The Funk

“I won’t regret the lives I didn’t lead. I knew you, I loved you, and let that be all that I need. Say that it’s fate, say it’s foretold. I’m through with fighting it–I’m much too old. What the gods have to give I’ll take, and I’ll live, and be bold. If we’re always starting over every brand-new morning, then we’re always starting out with the end in doubt. We can leave life for tomorrow, or grieve all that we thought we’d do, or make each moment new. All that has happened is happening now. All that might happen is here, somehow. All of the choices that made me, me, all of the accidents yet to be. All that’s ahead, and all that’s behind–it’s all in the moment I make up my mind and open my heart and start … cause we’re always starting over with a brand new story.”

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine tonight that made me ponder life, as conversations with her often do. Specifically, I pondered my life and where I place myself within it—generally lower than most everyone else. I tell myself I don’t do this, but in reality, I look at everyone else in my life and think, This person is prettier or This person is smarter or This person is a better writer or This person is so much more confident. But, in reality, what does better mean? What is the standard with which we compare to, and why do we make ourselves so much lower than everyone else?

I am currently in what is commonly referred to as “the grad school funk.” AKA, “where the fuck am I and how did I get here when I can even write and I’m forever and a half away from the only home I’ve ever known and I’m not good enough to be in grad school and nobody likes me and I want to go home now.” I think back to a conversation where D mentioned that if I didn’t cry every day in grad school, I was doing it wrong. I think back to another conversation with T who told me I needed to figure grad school out on my own. I think back to still another conversation with N who told me that I would be unhappy for at least six months. I’ve been thinking this week how I don’t know how to tell what is normal and what isn’t. Which is scary and unnerving, and makes me quite unconfident. I feel like I’m faking; I feel like I don’t belong here, like I’m an impostor.

The funk.

My realization tonight was that everyone is unconfident in some area, when they don’t need to be. I look at all of these beautiful people that I know, (okay, look is a strong word as they are all 1000 miles away), and I realize that we all have things. And maybe that means it’s okay to cry, but I don’t have to. I need to let myself be confused and dissatisfied for at least six months before I officially decide if I do or don’t like grad school. And I figured this out myself.

We really are always starting over with entirely brand new stories, each and every day. And we make a choice on that day as to who we will be and what we will feel. I keep telling myself that there’s something missing, that I need something else. But the truth is, I’m getting too old to still be searching, to still be bouncing off the walls of the past, too scared and uncertain to face what is to come. 

I regret enough in life that I don’t want to regret anymore.

If every day is a choice, then it is my choice to how I approach the past and which walls I bounce off of. Fuck the funk and impostor syndrome and everything in between. I came to this place to write a story, and for the first time in my life it is the story that I myself want to write.

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