I came to college with a desire to change. I wanted to reinvent myself from the awkward high school senior who shaped the past 18 years of his life through the pursuit of a goal that was ultimately not his. I came with a set of dreams — for myself, for the world, for something that mattered. But after two years of college, all I am left with is disillusionment and a set of realistic expectations for the next five years of my life.
It leaves a bitter taste on my tongue. Realistic, as if the past 20 years of my life have not been real enough. I suppose I have been living in quite a dream, not because my past couple of years of my life have been blissful, but because the problems that had consumed me for such long periods of my life no longer obssessively echo within the caverns of my consciousness. In that sense, I suppose I have waken up. I have realized that the ghosts that have chased me for so long did not actually have any substance; they were just problems I created when I didn’t have any real problems.
I still look behind me to find the ghosts that have chased me. The meaningful moments I have shared with friends who have long been swept away from my memory always find a way to resurface during the times I wish I could forget the most. Like now, when my absence of understanding how I wanted to contribute to society seems to finally materialize in the form of professional failure. I wish I could plunge back into my memory from my reverie, when my problems could be summarized by a series of shortcomings I could still address with my capabilities. Because, now that I have awaken, sometimes I wish I could drown in this hopeless fountain kingdom.
I suppose I give too little credit to my friends and family. They have been and continue to be constitutional contributors to my development. And for that, I am truly grateful. I am grateful for the fact that I could contemplate how I wanted to dedicate my life in the serivce of society, a sentiment that most individuals do not have the priviledge to discover. But sometimes, I feel as if the overwhelming amount of choice that I have been given only serves to hurt me. Without choice, I would not need to think about the opportunity costs of all of my decisions. Without choice, I would never have been exposed to the concept of mistake.
Despite facing a substantial amount of rejection throughout my entire life, I constantly feel as if my stockpile of cover letters in my computer will never lead to anything substantial. I feel as if I am astronomically unqualified for almost every position I apply for, and even among the positions I have had the chance to interview for, I feel as if I could never fully exhibit the extent of my capabilities. And, a couple days later, I receive a short email, of which I do not need to open to discern its contents. And it seems no matter how much I prepare, I only have one barrier that I could never overcome: myself.
Because I have never relied on myself. I envy those who can. Because, in terms of all the problems that I have encountered throughout my life, I can never overcome myself. While the problems I have encountered throughout my entire life have revolved around my surroundings, the only problem that I have encountered that does not depend on external influences is myself. While all external problems can be addressed through internal means, there is no outlet to address internal problems. It is the final limitation between the life I want to have and the life I am leading. I wonder if it is going to be the last limitation I will ever face in my life.
I fear that I will spend the next 40 years of my life working a job I consider intellectually unfulfilling. I fear that I will spend the next 40 years of my life with people who I do not genuinely love with all of my heart. I fear that I will live the next 40 years of my life as a cloud that is compelled to exist by an arbitrary set of weather conditions and pushed by the wind without any underlying purpose. I fear that I will merely exist and not thrive. While I consider these fears to be real sentiments, it is also merely a symptom of an overaching problem that cannot be addressed. The scene of missed opporutnity can be overwhelming.
And, as I have always repeated before I go to sleep, I don’t know what to do.