I started a blog post on Tuesday. I never finished it, because I realized that I completely disagreed with its message. Here are the 300 words I wrote:
“Walking through UCLA, led by a tour guide (a position I’ve found myself in recently as part of Link Crew), I felt something strange.
UCLA is grandiose. It really is fantastic. From the beautiful architecture to the sprawling lawns to the eerily quiet libraries packed with some of the most brilliant minds in the world. UCLA is everything I want in a college, I will definitely apply there with every hope of being accepted. However, the strange feeling I felt wasn’t admiration, or what I just described.
I felt discontent.
I’ve never felt such a misplaced feeling. Surely I should be filled to the brim with excitement? Shouldn’t I be itching to get done with this whole high school shabang and move on? Admittedly, I was feeling a bit of that.
But the overwhelming feeling was that strange sensuality of sadness.
I’ve worked extremely hard in my 2 and a half years here at FVHS, and I will continue to for another year and a half. I’ve invested countless hours emotionally, physically, and mentally into high school. And my reward is… more school?
I went on this tour to feel inspired. I left it feeling as if the whole damn world has got it wrong. You’d think looking upon, and walking through, the wanderlust campus of UCLA you’d hear the calling of millions of successful students before you. I’m sure many who walk through the seemingly never ending campus do. Me? I’ve never felt so much alike.
You’re telling me my 18 years of toil and tutelage are going to result in a 40 minute drive down the 405 (2 hours if you hit that sweet commuters’ traffic)? And then after I spend 4 years or so there, then what? I get a job somewhere in journalism and whatever and no matter how successful I become, there’s a high chance I never make a real difference in the world. The world doesn’t need my talents.”
After typing those last words, I actually couldn’t believe what I had written. “The world doesn’t need my talents”.
What kind of hypocrite am I? I always tote myself as someone super ambitious and thoughtful, and then I go and write up some crap like that? How am I supposed to go out and change the world if I’m busy beating myself because I’m not changing it at this very moment?
I’m not a cheerful person. But that doesn’t give me the excuse to tell people (including myself) that their talents aren’t needed. The world is an ultra-complex system, with room for almost infinite amounts of different talents. I consider myself to be a half-decent writer. Who am I to tell myself not to pursue what I’m good at?
Only an idiot will be held back by their own premonitions of themselves.
Here’s something to take home; do what you want to do. Even if you die with no money, you died happy. Our society is based around money. Everything you do is in some way tied to money, indirectly and directly. But at the end of the day, money is just green paper with the faces of some important dudes printed on. Don’t tell yourself that you have to do something with your life that involves making huge amounts of money.
I know I’m not going to be wealthy in the future. I’m not going to be a doctor, a politician, master of the stock market, CEO, or anything else the world has planned for me. I have no idea what I’m going to be. Maybe I’ll write plays that other people take credit for and make money off of. Maybe I’ll flip burgers or wrap burritos. Maybe I’ll die before I turn 21. Maybe I do become a CEO or some other greyscale job. Maybe I lurk at high school soccer games and yell at the referee. Maybe I live with my parents, with a curfew, forever. Who knows? More importantly, who cares?
My own plan is to live. I am absolutely going to live my life. I am then going to die, and I’ll go to heaven or hell or I’ll just rot in the ground. I don’t know. Neither do you. So stop worrying about it and work on being a part of the human race.
I apologize for almost posting the pathetic post I had written up. I promise to you, and myself, to stop worrying about what lies ahead and just endure this painful process we call existence.