If I Fall

What are you most afraid of?

A question that kept me up late last night, staring at the ceiling. A question a friend asked me over dinner last night, amidst casual conversation and delicious cheesecake. A question that, while seemingly innocuous, instigated more thought than I thought it would.

Wake up. Go to school. Stay after school for clubs. Maybe for help. Get home. Eat. Do homework. Exercise. Do more homework. Read a little bit. Write a little bit. More homework. Study. Read before going to bed. Sleep. Repeat.

The routine of my weekday life, the cycle I strive to abide by. Lately, my family issues have calmed down, with my mother’s job cooling her constant inferno of emotions. School can be stressful, but it’s nothing compared to what I’ve dealt with before and what others deal with on a daily basis. Everything is the same.

And that’s what I’m most afraid of.

Deep down, I’m scared that I’ll stay stagnant. Unmoving. That my passion and my beliefs will bubble up and prepare to burst, only to be prematurely popped. That the change I want to create will morph into a meaningless void, and that all the effort I’ve exerted will be wasted and worthless. That, really, I won’t be able to help anyone, anywhere, with anything.

How I keep my school supplies organized. Quite proficient.

I’m one of the lucky seventeen-year-old teens who has grandparents that are still alive. A few weeks ago, my grandmother was hospitalized after suffering from a minor stroke. Simply visiting her made my heart hurt in more ways than I could handle. We were glad to see each other, though, and the conversation we held was happier than I expected. It was the day before school started, and I remember telling myself – don’t think about this more than you have to. Call her, keep her updated, but don’t let this distract you.

And now, in the basement of my home, in the room I reside in, I am distracted. Distracted by what could be, or rather, what may not be. What I won’t be able to do, and what I’m not doing to make a difference. The possibilities, ripe, replete, and ready for taking – untouched.

But I have to keep trying. Even if I’m not realizing my ambition at the moment, I must continue to try, for myself, and for my future. For those whose futures are not guaranteed, and for those whose futures entail facing inequality. Change isn’t always a leap of bravery and heroism – it can be an accumulation of steps and slips, of slight successes and small setbacks. A spark that fizzles into nothing is greater than an unlit match, useless and miniscule on the ground.

If I fall, at least I flew.

A new ironing technique that I thought I should share.

Random Sunday night ponderings for the win! Has anyone else felt anything similar? Like you should be doing more, even when your plate is already full? Even though it’s not a huge thing to do, I’m going to start again by fully applying myself and nailing my college applications. They’re my chance to show how far I’ve come and how much I’ve changed in high school.

Wish me luck! I’ll write again as soon as possible. I’ll probably post something about my grandmother, as I feel guilty for randomly including her in this post and not elaborating more… we’ll see.

Sometimes I justify purchasing Starbucks by saying that they support gays. It’s like I’m paying myself… except not really.

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10 Comments

Filed under Personal

10 responses to “If I Fall

  1. from the little i have read about you, i have no doubts you will reach any goal you have set for yourself. I’m currently in the same position you find yourself in, granted i’m not in any clubs. i do however attend classes and work (too much to the point that i hate it). lately i’ve been feeling that i need to help others in one way or another but my issuse is i don’t know where to start. anywho… i’m sure any college will be lucky to have you. focus on the posiitve and take it one day at a time 🙂
    btw i’ve noticed you’re a big reader. recommend anything? recently purchased a kindle fire but haven’t downloaded anything yet. :-p

    • Aw, thank you for the kind words Jae! (er, if that’s your name. if not, still, thank you!) I know how it feels like to be doing so much and somewhat losing your love for what you’re doing because it feels too overwhelming. But I’m confident that we’ll both be able to step back and regain surer footing, and like you said, take it one day at a time and focus on the positive!

      I have way too many books to recommend. Does any particular genre interest you? One of the best books I’ve read lately is Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, which I posted a review of on this blog. You can check out my four and five star reviews (and some of my three star ones) for more great books!

  2. Gah, this – I can relate so much. I’m always wondering if I’m doing enough – and beyond that, whether I’m being too ambitious? And I don’t just mean in accomplishing things academically or professionally, but in the person I want to be or whatever. I don’t know – I’m too muddled. But yes, I just wanted to show my moral support I guess 😛 I think it’s a common feeling, but I guess we all differ in the ways we overcome it. And as the commenter above said, from the little I’ve read of your posts you seem like a very intelligent and sincere person – I’m sure you’ll accomplish what you wish to =]

    • Knowing that another person can relate to what I’m experiencing is an utmost satisfying emotion. I agree that we all have different ways in dealing with our ambitions, and when we either achieve or fail to accomplish those ambitions. Thank you for reading and commenting, and for having faith in my abilities!

