Last night, my uncle Barry asked me what I'd been up to recently. When I answered him with my customary "nothing", his face fell.
"Nothing?" he asked. "You haven't been writing any music, taking courses, met a boy... nothing?"
"You're too old to be doing nothing and you know it."
I had nothing to say to this.
"Do you know what you want to do with your life?"
Even though I've known the answer my whole life, it choked me up to say it out loud. How can you be 20 and still not have a clue?
"You're not... chasing your dream?"
"I wanted to be a rockstar, but I gave up. It's barely about music anymore, and nobody wants to see me on a poster or in a video. Besides, I don't have the talent."
He swore loudly, then went off on a spiel about how pretty and smart I was, and how I could have the world if I set my mind to it, blah blah blah. These kind of speeches always make me feel worse, not better, because: 1, I don't believe any of it and I'm really sick of hearing it, and 2, I feel like everyone is expecting something epic of me that I don't think I can give them. It's bad enough to disappoint yourself; disappointing someone you love is heartbreaking.
"Do you want to take singing lessons?"
How do I answer that? I know why not, but it seems almost too stupid to say out loud. I'm scared to fail. All my life I've been scared to fail, humiliated and ashamed every time I fell short. I used to bite off more than I could chew and give up halfway, but I guess since I hated the feeling of failure so much, I stopped trying altogether.
"You like to run away from your problems, don't you?"
"Running away is the biggest problem you have."
"...What do you mean?"
He excused himself to the other room. I took the moment to try and regain some composure, at this point fighting back tears from the harsh reality of the state of my life. I pushed away all my friends because I was afraid to fall out of favor, walked out on my job because I was afraid to make mistakes, and now I'm putting off job hunting because I'm afraid of responsibility. I didn't think having so little confidence could become such a big problem, but it has.
He came back with a small bud in his palm, and just like that, without him even saying anything, my composure was gone and the waterworks started. I know I have a problem. It's a problem that costs me almost $400 a month and still leaves me vastly unsatisfied.
"You're too smart to be a stoner," he said, holding it up to my face.
"I'm an idiot."
"No, you're not. An idiot wouldn't be crying right now."
He's right. I'm smart enough to have a conscience, so I should ******** apply it. I know what a sorry excuse I am for a human being, and I know I'm the only person who can change that. So what am I waiting for? Some kind of otherworldly green light to let me know it's okay to screw up?
I was grateful to be interrupted to be asked to run a task right there, but I haven't been able to get the conversation off my mind since. There's so much more to life than that fleeting high, but how do I go about finding it?
Being an introvert, and incredibly uncomfortable with how much of my soul my uncle was seeing, I ended the conversation with "Forget it." I hope he doesn't, though. I think I need to be around people who haven't given up on me. Maybe I will take those lessons..
I don't know if I want to share this or not. Part of me wants feedback, insight, help; the other part is still going "Forget it, nobody cares.". confused I want to change, but it seems... insurmountable.
Manage Your Items