…to understand more and more of why she chose to run away from her Ivy League life. When I first read the story, I either sympathized or emphasized, possibly both, but I’m pretty sure it was the latter-at least I hope that it was. There was a time in high school, when one of my cherished friends at the time asked me, “Do you ever want to run away?” after she had told me about how much she wished to. I remember this with pristine fashion, despite my terrible memory, because I was so surprised. To this day, I’m not sure if I was more surprised that she wanted to run away so badly or that I didn’t want to run away. At that time, I didn’t feel any desire to run away from the life I was currently in. But also at that time, I didn’t feel like I had the right to. I didn’t have a mother who neglected me often, an older brother whose existence seemed like a cruel joke to a younger sister’s feelings or a stepfather who treated me with discontent. A shortage of pocket money wasn’t never much of a concern and I didn’t have to be desperately concerned about finding a ride back home during after school hours.
I thought I didn’t have the right.
I realize that was stupid.
This is where “gratitude” and “graciousness” are not as clear cut as many of us pretend that they are. Like many other things we paint with bold streaks of black and white, despite colorful protests, that negligence comes back to pinch us hard
Now I look back and I wonder, “Maybe it wasn’t that I didn’t want to run away. Maybe I just didn’t know, at that time, what I wanted to leave behind. Maybe at that time, I didn’t know what caused me to want to live a different life.”
Because the picture seems much clearer now. Although I found pleasures in
sports soccer (soccer was and is the only sport I can play well), the occasional writing of fictional stories, and thought-to-be self-decided confidence due to AP credit and other academic excellencies…I realize…
…in the bigger picture…
….in a way…
….perhaps I too painted that time with bold black and white streaks without realizing it. I never stopped to really think about what I wanted to be as a profession after high school or even college. I “went with the flow,” not because I’m such a chill person, but because… I didn’t know how to not go with the flow. Until the first semester of sophomore year ended, and I realized I had lied to myself a little too well. I was not going to retake organic chemistry. I was not going to continue as a Biology major.
Between now and that time, I’ve discovered a lot of labels I didn’t know I was holding on to.
I learned how to throw away a lot of them.
I learned that there are still some I’m tightly holding on to.
I learned that it will all take awhile.
I’m learning that even if it takes awhile, even if I’m wandering, this time is not a waste of time. Perhaps the truly wasted time…was the time spent in the past, the time I spent convincing myself that I was truly living my life even though a part of me knew it was a lie. But that goes against my, I guess one could call it “philosophy” on “wasted time.” I don’t believe anything can really be a waste of time. It is time necessary for something, even if at that moment it doesn’t feel like it is or maybe it never feels that it is.
But just because we can’t see the purpose, does that mean there isn’t one?
Or in a more common phrase:
if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does that mean it didn’t fall?
Side Note: Looked up the theories behind that iconic phrase (so many theories @_@) and ended up reading an article that made me question how “real” our senses (hearing, touch, etc) are…and I think that’s enough internet for me today. The human mind is an interesting place alright.