Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My 15-Year-Old Self Kicked My Ass Last Night

While attempting to pack last night for my big upcoming move, I came across my old journals. For those of you who do not know, I can proudly say I've kept a journal since I've been in 4th grade.

This is great for a variety of reasons:

  1. Gaining access to the complete mind of a 4th grader is just top notch entertainment.
  2. I can cringe at how immature I've been and pat myself on the back for how mature I am right now - er, think I am. 
  3. I can look back at so many situations and see them clearly - which has helped me so many times as far as keeping the past where it belongs. 


Anyway, reading old journals is my favorite form of procrastination. It really is. Last night I happened across my high school journal and at first I was reluctant to pick that one to read. High school was bad enough the first time, right? Also, did I really want to read about my struggles to fit in and all the dumb crushes I had?

However, what I quickly discovered was the complete opposite. Aside from the occasional hormonal everyone-hates-me-I'm-so-emo entries, I was a pretty confident girl. In fact, I was so confident during this time in my life that I pretty much jumped out of my journal and slapped 24-year-old me in the face. It seems the 15-year-old version of myself was much less scared and anxious and a lot more "eff you, this is the way I am, accept it or leave it."

I am a writer. If there is one thing I can say I am good at and I like, it's writing. One entry I came across last night was about my passion for writing and just how much I loved it. The pure honesty and enthusiasm is something that I'm not sure I've had in a long time. I can't even write a blog post without second guessing myself.

It seems that it's easier to be less passionate now because than it doesn't hurt so much if people don't respond appropriately. Let's be honest here, no one is patting writers on the back for much. Unless you have a bestseller out there, society seems to think writing is pretty useless being that it does not make you money at all.

Before money was a factor - and judging by my writing from high school, it was a happier time - I was so proud of myself. I wrote about how lucky I was to have that talent and how I wouldn't trade it for the world. I can't count the amount of times I said in college that I would trade my writing for a brain that understands engineering. I wonder what 15-year-old me would think about that. 

The other aspect I wrote about was the standard high school drama. However, back then I seemed to take on the world with a shield up and a sword in my hand. If someone treated me badly I would plain out say, "Oh well, they treated me badly and I'm not going to stand for it." I was adament about my no-drinking, no-drugs policy back then as well, which is good because I was 15 years old. However, I wrote many times about how my friends were getting involved with such things and how that simply just wasn't acceptable to me. To break it down, I did what I wanted, what I felt was right, and if someone disagreed I simply just did not care.

In fact, I was pretty comfortable with saying, "Those people are no good for me and I really don't care what anyone thinks, I'm not going to surround myself with it just to be cool and liked."

Damn girl, step down.

After reading such confident, no-nonsense writing from my former self, I obviously starting thinking. When did that change? Was it after my first heartbreak? Was it when I got bullied a little bit and I let it get to me?

All I know is that sometime in the last 10 years, that confidence got a little lost.

When people told me I would never find a job with my degree I believed them. When they told me that I was in the complete wrong major, I believed them. I believed them when they told me that math is where the money is and money is most important. I still believe them. I believed them when they told me I was too emotional, cared too much, too enthusiastic, too hyper... this list goes on and on.

I can't pinpoint the exact moment I broke down and started believing the bullshit that society feeds us every day, I just know it happened. I picture 15-year-old me, fully clad in my Hot Topic gear and headphones permanently attached to my ears, and she's glaring at me with eyes that say, "Get a hold of yourself, Mon."

I think she's right.