I finally settled on the decision to stay in San Antonio Texas. Now begins the very busy and very stressful process of finding a job and applying for college. The very first step, of course, is applying for college, then I have to apply for my military gifted college funding, which will make finding a job much less pressing of an issue, and then finally I’ll start my job hunt.Of course, part of the application process involves the COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY. At first I couldn’t even remember what you’re supposed to write about in these damn things, so I did what any American adult does when faced with something they’re not sure about: I Googled it (no I didn’t fucking BING it, that’s bullshit). So I just finished the first rough draft of my essay, and I THINK I’m on the right track…but I would appreciate if I could get some feedback from you all. But even if you don’t care enough to comment, reading this will give you some insight into my current mental state which will take the place of my post for this week. So…enjoy!
The View Through My Own Eyes
When I graduated high school, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had been offered a one year all expenses paid scholarship to the university of my dreams, but I had no idea what major to use it on. I spent the entire summer sifting through my long list of diverse interests, from art to psychology to bartending, desperately looking for some kind of elusive common thread that would lead me to my perfect future career. Eventually I ran out of time and my father convinced me to join the military so I would at least have a good paycheck while I took the time to figure things out. Four years later the time was approaching for me to get out and I was quite dismayed to realize that I had no more of an idea what to do with my future than I had when I first joined.
I voiced my worries to my fiancé and he offered a theory that my ability to visualize my own future was being inhibited by thoughts of his future, and of our future together. He advised me to try picturing a future without him in it in order to figure out what I wanted to do with my life purely on my own, and he said that once Id figured that out, we could find a way to fit our two futures together into one. So I tried to follow his advice, and was quite alarmed to realize I couldn’t picture myself doing anything but being with him. I told him about this problem and together we came up with a plan: we decided that in order to clear up my mental block, I needed to remove his distracting presence from my mind. So we broke up, temporarily, and agreed to get back together once I had things a bit more figured out. I changed my Facebook relationship status. I juggled the hundreds of incoming questions and exclamations from concerned friends and family. Then I spent 3 weeks glued into my sweatpants, shifting back and forth between my bed and the couch, surviving off pizza and ramen, crying every hour, and drinking myself to sleep. But after those 3 weeks passed, I felt the fog lift and the mental walls drop. The exercise, although excruciatingly painful, had worked, and suddenly I knew what I wanted. Or more accurately, I REMEMBERED what I wanted.
I remembered that in first grade, when I was rapidly eating my way through the library at the local high school, my father had told me that there was a job out there where you got paid to sit around and read all day. At the time I had thought he was teasing me, no way could such a magical job really exist. But then in sixth grade I found out it DID exist. It was called being a proofreader; it meant reading various kinds of books or documents and checking them for errors in grammar, spelling, or generally bad organization. And in that moment, at the ripe old age of 11, I had known without any doubt that this was the perfect job for me. And all these years later when this memory resurfaced, I fell in love with the idea all over again. During the period of time when I couldn’t remember what I wanted to do, I had been circling around the idea of helping people. I had considered becoming a psychologist, but realized that I am too strongly affected by other people’s emotions, so it would be very unhealthy for me to be around that much concentrated misery. I lost hope of there being such a thing as a position where you could help people while also being in a positive environment. Generally when people are in need of help, negativity follows. But when I remembered my dream of being a proofreader, I realized this was the elusive unicorn I had been searching for. As a proofreader, I could help people by using my skills in writing, organization, and my general tendency to be a spelling and grammar-nazi, to take someone’s piece of writing, their heart, hopes and dreams on paper, and reformat it to help it to convey the desired message, attain the desired response, and to not be tragically misunderstood. And rather than being surrounded by people sobbing as they uncover childhood traumas, I would be surrounded by people filled with electric excitement and enthusiasm to share their ideas, the dreams and imaginings, with the masses. Not to mention the fact that in this career field I would finally be able to make use of my natural skills of being able to read twice as fast as anyone else I know, and being able to type 80 WPM even while carrying on a conversation. It really is the perfect job for me and I couldn’t believe I had ever forgotten about it.
I tried to call my fiancé-turned-temporary-ex to tell him the good news, that our plan had worked and I had figured it all out and we could now get back together, but he was working and couldn’t answer his phone. Since I wanted to surprise him, I left a very brief message that gave away nothing, only let him know that he should call me back when convenient. While I waited for his response, I started doing some research into what I would need to do to become a successful proofreader. As my eyes scanned a specific webpage, I suddenly felt my heart drop. I had just realized why I had forgotten about this particular career option. According to this webpage (and several others I went to afterwards), in order to ensure a successful career as a proofreader, I would need to work in a publishing house for several years. I would not be able to move around until I got to a point of prestige in my career where I would be able to work from anywhere with internet access. This was not a situation that would meld well with a marriage to a US Navy all-star who needed to move to a new base every 3 years. My subconscious mind, in its infinite wisdom, had realized all of this. It had also realized that if it allowed my conscious mind access to this information, it would have resulted in some Romeo and Juliet level heartbreak. So my subconscious mind had locked that information away where I couldn’t find it, and had only allowed me to access it after I had broken up with him and experienced heartbreak anyway.
Eventually my love called me back and I told him all that I had discovered. He was, of course, very upset. However, he agreed that despite how much we loved each other, it would be foolish and unhealthy for us to try and stay together knowing that it would be so many years before we would be able to be in the same city again. We had a good long sob-fest together and said goodbye, agreeing to check in with each other every 5 years or so to see if our situation had changed, and perhaps talk about trying again. I was very sad for a while after that. But eventually I began to forget what it felt like to hold him, I lost the ability to predict what he would say about something if he were there beside me, and I began to feel his presence fade from my heart. And after some time went by, I realized that everything has turned out exactly as it should be and that I am actually a stronger and happier person without him. Of course, I don’t regret being with him. We had a lot of fun together while it lasted and our relationship taught me some very important lessons. The biggest lesson I learned is that I need to always ensure that I am experiencing the world through my own eyes.
In the past I have seen the world through the eyes of my father, making every decision with the goal of obeying his beliefs and fulfilling his expectations. I have also seen the world through the eyes of the men I have loved, liking things because they liked them and doing anything and everything to ensure their happiness and success without paying any attention to my own. This is the first time in my life I have stepped out and stood in the world alone, exposed, without the protection of being hidden in someone else’s shadow. It’s lonely, and intimidating, and terrifying, but also exhilarating and freeing. It’s what I imagine it feel s like to jump out of a plane for the first time. And as I feel myself breaking free of all my safety nets, and setting down the weight of all the advice and expectations from those who love me, I will now take off the many pairs of glasses that have been clouding my vision all this time, and I will see for the first time what the world looks like through my own eyes, as I take my first step down a road that is all my own.