The entire purpose of this post is to (1) therapeutically write (which I know a lot of you blog readers out there do not like reading long-winded soapbox entries, that is fine, and I have plenty of short, entertaining posts on my blog just for you), (2) illustrate the point that despite being saddened by my shortcomings in life, I am in way any better, worse, or more unique than everyone else around me, and (3) I am hoping to connect with people who may understand and let others know that they, too, are not alone. So, for any of you who would really like to go down this rabbit hole with me, then possibly have a discussion on the topics I touch on in this post, I am more than glad to oblige you.
I still have hope in this blog as I only started a month ago and have been posting at least one blog post a day. (Yeah I may have a few — possibly a little more than a few — lower quality blog posts, but I believe if I put in the work and ‘habitual’ my blogging, then in time I will slowly improve.) So, in short — my blog isn’t a failure, but my attempt at bettering myself has been.
First, I want to get this out there: I was never a good student, even in grade school when most kids get A’s. Maybe I am a little dyslexic, or possibly have a lower than average IQ, but it wasn’t because I didn’t try.
In high school, I didn’t try as hard as I did in elementary school, but I still was no genius. I got to take the ACT once and embarrassingly I got a 21. As my score predicted I did really bad my first year in college. I was placed in a very low-level math class, and placed in a very high-level psychology class — not sure why as I wasn’t an academic elite. Here is where I willfully threw the towel in.
(I know now that life sucks, every person is oppressed in some way, and life just isn’t fair. So, what I am sharing isn’t an attempt at pity or social justice, it is an attempt at connection. I want to know if there still is hope out there for those of us who were and are NOT exceptional.)
When I entered college at 18, I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, but, also, I didn’t realize how stupid I was — which I believe a lot of 18-year-olds are.
I let my emotions take over.
When I was bored by my math class and overly challenged by my psych class, instead of finding help (tutors or talking to the professor, in my psych class, and talking to my professor about the lack of challenge my math class presented for me) I chose to sparsely attend class, then, bury myself in my bedsheets and crappy cafeteria food. I became depressed. But, these weren’t the only problems I faced.
I got into a relationship because I was too nice to say no, and was in competition, for the first time, in my art classes. Plus, strangers that walked passed me commented on my funny looking arm – I have Erb’s Palsy in my left arm. I never encountered people openly making fun of me like this before. The feelings of shame and inadequacy as a woman sunk in deeper after each mocking encounter.
On top of it all, like a lot of people, I had raging dysfunction going on with my family. My younger sister’s truancies and bad attitude were turning into criminal behavior, my father was getting evicted from his apartment because he couldn’t pay the bills or control his hoarding, and my grandparents, in an attempt to protect me, ordered me to not work and limit my driving to necessity only. I was broke, with no way of getting more money, and abandoned by family.
(I want to reassure you that my story isn’t unique, many college freshmen have their identities questioned, are challenged in ways they never expected, and feel a sense of loneliness they could have never imagined before. I was no different.)
I left these [my circumstances] ruin me. I gained a lot of weight. I let my boyfriend belittle me. And, I shrank away from any advances of kindness from others in fear of more rejection and humiliation.
I did crawl out of my freshman hole, persuading my grandparents to let me get a job, I found an income based clinic that had reduced priced therapy, and I got my associates degree. My true failure in life happened after this.
My life continued on an upward spiral from here. I got a full-time job at a call center and a part-time job at an after-school program. From here I moved in with a friend, rented her basement, and bought a car. I applied to the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and got in.
Fall of 2012 approached quickly and I found myself packing my little white Hyundai with the few belongings I accumulated over the years. I was off to university and very excited. I had never done something like this before, moving away to a city and starting a new life on my own.
My first semester at UNO was a dream. I worked harder than I ever had at school, got mostly A’s and had my first congratulation from a professor, ever, it was my Women’s and Gender Studies professor. She really loved my paper on the feminist analysis of the Walking Dead. Apparently, I could see the nuances all tangled up within the horror action that most had missed, like how Lori was a plot device in order to move along the tension between Rick and Shane. Anyway, it was the first time that I loved school.
Then, a trip up happen…
During my first semester, I had joined an on Christian campus group. It was a part of an organization I was a part of back in my hometown. I wanted something that would help me with homesickness and I really liked this organization. Everything was really great until I attended a gathering some of the members were hosting. I found myself to be the only girl, but since I was a little older than most of the guys and all of them were upper middle-class city guys; I assumed that none would have been interested in a chubby 22-year-old farm girl. But I was wrong, I caught the eye of one. He was a great looking, sweet, intelligent man.
I just don’t do well when men like me, at least at that time I didn’t. I was still sore from my previous relationship to an arrogant theatre actor. I wanted to heal, I wanted to succeed at something [college] on my own. I wanted to get comfortable with myself and begin to experience life in a new way, a healthier way and getting into a relationship wasn’t going to be what I needed at that time. I knew it. However, he didn’t, and he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
Naively, I thought when this guy asked me to play video games with him, I thought he was inviting me as a friend, not as a girlfriend. After that date, things went very fast. Before I knew it, he was telling me he was in love with me, and I met his parents. It was too much and I felt terrible. Finally, in an attempt to share my feelings, I clumsily blurted out that I wanted to be just friends for a while, and possibly slow things down a little.
Those words smashed him like a metal bat to the face. He was hurt more than I had ever seen a man hurt. I tried to rephrase my words, but like blood on a white carpet, it wasn’t going to go away. I had wounded him.
This is where things started to go downhill, even more. Soon, others in my little campus group found out about the “breakup” and I soon was shunned by angry friends and jealous girls, who wanted to see me suffer. It was the weirdest experience for me.
I was the last woman you would have ever thought to be the lucky woman of the prince on campus but I was, and now I wasn’t. I fell apart. I wondered if I threw away my chance at true love if I would ever find a man as gorgeous, intelligent, and successful as him ever again. Soon, my little dream to succeed at something started to look dull. Without love or even friendship, at this point. I became restless.
Somehow I achieved a 3.8 GPA my second semester and thought that if I made academia my focus I could have something in the future. In a rash attempt to distract and boost my ego I applied for the honors program, and I got accepted. I wish I didn’t. I was under the misguided assumption that the best thing one could do is take risks for the sake of glory.
The honors program changed college for me forever. I was so overwhelmed, I frequently didn’t sleep, spent hours working on assignments that I would end up with B’s and even C’s on. I was in grade school again, trying as hard as I could just to fail and feel deeply inadequate. As my GPA slowly went down my delusions of grandeur inversely accelerated.
Finally, after a year and an entire tenth of a GPA point lower later, I found myself, exhausted, alone, and deeply ashamed of my intellectual deficiency. Here is where I gave up the second time. I decided, irrationally of course, that I had lost everything and didn’t want to live. I found myself in the Psych hospital, now close to $4,000 in debt and a failed semester. I was defeated.
After this incident, things didn’t really improve. I attempted to take classes after two years off from school and only ended up dropping all except one and failing that last class, to boot. That same semester is when I lost my job as a Behavioral Health Technician, I quit actually. And now here I am. No Bachelors, college loan debt, no job, and hoping that blogging may help me get back up, hopefully, one more time.
(Again, I want to stress, that my story isn’t special and that the majority of my ‘ills’ are my fault. I am just curious if I still have a chance in life to ever truly redeem myself again.)