28 July 2008

Philadelphia, Here I Come.

Do you ever just wish you could skip over stuff? I'm sure you do. Those disastrous tests you didn't have time to study for, or those dreaded visits from odious people you're supposed to like. How about having to call someone who's angry with you, or an important performance you aren't quite prepared for? More and more, as time passes, I find myself wishing I could skip over these things, and I'm a little ashamed to admit it. Life is a gift, someone said, and we should treasure it always-- even the bad parts. But sometimes I get so... weary of having to endure through those bad parts. Silly of me, I realize. I'm hardly this pitiful martyr who has to suffer through life-altering pain. I'm just me. Simple, unextraordinary me. But I can still wish I didn't have to deal with the pain, can't I? It suffocates me sometimes. Sometimes I just wish... I were someone else. Someone who didn't care so much. Someone who didn't give a flip about what other people think about her. Someone who didn't have to live for someone else's expectations of her, but went through life as an explorer with no other motive than to experience the world.

I'm sitting here at work, and I'm wondering how I will be able to make it through this week. I know I will. I always do. Just gets tough sometimes. When all you really want (need) is someone to tell you you're worth it, you aren't a failure, you won't break under pressure... and all you seem to get are the expectations bouncing back off you from the mirror you're looking at, demands on your time and energy and heart... that is what can become suffocating.

I worry too much. And here I was thinking I'd gotten beyond it, that I'd grown up and faced my own greatest downfall. I guess it's just going to take a lot more than that, isn't it? I'm not having nightmares regularly, that's a relief. At least I have better control about that part of myself. What I don't have control over is the obsessive part of my mind that grabs hold of an idea and won't let loose. It's just like the two characters that played "Gareth" in Brian Friel's Philadelphia, Here I Come.


Public. She's mad at me. She's going to talk to him about me. She's going to give me a bad grade. A bad grade would ruin my 4.0.
Private. Having less than a 4.0 wouldn't be the end of the world. It's normal.
Public. Yes, but one B...
Private. oh, gods, let it not be a C...
Public. ...could open the doors for more B's. I have to keep a 3.5...
Private. Not too hard. You survived two years of hard classes and still made it through with all A's.
Public. What if I'm losing my touch? What if I'm just so fed up with studying I quit? I have to get this degree.
Private. You will. Calm down.
Private. Or what? You'll forget to think about it later? Hardly. You're going to be thinking about it no matter how much you think about it now. Besides, you're not thinking, you're worrying to the point of obsession. How is that going to help you?
Public. Yes, but--
Private. Yes, but! Yes, but! Your entire existence thrives upon "Yes, but--"s.

I'll fight with myself for a while until I can finally force myself to think about something different, but it always comes back to that. Always. Granted, I used to have a lot more ammo. Grad school. Getting an assistantship. All those things which are important in the academic world...

...that aren't as important to me now. Now that I'm set on going to makeup school, things are different. Well, not everything. As you can see, I still obsess about the little things. About grades and people's opinions. About my future. I don't think I'll ever stop obsessing about that. I'm too much of a "goody-goody". I like my gold stars a little too much. After all, without those gold stars to prove I've done a good job, who am I? Just another rather mediocre, unexciting, not-so-beautiful, not-so-extraordinary girl trying to find out what on Earth she's supposed to do with her life. That's normal, right?

Yes, well, I hate being normal.