"Here." A single syllable, and one that was meant to be uttered truthfully. But if I'm being honest? I wasn't there. I was anywhere but there. I was too busy trying to figure out my schedule to listen to the teacher tell us the rules, was too busy thinking about the cute boy sitting two seats up to think about the morning prayer, and I was too busy thinking of all the things to come to realize that I? Wasn't there. I'll get back to this in a minute, so stay with me.
Anyways, high-school was a wholly terrifying experience for me.
I didn't quite know how to fit in. Underdeveloped, glasses that could have doubled as petri dishes, and an unfortunate habit of falling were among the least of my concerns during what is oft referred to as 'the best years of my life.'
I'm telling you, World. If those were the best years of my life I might as well just give the fuck up right now.
Seeing as how no lightening has struck me down yet, I'm gunna assume that the Big Guy has better plans for me and that there will, in fact, be better years ahead.
Anyways, the point is, I didn't exactly fit in. Everyone else in art class attempted to make artwork that reflected them. They tried to "express themselves".
I? Made dragons. Because c'mon now...dragons are kickass and kind of awesome. I remember my teacher walking over to where I was carefully laying strips of paper mache over wire.
"Sara. What are you making?" I leaned back slightly to look at her.
"Sara, that's not what the assignment was. You're supposed to express yourself - you need to let us know who you are. I suggest you start over." With a disdainful sniff and the clatter of her
I looked at my poor half-constructed reptilian friend, and dismantled him. Started over. Made something suitably expressive. Got an A.
That's pretty much how high-school went for me. Go to class, try to fit in, fail miserably. Go home. Wake up, repeat.
And then I hit college. All of a sudden I was exposed to people from other cultures, I had the chance to get involved in intellectual discussions, I was able to be myself without being looked at like there was something intrinsically wrong with me.
But I didn't.
I didn't step out of my box and get to know my classmates, and I didn't debate and cause hell. I went to class, stayed silent, took my notes and passed my tests. I met a few friends along the way - I even still talk to a few of them, and I'm lucky enough to count at least one as a good friend. I graduated with my BA in anthropology (perhaps one of the biggest ironies in my life thus far is that my degree is in the study of something that I never quite felt a part of - culture).
I had a few boyfriends through college and after it. I've learned something different from every one, and I have the great fortune of genuinely saying that they? Are all really nice guys. I don't regret a thing.
I found myself drifting recently. Depression set in, and I began drinking far too much. I contemplated doing something that I swore to myself that I'd never do to myself ever again. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw nothing. An absolute void of a person, with no notable accomplishments to date and no reason to exist.
I was wrong.
All my life I've had people telling me who I am, what I should do, what's appropriate and what's not. I've had people judge me based off my job, and I've had people tell me what I should think about this, that or the other. And I? Am sick of it.
I have plans. Big ones. And I will accomplish them in my own time. When I, and no one else, am ready for them. I'm so tired of sophomoric, needless drama that does nothing other than inhibit who and what I am - all so that other people can give me the great "benefit" of their "advice."
In short, I'm done with giving a fuck.
I am done with trying to be this person that I think people will like. I'm done with saying 'here' without really meaning it. I'm done with making a suitable facsimile of what people think I should be.
I'm going to be a mother-fucking dragon if I damn well want to be.
And it is in this revelation that I've finally found my joy. And my groove.
I finally got my groove back.
Time to accomplish something great.