First, some background info. I’m not sure whether my depression was short term or not, but I do know that it was subtle. It seemed to have crept up on me. Or perhaps I ignored it. However, I realized that faking my life was uncomfortable, not instantaneously, but over a few months. Although I knew deep down during college the something was off, it wasn’t until after graduating that I spent three months in my room thinking. I left only to eat and go to church (had to maintain my happy and fun persona). These months allowed me to seriously categorize my life…in detail, as far back as possible.
Second, my decisions are possibly due impart to me being an introvert. I have no problem being alone for weeks on end. As I was growing up, I learned to stay in social settings because leaving them would cause much more trouble (questions about why I didn’t want to speak to anyone) than I was willing to handle (answers that I wasn’t capable of communicating correctly).
Listed below are some moments in time that were most likely forks in the road. To think back and see a decision that could have changed everything baffles me, but here they are:
MOMENT 1 – As a child, I came to the conclusion that everyone would love the idea of me being a doctor, lawyer, or veterinarian. You know how you’re constantly asked what you want to be when you grow up? I took it seriously, as though what I decided then would be permanent. So, I told everyone I would be a veterinarian and they supported me. If I knew that math and science weren’t my forte, I may have gotten out of this situation early, realizing it’s not quite so easy to claim a career and expect it to all work out. Besides, my grades were above average and I actually found the sciences interesting.
MOMENT 2 – I never took a moment to think about the other skills or interests I had, such as playing tennis, discovering art, or story telling. I immediately pushed those ‘hobbies’ to the side because they didn’t seem like good options to present to the masses. ‘Look! I want to be a professional tennis player!’ Not in a million years. I truly enjoyed each and every one, but told myself what I believed to be the hard truth. I can’t do this forever. I will have to grow up and settle into a ‘stable’ career.
MOMENT(s) 3 – All throughout college, I was so much more happier taking courses that didn’t involve my major. In fact, I started out undecided possibly because my spirit was trying to knock some sense into my brain, but I eventually changed over to Biology. History and literature class projects were my creative outlet to draw and express my knowledge in writing. Intermediate tennis was my way to jump back into the tennis scene. And three more semesters (after three high school years) of Spanish was my attempt to really dig down and learn a language. What a way to completely ignore my conscience.
I’m not sure how I set some life guidelines for myself at such a young age, but it happened. Nor do I know why I never considered my ‘hobbies’ a worthy career. Or where my sixth sense disappeared to whenever I was so close to finding out or fixing the problem. I’ll leave that for another conversation. The important part is where I am right now.
No longer am I working hard toward something I have no wish to live with. No longer will I place burdens upon myself. Now, I’m reaching for everything I once thought impossible. A year or more in planning set my goals closer than ever. I’m traveling to Japan, taking an interest in video production and building the foundation for my own business.
Thanks for reading,
When Your Brain Hurts