One day I’ll look back on this, and guffaw at how obtuse everything seems at eighteen.
I know right now everything seems murky and you are lost and unsure of where you want to be. At merely 18, after being controlled and dictated by the school system and bureaucracy for years you are now expected to make decisions that will determine the course of your whole life. You are finally free from your binds but suddenly all you feel is vertigo. Falling without a rope to hold to — that’s because the rope has been violently yanked away from you as you realise simultaneously how far apart and close together the sky and earth are.
Its worst that you’re risk averse, every single decision looks like it comes with more cons than pros and you conjure the worst case scenarios in your head for every opportunity that knocks by. If life is about taking risks would you say you were life-averse? If you refuse to take risks you are closing doors on yourself, and opportunities don’t come knocking twice. It’s times like this when you start to belittle yourself and wonder if you’re ever going to make it in life. It’s time like this when you start to wonder, what life is truly about.
It is time for introspection. Time to look within yourself –which I know is hard to do. I know full well how deep you might dive and how dark and tangled the thoughts eating you up are. It’s difficult but it needs to be done. By this time, you’d know that your incompetent self-efficacy needs to be taken care of. The only thing holding you back is yourself. You are your biggest enemy, and you either learn to conquer yourself — or you don’t.
Education. Education is what will set you free. There are constraints though, hurdles and obstacles that makes life a lot less easy. Alas, constraints makes you creative. You’d have to be creative in order to find ways to adapt to these constraints, to overcome them to achieve what you want.
What is it you want? You start to wonder and realise you don’t even know. “What a joke you are,” you think to yourself. Really, there isn’t anyone else to blame but yourself for any of this mess. Maybe if you knew exactly what you wanted, it’d be easier to fight for. Imagine fighting for a vague cause, and having to defend your cause against the people at odds with you. People who are certain you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into –and it becomes scary when slowly you start to believe they might be right. Thinking they know you and what is right for you, when they don’t know you at all.
At this point you start to feel alone. More lonely than you’ve ever felt before. You’ve made a promise to yourself to stay true to your heart. Isn’t that what all the coming of age movies you’ve watched have imprinted on your naivity? Little did you know everything comes with a price to pay (and you start to feel the emptiness of your pocket). You also start to think maybe going with the flow wouldn’t be that bad. That it would be easier to do what people tell you to do. You think and you overthink and you just wish your head would agree with your heart for once. You overestimated yourself, you’re not as strong as you think you are. It’s easier to swim downstream than go against the flow. But oh, how you’d rather be a salmon during spawning season than a rat stuck in a race. Again, these constraints, they bind you. And frankly — you are more rat than salmon anyway.
If you were in another time, in another country, in another continent, would it be easier or harder to get by? Would everything clouding your mind be merely trivial if you shifted your coordinates a little. Pondering on the impossible you realise you are merely procrastinating. You are afraid to face the impending weight you have to shoulder, so you cover your eyes, and peek through the gaps between your fingers because even when you’d like to see nothing but darkness you’ll be damned if you fell out of pace with the accelerating world.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.
Ahh Pink Floyd. Your anthem in school, when your angst gets too terrible and all you want is to lie down and forget the world. Listening to the the lines of this song makes you feel powerful. It justifies your rage — towards systems and mundanity and uniformity and control. “I am a free spirit and you shall not bind me” you say arrogantly. You aren’t made for the world, you aren’t made to comply to the system. What can you do? How can you change this? You can’t. You can’t change, you can only comply. But angst is angst and soon you move on. All your reverie, only a waste of your own damn time.
All in all I am just another brick in the wall.
When things get too overwhelming there is this short pause in your train of thought, where everything becomes empty and you start to see things in geometric shapes. It comes to you and you realise all your overthinking doesn’t matter. You are being selfish, acting as if the world revolves around you, and you know you’re not going to get anywhere if you continue to be selfish. All you’ll do is drown in your own blackhole, inaugurated from the heaviness in your heart.
Your viewpoint shifts and changes. You see you like you’ve never seen before — in third person. You start getting smaller and the world starts getting larger. Your eye-level rises higher and higher and your breathing gets shallower as the air gets thinner and thinner. You have just penetrated the mesosphere and you are in space now. You continue to float further and further away until your have the Earth in your hands – a tiny blue ball.
How insignificant your worries are, so focused on dunya. You have been asking yourself the wrong questions, always what you want and what makes you happy. Never about what you can do to impact the world. Not what difference you can hope to bring. At the end of the day, you die and you disappear and all that’s left is the change you have brought. What change? How do you make that change? In what way do you make that change? Think, figure out!
Do what you can with what you have. Take risks so you do not risk regret. Hustle baby, you don’t have time.