A Letter to Myself
Do not think you must define yourself for others right now. You have recently seen your belief systems and sense of identity crash to the ground as if you had seen the world lean a little too hard on the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and now you have been forced to rebuild from the ground up, which you have discovered is a beautiful place to begin again. At least you know what you are not. You are not the sum of your parts but maybe somehow one part of a sum. A sum of what, you don’t know yet. You know you don’t want to be just a part of a sum of mathematical algorithms and matrices. You envy neither the females who dream of being “wifey material” and (as you call it) white picket “fenced in”, nor the group of people who fence you in to a future in which you sign a contract saying:
“You are officially selling your life to capital letters ‘Excellence in Education’, who will label your worth as a person by a collection of test scores and various other numbers crunched conveniently by a machine. From there ‘Excellence in Education’ will subcontract you to ‘Ivy League University, LLC’ who will eventually ship you off to ‘CAREER’, Description: the final destination alluded to in the textbook definition of success, written by someone who no one knows but everyone aspires to be.” You seem to be the only one who bothers to read the fine print, which reads: “One size fits most. We are not responsible for any emotional or mental breakdowns you may experience. Side effects include, but are not limited to student loans, loads of work, and late nights. This treatment has only proven true happiness for some. The only guaranteed benefits of this position are mundanity insurance, structure, and routine. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot offer the feeling that your life actually has meaning.”
With all that being said, you would love to escape this life of superficial smiles plastered onto faces posing behind extensive diplomas and scholarships, but you are so afraid that there is none. You feel that you are alone, that you don’t belong anywhere, and you are scared that to give up now would be conducive to living a life of constantly being in need of money, and the et cetera. Et cetera, because the only thing that matters is money, right?
Some may call you a free spirit, but all you want is something more. You’re just searching for whatever it is that makes you happy. Whatever makes you feel alive. You want to learn how to surf. You’re fascinated with music and how it’s created and produced. You watch Forrest Gump religiously because you like to be reminded that life is like a box of chocolates and that someone knows what love is. You have things to hold onto. So just please remember to stay optimistic. Live in the moment too; you never know when your box of chocolates will melt away. Get to building me up.