In 21 years, almost 22, I’ve always done everything hoping to get that “I’m doing the right thing” feeling. Because not only was I raised to always do the right thing, but also because I was deadly afraid of screwing up.
To make my parents proud was the only thing I wanted. I knew they had high hopes for me. I knew they wanted me to be great. To be better than they were. To have more than they had. To be more successful, to make more money, to have a better job. Because somehow, that meant I would be happy. I would be safe.
I always did the best I could at school. I was never a bad student because I wanted to have the best grades. I would cry if I didn’t. That being said, I was never one of the kids that studied for days before the test. I would be so lazy, most of my papers were written on the last 2 days before the deadline. But that didn’t cause me harm because I would learn everything in class and while doing homework.
I started to lose focus when I got into high school. I would be the best at some things but it was like that wasn’t my goal anymore. I was good, but not great. I started to be bad at math, which I used to love… Suddenly it wasn’t as easy as it used to be. On the other hand, Biology and English were always my favorite. They never disappointed me.
I think part of the reason for this change was being a teenager. Not only was I starting to feel things I hadn’t before, I was also starting to think differently. I started to notice people, meaning that I began to analyse the way they functioned, their thoughts, their moves. I started to question motives and I liked to be inside other peoples heads. I got distracted.
I finally found what I really liked to do. I liked to think. Not about class and tests but about minds and actions. I started to be interested in a lot more things outside school. I started to be really good at Philosophy and writing.
I got into College not because I wanted but because it was what I should do. What was expected of me. I didn’t know that before but I know that now. I was hoping I was doing the right thing.
After changing majors to Film, I was excited. I hoped I was choosing the right thing for good. Now that I’m close to ending it I’m extremely demotivated. I’ve been wanting to quit for so long.
The one thing I know is that I still love to write. I still love to think. But I honestly don’t know what the right thing is anymore. I never did.
I’m still an ambitious human. I want to be great at something. I still want to make my parents proud. I just hope I make myself proud too.
I’m tired of trying to do the right thing and being afraid to fail. I’ve failed more times that I can count. I’ve failed myself, my parents, my friends… my dreams. It shouldn’t scare me anymore.
When I was about 10 years old, I broke a window in my grandmother’s house while attempting to do a handstand on the couch. I remember I was mortified. Scared to death. Almost about to cry. Not because I was afraid she would yell at me, because she never would. I was scared of disappointing her. That she would think I wasn’t a good girl. That I was unworthy of her love. I hid under the couch for a while and when I was ready I went to her and I said I was sorry.
She didn’t yell at me, she didn’t say anything other than “It’s ok!”. She called a man to repair it and I never heard a word about it after. She continued to see me as her beloved granddaughter. She continued to see me as me.
That accident should have taught me something at the time but I could only see this lesson now:
The people that love you will never stop loving you just because you screw up. They will get sad or mad, they will be quiet or yell. It will hurt them sometimes, they will be disappointed perhaps. But they will always love you if you show them you’re willing to make things better.
It is a rare moment when you get to experience that “I know I’m doing the right thing” feeling. It may never come. But I’m ok with that. I’m fine with breaking a few windows now. I’m fine with saying “I’m sorry”. I’m willing to ask for help. And that’s all I can do for now.