You Can’t Do This Alone
Warning: This blog is different to what I usually write…raw honesty and vulnerability follows.
This semester has been bumpy for me. And thats putting it lightly. I’ve lost a fair bit of resilience. I’ve made some bad decisions. I’ve been irresponsible, not to mention selfish, with my approach to life, and all too often give up before I even begin.
I’ve had to adjust to a lot of things…moving out, taking responsibility for myself, and figuring out what the hell my place is in this world (I’ll still need to get back to you on that one >_>). I am now confident in my ability to look after myself, and know I can do this for the rest of my life. I can iron, clean, shop, cook, and make about 10-15 meals without the need for a recipe book. But my academics have taken a slide.
I’ve only been to a handful of lectures this semester. I’ve neglected my studies and didn’t believe in myself. I screwed up and spent a lot of time with cynical, negative people. You know the ones. The ones who find fault in everything, the ones who never have a good word to say. Best way to describe them? The pessimistic losers who don’t matter.
In associating with these bastards I’ve adopted aspects of their negative outlook, lost sight of what’s important, and have been far too slack in maintaining the true friendships I have that actually move me in a positive direction.
Some of this was probably natural, a lot of people lose passion for their degrees and experience moments of doubt in their second year of their course. But did I expect it to happen to me? I can’t say I did.
Last year I was extremely passionate about my degree, I loved all my subjects. The ones which sucked ass (Marketing and Audience Research, kill me now), still…sucked ass, but you could still laugh about them and talk about how much they sucked afterwards with friends who were stuck doing the same thing.
The thing you realised was, you were not alone. Yeah, some of the subjects might be boring as crap and you might have felt like it had no purpose whatsoever (pretty sure there was a Facebook group called “KKB101 and 102 should go to hell”). But you were not alone in this. You were surrounded by friends, and allies.
Your comrades in arms who were stuck doing the same thing as you. You all fought the same ogres. You had to face the same assessment. You did the same horrible, overworded, pretentious readings. It wasn’t always a pleasant experience. But you made it. You made it through. And you know what? You came out the other side to be stronger, wiser, and more epic. And you basked in the celebration of having that crap behind you. And you never had to do it again.
One thing I’ve been missing this semester? Those really close friendships I had in my first year. I have a lot of friends I say hi to when I spot them at uni. I have other homies I see on weekends. But I can count the number of people who have really been there for me on one hand. You know those close friendships that get you through the darkest nights.
These are the friends who are there for you. Who calm you down when you’re freaking out about the assignment due the next day. Who you can have a genuinely joyful conversation with for hours. Who enjoy your company and treasure it for what it is, who are there during both the good and bad times, and most of all, who actually make an effort to see you. These are the true allies you’ll have in the battles you face.
When you get to my stage, you’re going to make mistakes. I know I’ve done it. It’s a part of life. We’re human. We’re flawed. It’s okay to let the pressure get to you sometimes.
But you know what? Life’s too short for this kind of crap. Live your dream. Surround yourself with positive people. Don’t listen to small minded, bigoted, cynical losers. If your friends suck, get better ones. They’re out there. Start by being a good friend yourself.
Robert Louis Stevenson says it well: “We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”
Sometimes we don’t need to feel good. We need a good kick in the ass to get us back in the right direction. We need an ally to steer us back on track, to get us to stop moping, to share the good and bad times with us, because we sure as hell can’t do this alone.
What can you do right now? Appreciate the people around you while they’re there. It is the single thing which will make a difference. In your studies. In your relationships. In your career, your future, your life. Don’t be weak, don’t be needy, but have gratitude, or they’ll be gone. Trust me on that one.