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.
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.
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.