  3. So you’ve got me thinking, Thomas. We live in a society that just pushes for more, that requires sixteen year old kids to define themselves in 250 words. My fear lies in wanting. I am so scared that I will never stop wanting more, and I’ll never be content with what I have.

    But I think my biggest fear is failure. My mind won’t settle. It seems to be racing with every possible bad thing in the world right now, as if my head is a whirlpool in the ocean of misery. I’m sucking every bit of agony in towards my center, letting it fuel the rage that is apparent on the outside, only further dragging more anxiety in. I hope that if I fix the outside the worry that is directed towards that will ease and perhaps the inner destruction will find a calm. If I satisfy the shell of this chaos maybe the hole at the bottom of the whirlpool will clog, and I will rest in the peace of still water.

    But nothing quite satisfies the outside. I work so hard to make a change that is visible, believable, and the wind beneath the surface only gets stronger. I lose myself in the hypnotic trance of the circular motion, pressured by my own fingers circling around and around and around. The longer I spend inside this place, the longer I submit myself to the emotions of it. I see myself as depression, worry, anxiety, fat. I am no longer the girl who aspired to be a writer, to find freedom, to see the world. I am isolation and hatred and disappointment. In the midst of all this I realize that I am the most disappointed in myself. I am convinced that all these terrible things could have been preventable. I was not strong enough to dismiss them, but rather I invited higher doses in. I am stuck in the in-between of satisfaction and deception, and often times I see myself choosing to do things that lean towards the latter. I know this is because my idea of satisfaction is skewed; at this point, I really don’t know what is going to make me happy. I have tried for years to find the cure. People who are looking in tell me that it lies within me. I am the only one with the power to clog the drain; but I have not figured out exactly how to ignore the things that persistently poke holes into my carefully sewn patch. After years of trying, willing myself to grab the needle and thread and sew the minor errors back up, I have finally ripped off the entire piece. I have lifted my hands into the air and let the unforgiving wind take away the gentle string, determined needle and willing blanket. None of these things will be of use to me now, because I am fully emerged under water. For some reason the acceptance of defeat is more reassuring than mending the patch ever was. The inconsistency of what chemicals leave and enter my brain. The terror of being stuck inside the center of a hell you cannot escape, even if you wanted to. The reassurance that it is where I belong; I have put myself here. What else could I have done, when the holes began to tare away too much?

    Transfixed on the water that is violently colliding against a current that does not fight back. Spinning out of control. Absorbing the failure of visible success. Breathing in the success of inner failure. In here I am subject to the harm I place on myself. But I doubt anyone will reach in far enough to stir the negative energy. And I am positive this rampant cycle will save me on the journey towards the end.

    • I’ve sat here for almost twenty minutes now, rereading this and trying to come up with an adequate response… but I cannot. With your talent, and with your mind, you will find your glory – whether that be in the water, taking in your failures and your successes, or in the air and the wind, taking you away with the tools you tried to fix yourself with.

  4. Andreas

    What I’m afraid of? Hmmmm…. a lot, actually. Insects, reptiles, and blah blah blah. I’m so veering off the topic, :). Well, actually what I fear most is that I wouldn’t be able to completely fulfill what my parents want from me. Seriously, they expected, like, a lot from me. To be this and that. I know that right now, they’re leaving all the choices to me, but still.

    For example, I planned to take communication as my major, and my mom asked me this, “are you sure about your choice?”, I said “yes”. But inside, I feel like “this is so not my thing.” I mean, I’ve always wanted to either be a choreographer or a translator. I’ve been thinking to take English Literature as well, but my parents, well especially my mom, rejected those three. So, I’m pretty much left with nothing but communication.

    But, I’ve also been telling myself to be grateful for everything. So yeah, I guess I’ll live with it and prepare myself to embrace the awaiting future. 🙂

    Such a nice post, btw. 🙂

    • I’m afraid of insects too! I recently learned how to use a vacuum, thank goodness, so I could pick those things up without having to touch them (even if it’s through a paper towel.)

      I know how you feel about the parents thing. My mom has always wanted (and still wants, probably) me to be a doctor or an engineer, but when I told her I wanted to major in English she freaked out. I’ve come to learn that you’re never without a choice when it comes to choosing a major, or your path in life. In the end if I choose to major in English or Psychology or Philosophy, what is my mom going to do to stop me? It’s my choice. And even if you major in communication, you can always become a choreographer or a writer or a dancer or whatever you want to be. You’re never limited, and passion will carry you a long way.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. “If i fall. atleast i flew..”
    I loved that line dude! And the paragraph right before that was brilliant. In fact you’ve inspired me so much that i’m going to blog about it too…..if you don’t mind that is. Anyways, awesome post!

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