While brushing my teeth today, the following thought popped into my head: “This past year was the best year of my life.”
Now, I KNOW I was depressed for several months, but I don’t remember that. What I remember is all the great people I met, the beautiful places I went, and the growing I did. I think I came out of the year being more comfortable with myself. It’s not like I was self-conscious or lacking in confidence before, but this is the first time in my life that I’ve been doing something that wasn’t decided for me since the minute I was born. When you’re doing your own thing and supporting yourself, I suppose conformity matters less.
I can’t even give concrete examples of how I’ve changed–I can’t think of anything I do differently now. But I do feel like I’ve got my eyes on the prize. In college I was dead-set on doing this or that, but I obviously wasn’t going about doing it, cause I couldn’t. And now that I actually have to find a way to make things happen, and I’m doing them on my own, I feel like I’ve moved forward and Ariela the “student” is now a thing of the past.
That’s why it was weird for me to be at Oxford. Everyone there had a structured life: studying, reading, writing, rowing, going to this event or to that party. And I associate that type of life with my past. It obviously isn’t the past for thousands of people…I’m starting to believe that all my friends will hold more advanced degrees than I do…but it is the past for me, and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m excited to move forward into the unknown.
There are some moments when I have big-picture clarity of my life. I am able to isolate what’s important and forget about the trivial things that hold me back. But just as quickly as those moments come, I get sucked right back into the passions that render me near-sighted. I just have to trust myself to remember what I want and make it happen for myself.