“Moving On”

April 12, 2019

It’s hard to move on.

Something that’s really stuck with me recently is how easily we fall into routines, how quickly we can adapt to our circumstances. At least, how quickly I find that I can.

I’ve been thinking about my college experience. I haven’t had a good one. I can safely say that, I think, these have been four of the hardest years of my life.

Not because of the work itself, frankly I flourish in an academic setting. Because that’s how I was trained. I never really learned how to be a person, per say, but I know damn well how to be a student.

I know these corridors, these sidewalks, the four stark-white walls of my apartment. I know the trees, know the construction sites. I know shortcuts, the way to the bathroom on each floor of each building. I know how to get to classes I haven’t had for years.

I know how to get As. I know how to write a professional email. I know how to write an essay, to put in the least amount of effort for a better grade than half my classmates.

But I don’t know how to be proud of myself. I don’t know how to do anything other than take standardized tests, or submit essays on pre-selected topics, or reply to emails, or do what I’m told.

Objectively, if you look at my grades, I’ve done very well here.

If you look at the reality of my emotional state, I almost didn’t make it out.

I graduate in around 20 days. And it’s not a day too soon.

I’ll miss parts of my time here, of course. I’ll miss some of my professors, some of my friends. My colleagues, my peers.

But I won’t miss the hopelessness, the helplessness. The sleepless nights full of tears. The feelings of inadequacy. The certainty that I’m a disappointment, that I’ll never amount to anything. That I’m nothing.

For a few straight weeks, I listened to this song: “Not Ready To Go” by Diane Coffee

It’s about holding on to something that’s holding you back. That could be a person, or a place, or an idea.

For me, it’s all three. The person is me, the place is here, and the idea is who I was.

I’m ready to move on.

For my own sake. For who I was, for who I am, and for who I will be.

For those who love me, and those I love.

For the future.

And don’t get me wrong, I still love this song. And I’ll still listen to it. That’s what I love so much about Diane Coffee –their music is just as mercurial as we are as people.

When I first listened to “Not Ready To Go,” it was a song of defeat. Of hopelessness:

I feel like such a child, lost in your fight

I felt tied to my past, tied down with insecurities:

I’m a prisoner of my own reservations

I’m just tied up by the things I put me through

Now it’s a song of defiance:

I shouldn’t wanna stay, but I’m not ready to go

I know I shouldn’t want to stay. I know I don’t belong here. I know I deserve more than to be miserable and reluctant to trust myself.

I deserve to be free of this.

And I will be. Because I’m strong, and I’ll get through it. And one day I’ll be really, really proud of myself.

And every day I wake up and drag myself out of bed to tackle the day is one day closer to that day.