….The Internet gives me instruction. And okay, I know it shouldn’t always be my main source of information but it sortakindais. I typed “how to be the best” and I kid you not there were pages on how to walk, talk, and act “the best.” Sometimes you search “symptoms of brain cancer” others “how to break dance”. Then you do what the steps tell you and go from there. There are people who make fortunes off of their instructional videos of makeup, workouts, musical lessons on the Internet. It seems like there are instructions to everything.
I can think back to a moment in the first grade where my teacher told my mother, “I’m worried about Cara. You give her a list to do: x,y,z and she’ll get it done. But she’ll do it in order of z, X, y. She skips the directions on almost all her assignments and it’s really affecting her learning abilities.” A counselor even met with my parents and offered to hold me back a year in school. The problem, they said was that I was daydreaming too much in class. “Sometimes I don’t even know If Cara hears me talking to her. She’s in her own little world.”
In a way, my teacher wasn’t wrong. At the ripe age of 22 and being 2 months graduated from school, I can still see how I still close myself off in my own little world. I make my own rules. I hear what I want to hear and that’s that. I hide behind business and have this place that I hide in when things get rough. I run away, sometimes literally, from situations that are uncomfortable for me. This has been a big character flaw of mine and something that as predicted from my teacher has prohibited me from growing as a person. People say there are three types of learners. Those who learn by listening, those who learn by watching, and those who learn by doing. I took a test once on which learner I was as a kid, and as it turns out, I’m a classic “slow learner.” Although I damn sure try to learn fast, it doesn’t always turn out in my favor, and that’s because there’s a distinct space from where I am, where I want to be, and where I expect myself to be.
The thing is, no one gives you a set list of X, y, z for adulthood. Okay, I mean they do sort of. “You should be moved out, be making at least 40k per year and oh, found the perfect soulmate to take the best Instagram posts with.” But those aren’t guidelines, those are crappy basic living standards that society places pressure on you to uphold ancient traditions to appease others.
Recently, I’ve had this repeating worry that my whole life until now has been a series of self questioning. I do things because I repeat what I’ve seen or heard. How much of that comes from within me? Then I got really deep with myself; how much of me, is ME? What if I’m not as primal as I thought? Then my brain hurt. It seems that the reason behind this is that I watch movies, read books, go by other people for an example of how to do things. But here’s what I’ve come to know: you need to make your own rules. There isn’t always an answer or an explanation behind every move. Some things just are. Some situations are meant to be learned and then put away for good.
“Deal with your mess. Stare at it, Accept it. Keep moving when you can’t see what’s ahead.” -something I’ve been trying to wrap my head around.
I guess that’s what scares me, the unfamiliar. Timing. Circumstance. Is it ever in our favor? Not usually. The not knowing of when to stop, when to start again. I’ve been looking for a way to feel connected to the world around me and the people who care about me but I always lean on my best defense which is distancing myself and becoming a hermit.
The other night at yoga, I found myself frustrated and unwilling to face a certain truth I was previously ashamed of reliving. Usually during the cool down, the instructor is silent but this time she said in a small voice “don’t let fear drive your decisions. Let joy, love, laughter be your guide.” And I guess since my whole life I’ve always looked to other people for an “okay” or green light thumbs up for nearly every big decision in my life. An even scarier realization– I’ve been living in the same vicious cycle when it comes to living my life day to day. I might not be very good at expressing myself or finding the right words all the time. I tend to make a goof out of most things when really I want to go in a corner and hide. But that night, as I laid on my mat in class I sort of had this thought of what if I started doing the opposite of what I usually do? What if I tried, just tried to let my emotions drive me to what feels right, rather than desperately driving myself mad finding the hidden meaning behind everything? What if I lived from intention, and less from habit even if I want to look back?
There isn’t a guideline book of “how to rock your twenties” besides tacky, unoriginal articles that pop up online. I suppose there is only a “this feels right” or going with your gut sixth sense that makes your moral compass spin. Maybe now I’ll try making my own instructions to how I think I should be spending my time. I want to lead the direction of my life with love and let the instructions follow even if the events in my life expected to occur at this time are out of order like that first grade y X z. Maybe the best plans are unplanned, perhaps the best roads to drive on are the ones where Indifference is the only street light blinking.
I don’t know if it’s a good thing to he led by love blindly, but I feel like it’s a pretty good place to start.