A New Chapter

So.


I might be freaking out a little bit.


I dropped my classes this semester, and now I'm considering not going back to DBU at all. In the first week of school, everything that could go wrong, went wrong. It was the worst first week of school that I have ever had, and I took it as a sign from God to take a semester off. In the process of dropping my courses, I've learned a lot about DBU as an institution and not really in a good way. I absolutely love my advisors, but have some negative feelings towards the school itself.


That being said, I'm freaking out.


I never took a break from school. I've been in school as long as I can remember. I've been in college since I was sixteen. I never stopped, not even when I had cancer and massive health issues and I'm freaking out because I don't know how to exist without school. And I am panicking.


I don't know what I'm supposed to do now. I don't have any goals, anything propelling me or driving me and I don't know how to find it and I can't seem to breathe because I have all of this emotion and not really anyone I can talk to about it. I mean, I have one friend, but I hate to dump on her because I prefer to enjoy my time with her and I absolutely adore her. She is a human incarnate of a ray of sunshine. I have another friend I might could talk to, but it's... well, let's just say that I'm not really allowed to talk about myself and my problems. All we talk about is hers. One night we went out recently and all she did was complain about her job, the same things over and over, for hours and she didn't really have a regard for me. And I have friends from work, but I don't really want to dump on them.


Maybe I'm being too open here, but there's only so much complaining and venting that my parents can take, you know?


And then people have started treating me like I'm crazy about my health again, and I'm just over it.


I regret dropping my classes. I can't go back now though. I made my decision and I'll stick with it, at least for this semester.


I know I couldn't have handled them right now. I'm having some pretty severe focus problems lately.


And I also have a thirty-day heart monitor strapped to my chest and I'm really over it. It's been about a week.


I'm tired of sitting here and trying to convince myself that everything will be okay. Self-soothing is getting kind of old. And I really miss my grandfather. And I miss the person I was. The girl who was beautifully brilliant and made A's in all of her classes and enjoyed school and loved it so much.


I don't even recognize myself anymore. Where did this animosity towards school come from? This exhausted apathy that keeps me from feeling like I can do anything?


I feel like lately when I've been blogging, it's been a lot of negativity. I write draft after draft after draft and never post them because I don't want people to see that side of me, but I'm kind of running out of things to say. I can't keep up the sunshine and rainbows all the time. Lately, it's been a lot of rain. And hail. And tornados. And I'm tired, and cold, and wet. And I just want shelter from the storm. I keep praying that things will get better and then things seem to just blow up in my face. Maybe it's God clearing out all of the bad things, but it's been going on for a while now and it just feels really really crappy.


I think I may start looking for a full-time job. Or maybe a second part-time one. I'm not really sure. I always thought I would be the person with a big future who had a powerful voice and could do something really great. And honestly? I don't really feel like that anymore.


I think over the past year or so, I lost parts of myself. Parts of myself that I'm still trying to find, or fill the spots of. And it isn't really working.


I'm trying so hard to not give up on that. It takes everything in me, most days.


I'm just trying to take it one day at a time.


I keep a playlist on while I'm blogging and it's a random one on YouTube and Louis' Tomlinson's "Two of Us" just came on. It was like a smack to the face a little bit. The lines:

"But you once told me 'Don't give up /You can do it day by day' / And diamonds, they don't turn to dust or fade away" just played and sent me into a sob fest. I think that sometimes things we need to hear come in ways that we least expect it.


It's reassuring to realize that I'm not going to just blow away in the wind because I dropped out this semester, or if I decide to not return. It's difficult because I've always been the most extremely academically driven of my siblings. That is so far from a slight against them. I'm so proud of them and what they do, and I envy them. I've always been so focused on school that I never took the time to find who I am without it. And now, I'm basically being forced to and it's causing a lot of problems for me.


I think these next few months of my life will be good for me, and I think I'm going to be growing and learning a lot. I have a really bad habit of comparing who I was at nineteen to who I am at twenty-two. Which is kind of a stupid thing to do. Obviously, for a person with a relatively normal paced life, it would likely drastically change them. A three year period filled with medical issues and trauma? Yeah, definitely a big difference.


A lot has definitely changed since I was nineteen. I'm not really friends with anyone I was friends with at nineteen, save for maybe one person. I'm not at the same school, I have an Associate's degree, I live in a different house, I'm my sister's maid of honor, I've had some major health issues, gained some weight, fell in love with doing my makeup, lost a dog, got a dog. I've lost my grandfather. I've lost a lot of my "friends" and made the decision to choose myself first.


I'm choosing myself first.


Which is a weird thought. But it's a big deal for me. And I'm proud of myself for it. I don't think I ever would have taken the time to put myself first at nineteen. Nineteen-year-old-me didn't even take a semester off when she had cancer!


Nineteen-year-old-me was wild.


I'm looking forward to all of the new things to come up in this new chapter of my life. It's hard, but the best things always are.


And, yes, you are allowed to count yourself as one of the best things.


Making progress on myself is going to be a lot of work, but I'm always doing the work and I want to be better. Taking a break from school this semester allows me to focus on myself and to put myself first. I get to do all of the things I've been putting off because I haven't had the time to work on them (one of them being getting some better solo photos of myself), and I'm really excited to get to share that part of my life with y'all. I hope you tag along for the journey.


And, as always:


Be cool, be kind, and be yourself.


-Natalie


 

Date Written: 8/30/22

Current Listen: "SNAP" by Rosa Linn

Current Watch: Gilmore Girls

Current Read: Black Heart by Holly Black






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