I'm at that point.
You know. That point.
As many of the people I talk to/follow me on social networking, I leave pretty soon. Fifty-two days, in fact.
As my career and new life begin to approach me, the time seems to slow down. And I'm noticing something about my life now: I'm starting to look back on my high school and college years and a lot of emotions come rushing through. Confusion, shame, guilt, frustration, and straight anger.
I thought to myself and wondered why these could be? I didn't want to look back and only forced myself to think forward.
One thing that made me realize why I had so much guilt was because I was extremely selfish and lonely. I wanted people to notice me. But I wouldn't try hard for a friendship. Out of all honesty, I was burned a lot as a child. But my thoughts were "if they love me, they will reach out to me." When they did, I did, but I never tried on my own. Especially in college. I was so angry. So so angry.
I was angry that I wasn't good enough in my standard. I was angry that I was never part of the "crowd." I was angry that I never lived up to expectations. I was angry that I didn't go out with people to movies. I was angry that I was not exceptional but okay to good. I was angry that people found me to be annoying. I annoyed myself, but no one really knew that the anger stemmed from the loneliness and fear. And yet, whenever I tried to say anything to anyone, trying to let people know how I felt, I was shut down often. Told to get over it or that I could think about it later. I was often dropped when people found me to be emotionally more work than just a shallow conversation. And I'm sure that there were many busy people, but it was sad. Being told that Jesus loves me with a pat on the head is not really a way to make anyone feel better. I needed a form of love, and the lack of it created walls in my mind.
The reason why I majored in music was for me. I love band with everything I have. Since I was eleven, it was everything. But I was lazy in my mind. People said I worked hard, and I felt the opposite. I should have majored in only performance, but people told me to "be realistic" about my abilities. This made me angry, too. The anger turned to eating. I ate candy and junk consistently. See, my stomach would ache severely when I ate sugar because I'm insulin resistant. I would purposefully eat sugar so I didn't have to eat normal food and I would starve and binge. Of course, I would never lose weight. I gained. Now, I look back, and I realize I most likely had an eating disorder. My paranoia began to rise, and the few people I trusted and wanted to be around were "too busy" to put stock in me, but found times to go out and spend time with others. The pain of rejection flowed and by senior year, my experience at George Fox turned for the worst. My instructor told me I was B- average in performance and kept telling me I would have to "work harder" to be a performer. She consistently implied that I wasn't going to make it. Depression overcame me, and I just wanted most of it to end. On top of that, my relationship was rocky. My instrument became my only friend. But even then, it mocked me and I felt like I could hear my instructor telling me how weak of a player I was. But the only thing I could look forward to was band. Rehearsing. Even though the people in the group may have had better friends and found me to be annoying, and even crazy, I felt like through the music I had an unspoken bond.
When I played music, the paranoia, worry, sadness, depression and exhaustion melted away. The anger at my peers dissipated and I could only feel music. It's how I knew it was to be my career. I was looking for a way to play professional without having people give me that look and tell me "good luck." And don't get me wrong, I'm sure people had faith in me. But I often got that look.
Around November of last year, I talked to a Marine about the band. I heard from director and something nudged me to think about joining the military band. My director gave me a card and let me know that a Marine had passed through. I called and got some questions out of the way. At that point, I visited the recruiting station in Beaverton a few times and eventually set up with an audition set for January. A part of me felt like I would fail this. I felt like I was set up for failure. But it was a professional chance. I practiced, went to my audition, and passed. I was so excited. Finally, my first lead. My first chance. Many were excited for me, but I could sense some disdain in a few. My instructor seemed to have the idea I was sliding by on "dumb luck." Then came the next goal: losing 40lbs. With my eating disorder and pain, I was worried. But I started to work. And I realized that teaching, was maybe in the late future, and performing was now. I got my degree and continued to lose weight.
Around July, I switched recruiting stations, because I needed a change and I was ready for it. I worked harder, and lost all my weight by August. I enlisted into the Marines in September and was given a date for boot: January 6th.
Thinking about that, I'm excited. But I keep thinking back to high school and college and wonder, "why am I still upset and afraid?"
And then I realized that I was afraid of what people were thinking about me still. I found out that people would not talk to me because they were "warned" that I was moody and unpredictable. I didn't even realize it (I have a face that looks permanently pissed...not sure why...). A couple of people who still went to get to know me anyway said that they couldn't believe people would think this way.
I think what people saw in the moodiness was my sadness, anger and loneliness, not toward other people, but by the disappointment in myself. I still don't like to think back to college. High school isn't as bad (but it's probably because it's been over four years now). By the end of college, I didn't care. There were a couple of people I cared about, but I was angrier than ever. I just hated. Anger. I felt like my leaving was just a relief to people.
I just want to lead a life where I don't feel pissed off or guilty anymore. Where I can just be me and not have to worry about laziness or someone telling me that I'm not good enough.
So far, since I decided for the Marines, I have had nothing but encouragement and people who have pushed me. I can pursue my music career like I dreamed. I have developed great relationships with recruits and I feel close to my poolee family.
But I have to wait a little longer, and I'm sure it will do me some good. Patience has not been a virtue of mine. I should probably develop it. And this is not a directed at any single people I have associated with in the past.
I just felt like getting this down and letting people know what was in my head is healthy and a way to move on from this burden sitting on my shoulders. I love many, and often I cry for those in pain. But I wanted some of you to know what was going on in college and why I hid from a lot of you. It was all internal, and I had no rage toward any individuals.
For those of you who were there, thank you. You were the reason why I continued to trudge.
I'm ready to start my new life, and I hope to write most of you.