Growing Up: You Only Go Back To Being Yourself

By Cathy H - 8:17 PM

I been doing alot of thinking lately, and come to the conclusion that throughout my life I chased many things and people that I thought we bring me eternal happiness. When I was entering middle school, I thought I'd be some kind of party animal at age 16 and take those kind of pictures with red cups that everybody back in high school took. Back than, even a school dance was a big deal and I remembered shying away from that because I never got close to any boys..I reached every milestone I looked forward to only to find nothing was changing. I was still me at 16, never fitting in to my ideal "social life" and wondering if I didn't walk in the right direction or something. I always had close knit friends but always looked toward something more satisfying..I remember when my best friend moved into that "party life" I felt like such a failure I didn't have it in me to just suddenly become well liked and social every weekend. I would look through her newly uploaded facebook pictures and just sulk over how much fun and connections she was making. Back in highschool, those pictures and things were so relevant and seemingly important. Furthermore, I never dated in high school and questioned if I was either too cold or nobody liked me. I looked at myself with distain many times back them at my inability to be involved in extracurricular activities and social circle. Whatever I was, it was never enough to satisfy me.

 I carried this unsatisfaction with me throughout the first semester of University where nothing changed. I thought it was hopeless to change anything because I thought university would suddenly socialize me into this fraternity partying girl that went out and enjoyed herself every weekend. Instead, it was continuously the same drill day in and day out. Onto the second term, I had enough of my continuous sulking and self doubts on me never attaining the key things I wanted in my life. Call it desperation..since the beginning of 2012 I made a mental "bucketlist" of everything I didn't get to experience till than. I just needed that EXPERIENCE. So I did, those various nights drives with guys and the countless dates. The texting back and forth and that fresh feeling of being sought after and wanted by someone. I got everything I wanted but paradoxically I became more upset at NEW problem. Everything is like expansion and limitations, whatever you get- it makes you gain in a way but also brings negatives to life. Up until now I already experienced everything I wanted, from clubbing night in and night out and meeting more guys that it became such a norm it made me feel sick. It didn't hold any value or boost my self esteem like I thought it would. 

Most importantly, experiencing all these things made me realize what I was NOT. I am not someone who needs to cling to boys to feel my value. I am not someone that enjoys frequently drinking and among other things to make me "lose control" and loosen up. I do not like loud environments and being hit on in a party setting because it makes me feel dirty. Through all this, I still sit here writing this the same person as I've always been. I realized that nothing can sustain my satisfaction...ever. I still think to myself on some days "you should be changing into this and this, like her and those people and do those kind of things" but I realize I'd end up me anyway. I guess the moral is to embrace whatever you are without trying to criticize and fight against it. I still  end up feeling the same kind of doubt and unrest no matter what I achieve or how far I go. But I just accept the present and moment as much as possible anyway. The best way to describe it is giving up without letting go. Nothing in this material world is everlasting whether it is people or events, if you are looking on the outside for happiness..its the wrong mindset. You don't need to do anything to be who you are. 

Let me sum these thoughts up with one of my favorite Murakami quotes:

“I always feel as if I'm struggling to become someone else. As if I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a new personality. I suppose it's part of growing up, yet it's also an attempt to re-invent myself. By becoming a different me, I could free myself of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself - as long as I made the effort. But I always hit a dead end. No matter where I go, I still end up me. What's missing never changes. The scenery may change, but I'm still the same old incomplete person. The same missing elements torture me with a hunger that I can never satisfy. I think that lack itself is as close as I'll come to defining myself.”

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