, I’ve also trapped myself. I’ve trapped myself from being more than my four walled dorm room. I want to live in no walls. I want to just be. So tempted I am to drop the books and just lift my middle finger, and with just the clothes on my back, hop on a bus to anywhere, and just do. There’s just so much to the world and I still haven’t seen much of it. Two decades of my life nearly gone and I’m still here - in teh day in and day out of life. I thought college would change it, and in so many ways it have. There’s things I never thought I could attain that I have. The knowledge I’ve amassed is incredible. But I’m still here in the “get money. get money” mentality of life. I’m tired of being here. I never asked for this and sometimes I think if I had been given a choice, I would’ve rejected it completely.
However, that’s as far as my strangeness goes. My rational self quickly tampers down that idealistic part of me by asking: “What are you afraid of? This is what dreams are made of.” Don’t I see how much I have? How much I have to be grateful for? And I’m just gonna give it all up? How disgraceful of me.
And I hang my head in shame. I force that closet closed (and hope its closed for good). I open that textbook - stretch the spine, and I focus my eye on every word in that text. Enough of the nonsense. It’ll all work out. I just need time. I’ll be happy in the end of the day.
I have to be.
”Ain’t no turning back for me. I’m in it ‘til it’s over”
My friend bought his little sister this Nigerian princess Barbie doll <3 She liked it so much, that she wanted to wear her hair in an afro.
Barbie doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The right influence can encourage a young girl to be prideful of who she is - not ashamed.
Black is beautiful :)