When can I begin? When do I get to give myself a break?
There’s this song that I’ve identified with ever since it came out in 1997, called “Graduate.” Of course, back then I was a high schooler, and it seemed like forever until I’d graduate. The song meant what it said. But then I got older, and it started to ring true to me in other ways. Still does. Sometimes I wonder if I inadvertently programmed myself to it, but then I think that’s probably too optimistic. Maybe a lot of us feel this way, trapped in circumstances just outside of our sphere of control, watching as the world whirls around us, thinking that any minute now, we’ll figure shit out, right? But that’s never going to happen. You have to live now, and stop concentrating on things getting better tomorrow. There’s no tomorrow.
I don’t know when I get to do what I want. Why do I live in fear? Why am I shut off and shut down? Why can’t I be a success at being myself? And if I know the things that I want, why can’t I get them? Haven’t we reached a point where anything is possible? Is my problem that I don’t believe I can have what I want? (I know right away, as I write this, that’s not true.)
My problem is that I believe I’ll get exactly what I work for, and I still won’t like it. It will be broken, off-key, a demented lie. It will be what it always was. It’s just that my vision was skewed. I’m afraid that I see what I want through rose-colored glasses, and that I’ll surely suffer the consequences if I reach out to take it.
And so I’m shut down. Shut off. Stuck in 11th grade for-fucking-ever. I’m tired.