Truth be told, I am pretty bloody terrified about the future. All I’m faced with is this perpetual uncertainty of what lies ahead… And is that what adulthood’s all about? Am I just going to go through the rest of my life with a massive question mark across my face, feeling like a kid who’s lost their parents in a shopping mall during their pre-mobile phone days. Because, if that’s what adulthood is, I must kindly decline this offer. I refuse to take part in such atrocity.
Part of the problem is the ambiguity of that awaits me on the other side. I don’t know what I want to do or be in life. Do I want to be somebody who makes heaps of money? Or do I want to leave a massive smudge of Kylie on the surface of the Earth? And no, I don’t mean smearing my defecations across the borders of several countries… because that is, quite frankly, really disgusting. I mean, do I want to work to make something awesome happen in the world? A prolific act of altruism – helping those who struggle, and trying to give them hope and opportunity? Then I could die knowing that I might’ve potentially created a chance for at least one person to live and make something of themselves, which may inadvertently sprout the beginnings of a long line of ancestry. Mm, yes. That sounds delicious.
The reason I’m writing this post is because I suddenly feel so restricted and trapped at university. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning. I am interested in what I’m studying… But then again, I’m also interested in a lot of things. I like to dance, but I don’t want to be a professional dancer. I like to eat… But I don’t fancy being a culinary professional. So, what makes interest in my course any different from any of my other interests? How do I know that I’m doing what I want to be doing? That I’m becoming a person of value, not a person who craves success?
One of the things I’ve uncovered and have been reflecting on for the longest time these past couple of months is how as we grow older, we are systematically stripped of our dynamism, creativity, and our expressiveness as the competition for success in our lives grow. We’re battered with theories of political, social and economical constructs, then tossed in to an arena to see who knows these theories best. We’re deprived of our individuality, then fed standardised knowledge discovered by some genius in the past. We’re encouraged to grow, but not in a way that I would’ve imagined. Instead of being encouraged to challenge theories, or create something as revolutionary as the things we learn about, we’re told to absorb what is already widely known and accepted by everybody.
In primary school, we didn’t have that. At the time, we wouldn’t begin to comprehend how beautiful and badass this time in our lives would be, but it was the greatest. We were gently encouraged to try and learn about things in various arts, cultures and subjects in life… But then we reached high school. Again, for the first few years we were goaded into trying different things to make us more cultured and educated, and this started to shape us as individuals… to show us what we liked and what we didn’t like.
Then it started to get competitive… We were graded, praised and punished by the mark of a letter in red. In some ways, that pushed us to become better, to try harder… But, it was no longer subjects that we were allowed to maintain a quiet adoration for. It became this intense mental battle to get better grades, because for all we cared, 95% didn’t mean A+… It meant you were almost good enough, but not quite. Not until we beat whoever was at the top. Not until we became the best. Instead of loving a subject, it was just a test. A representation of our success and of our failures. We weren’t heralded not for our passion and creativity, but for our ability to grade ourselves, and our rank among others.
I wish we could’ve been celebrated for our dreams, because somewhere along the line, I forgot the expression of creativity and how awesome it all was. I’d rather be broke and to be able to live knowing I could express myself, rather than have my knowledge dictated by all these theoretical constructs what I couldn’t give a flying f*** about. Constructs that someone who had challenged the system had made once. I don’t want my mark on the world to be amounted to my monetary contributions at some major corporation. I don’t want my working there to be some validation of success. I want to do something brilliant… Except I’m not quite sure what that is yet.
I don’t know why I choose to broadcast my ongoing quarter life existential crisis… But, hopefully I’m not alone? My outlook in life is bleak as hell at the moment, but hopefully it’s just a phase, because god this sucks. Hopefully I can look back at this in 10 years and chuckle at how stupid this all is. Ha.
Here’s a picture of a smiling goat, just to make this post a little happier. :’)