I may not have experienced the best of years after leaving high school – ok, who am I kidding, life sucked long before that – but it seems like my life is finally getting in line. I didn’t know how liberating it feels to stop playing it safe 24/7, to start demanding – from others, but, mostly, from myself – what I always wished for.
I’m an only daughter, and the eldest of the three kids my parents proudly raised. I was always under the impression that my own dreams never mattered, that, as the first-born, I was expected to push aside what I wanted and pretend I agreed with what needed to be done. That I would one day take care of the family, that I would have to support them. That I would have to live my life in a way that would lead to an acceptable job focused on science and mathematics – because literature and arts are not profitable enough career paths in our country. So I did just that. And I managed to somehow live with myself even after denying my soul the very thing that could make it happy, even after lying to myself more than to others about my desires. At the cost of my own spirit, I fooled everyone for 3 years – right after that one last year of high school and the year after that. So, let’s make it 5.
Five years of this. Of studying things I hated. Of having to put up with the most unpleasant of studying environments. Of seeing old classmates changing their career plans while I was stuck in this nightmare, because I was too scared to say what I want, to express my own opinion, to stand up, put my foot down, and back my own dreams up like they did.
Bt if I wouldn’t defend my desires, who was supposed to? If I wasn’t honest with anyone, how was it their fault they didn’t know? If they never knew, how could I expect them to accept it whenever I tried insinuating I was miserable and wanted to change all of this mess, to start over?
No, I’m not blaming them for keeping me from what I wanted. I’m blaming myself for always being a scaredy-cat, for the mousey persona that didn’t allow speaking the truth, for thinking I had to be perfect – the perfect daughter, perfect first child, perfect big sister, all straight A’s and reasonable life choices. I was so stupid, I even made myself believe that!
But the truth is, I’m not perfect. I’m not perfect little Lydia who can keep studying something she abhors any longer. I’m not the perfect daughter who can settle for a job that will never bring her joy – if and when it comes with this hell of an economy. I’m that imperfect human being that is good at the most irrelevant things – cooking or baking, singing, kids, languages, thorough research and planning. Most of all, I’m that so-far-from-perfect-it’s-funny girl, who can do a certain single thing the best. And that is read. Care for books. Be around them and talk about them. But there is no future for books in this country, is there?
Does that mean I have to suck it up and take it like a little bitch?
No. Not anymore.
For the first time in my life, I have a plan. I know what I want to do, I have a destination in my mind at long last. And I’m only now picking at the beginnings of my journey towards that destination. It won’t be easy, it won’t be pretty, but I now fight for me, not for anyone else, and isn’t that liberating?
For the first time in years, I actually feel at peace with myself! 😀