I’m so tired of worrying and feeling like I’m never going to be quite the person I want to be.
Ever since I was younger, I felt like I had my idea of what I wanted to do and be. When I was in high school, I was editor of the yearbook and frequently contributed small editorials to our little newspaper. My teachers praised me as a good writer and a “very intelligent girl.” I did well in school. Graduated with top honors. Scholarships.
When I went to college and attended some of my first honors, I was in for such a rude awakening. My first honors English Comp paper came back to me with a letter I’d not been familiar with. After some talking with my teacher and some serious relearning, I got better. My papers got better. I was praised once again by teachers I revered and respected.
About halfway into my college career, I worked up the nerve to go down to the school newspaper office and say, “I want to write.” I got my first assignment, something simple. I went on to write several more things for the paper. I wrote several stories for reporting and writing classes. One of my in-depth assignments won me an award. My teachers again showered with me with wonderful words and encouraged me to pursue what I thought I wanted—to be a writer. In my mind, I became convinced that my skill was with the editing aspect of things, though I still wanted to consider myself a writer. My senior year I served as copy editor for the paper. I enjoyed editing stories for content and grammar, making my marks and cleaning things up. Classmates would ask me to look over their papers, and I did so gleefully. I enjoyed writing, but there were so many times that I would just freeze and I felt like the right words would never come. I felt more comfortable in hacking apart what someone else had put together.
My dream internship was always to work at Southern Living. I wanted to work with the copy editors, learn more about the business, and really hone my skills. However, I soon became very conflicted as to whether or not this was what I wanted. Even worse, when I became mixed in with all the other interns from around the country, I couldn’t help but feel cheated. All the others (mostly girls) had already completed several internships. They came from bigger schools that had a better focus on journalism and other specialized areas, which didn’t hold up well next my communication degree with a focus in print journalism. Even worse, I felt jealousy pangs for something else that all the other girls had that I didn’t—drive. Determination. Go-getter-ness. Nearing the end of my internship, the others had all had writing assignments, interviews, job opportunities. I had nothing. I had no confidence, no skills, and no interviews.
Fast-forward to now. I got a job, but not exactly doing what I wanted. I feel lost. I feel like the world is moving so fast around me and there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t feel like an inspired writer, I don’t think I’m good enough to really do anything, and I just sit in my little pit of despair, wishing I was any of my other friends who have all the abilities I only thought I once had. I’ve had one or two other writing assignments outside of work, but it seems that no matter what I do, it’s never as good as all my other friends who are out there living the dream I always had. I feel like I’ll never be good enough to go places. I don’t have the experience I should have already gotten by now. I’m too scared to go after anything. I wait forever to do assignments because I psych myself out and think I just can’t do it. My biggest fear: I’ll never be the person I always wanted to be. I think too much, too far in the future, and I give myself a headache stressing about things that haven’t even happened yet. I wallow in a cloud of “what-if” and I can’t seem to make any sense out of anything I do. I don’t know enough. I don’t comprehend well. I don’t, I can’t, I won’t. I can’t get these contractions out of my vocabulary. My mind is moving too fast. My head feels full. I just want to live one day without feeling the weight of my own world on my shoulders. I’m tired. I want to be inspired. I want to be talented. I want to be motivated. I want experience. I want, I want, I want. Nothing I ever do is good enough. The worst feeling in the world is too be so proud of something you’ve done only to realize you were all wrong all along.
I wish I had the experiences my friends have had. Work experience, life experience. I wish I had their talents. I wish I had their skills. I wish I had their opportunities. I wish I were a better writer. I wish I was the Summer I always wanted to grow up to be, the Summer my parents always thought I would be, the Summer that all my old friends think that I’m busy becoming. I want to move. I want to get out. I wish I had the prestige and the importance that goes along with the phrase “I work in publishing.” I don’t read enough of the right books. I don’t know the right authors. I don’t quote the right people. I don’t know enough about history or politics. I don’t know how to state my opinions. I don’t quote the right song lyrics. I don’t listen to the right music. I don’t know enough about current affairs. I don’t even know if I could tell you where India is on a map.
I feel like I’m stuck in a place of always saying I’m going to do this or that and saying it and thinking it so much that I feel like I’ve actually done it, which provides me with the only sense of accomplishment I have. I need motivation. I want to want to do things. I hate always wanting to go to sleep, because that’s the only time I don’t feel like I have to worry about my next move, my next step, my next day of continuing to remain in the same place.
I feel lost.