It's been a while since I posted my first landmark. It's taken me over a year to get the second thousand posts which seemed to have come so effortlessly the first time around.
For want of more expressive, eloquent terms, it's been a wacky year.
I initially hesitated in getting too much into detail, though, because a good deal of the wackiness has come from a lot of intense personal problems that have caused a lot of hurt and pain to the people I love the most. The person I love the most, in particular.
See, I had a really good childhood. Growing up, I was just the smartest at everything I did. I won the MS Read-A-Thon for my entire elementary school in 1st grade. I was tested for the Gifted program in kindergarten by being asked to count to 20. I counted to 100 without a single mistake. I could remember lyrics to songs as early as 2, Do-Re-Mi and Tomorrow being among my favorites. I got all A's throughout elementary school and most of my high school career, but the lesser grades were merely from laziness and a poor work ethic. I excelled at everything I touched. I was an incredible child.
Somewhere, though, I lost me. That girl who found her energy and purpose on the stage, making people laugh and cry and feel, that girl who never got angry and took everything in stride. That girl who loved life and everything about it. I just can't seem to find her anymore.
Sounds like a pretty common problem -- most young adults have identity issues during their college years. But for me, somehow, the transition has been more difficult then I'd imagine is the norm. I was used to things being easy, you see. I was used to always getting my way because I never really asked for much, so what I wanted I could have. I was used to feeling like I was capable of doing anything, and feeling, knowing, that I was really amazing at anything I attempted. In the last year, though, I've lost that belief.
It really started with my decision to attend a college in Pittsburgh, PA, for musical theatre. Although, as I'm sure you will probably think to yourselves, it probably started long before that. But I think the springboard for my current downward spiral began with that incident. I was excited to be going out on my own. I was thrilled to be studying theatre. I got to Point Park and realized, suddenly, in a rush of fear, that I was not excited or thrilled at all. I was terrified and now I was stuck. I walked into my dorm room, thirty minutes into my college experience, and promptly sank down onto my new bed and bawled. My dad really didn't know what to do with me. He offered to take me home right then. Something in me refused the offer, and I stayed.
For two weeks.
But i hated it. I hated the atmosphere, I hated my courses, I hated being five hours from my family and everything that was familiar to me. Despised it. I even *knew* people at the college, good friends, and it wasn't enough. One of my best friends attended U of Pitt, and STILL i didn't feel comfortable or at home. I wanted home, I needed home, and I was as sure then as I am now that I didn't want to study musical theatre at all.
So I left.
I can say, without reservation, it was one of the hardest, smartest choices of my life. See, I was Kira: The Actress. And there really wasn't all that much more to me. I had other talents, sure, but none that was as praised and widely loved as that one. I was Kira: The Actress. That was the activity, the hobby, that I defined myself by. Without it, I felt I was nothing. I felt like I had no purpose. That was why the decision to leave my "dream" of being an actress on Broadway was so excruciatingly difficult. But i did it, and I honestly have not regreted it for a moment since.
Which brings me to about the end of January of last year, 2003. I was home, working in my old job at Barnes & Noble, and pretty much filling the rest of my free time with the internet. Hatrack, in particular. The story isn't a new one for a lot of you, but it was only a few months later that Icarus and Cor planned a trip to New Jersey, effectively changing the rest of my life. I don't believe that is in any way an exaggeration.
Because I met this guy. And he wasn't like any guy I'd ever met before. And I could list a lot of useless, gooey cliches right now about how he made me see new things and opened my world to new possibilities, but I think that would trivialize the true effect he's had on my life. I was purposeless. He made me want to have purpose. I was a worrier, he made me want to be at peace with life. I had very clear, strong, passionate opinions on various subjects -- he made me want to question and evaluate them. In effect, and to quote As Good As It Gets, He made me want to be a better person.
Greg is the best person I know. And I wanted nothing more from the moment I first laid eyes on him then to be the kind of person he would love. I wanted nothing more than to make him happy.
Unfortunately, he was the right guy coming at the wrongest time in my life.
I had to decide where I was going with things. I applied to the college my father is a Music Professor at, Kutztown University, was obviously accepted, and planned on attending in the Fall 2003 for a Professional Writing major. It was a decision I ended up regreting for most of the summer 2003. I didn't like the idea of going to college for specific skills in a specific area, and instead getting lots of facts about stuff in different areas that I may or may not have had any interest in in the first place. I didn't want an "all-around" education, I wanted to learn to write effectively. and of course I beat myself over the head with all the logic -- you can use the extra knowledge in your work, yada yada -- but it Didn't Change the Fact that I did not want to spend my time learning the information in the first place.
Besides the excessive education issue, I felt and still feel at odds with the whole college lifestyle. It didn't appeal to me. Being social never has, but some people live through college and say "i didn't learn a thing, but man was it fun!" That didn't appeal to me. I wanted to be there, because I wanted to become a better writer. I purposely didn't live in the dorms, though. And i scheduled my classes in such a way as to be done at 2 every MWF, and 3 on TH. i wanted to spend the least amount of time on that campus as possible.
Anyway, i'm digressing, which is a major character fault of mine.
My point is, I was really worked up about having to go to college. Really really. And it was right around that time last summer that Greg and I started having problems. About, it seemed, everything. I always wanted to move faster in the relationship than he was willing. When I found out he was considering a cross-country move to California come the fall, I flipped out. I was in love with him by then, and unwilling to lose that. I crazily suggested moving in together, which he wisely and promptly declined. I was at a loss though, as to what to do to make him stick around. Then other things, little things -- vast differences in our lifestyles, our social lives, and our ways of dealing with the world.
The thing is, every one -- EVERY single one of our fights has been started by me. Every One. The issues I was dealing with with questioning going to college and not having enough money and not really understanding what I was doing with my life, being unused to adversity and unable, it seemed, to cope with it -- all of these things had worn me down to the quick. I was a wreck, an emotional active volcano destined to erupt at even the most minor transgression. I remember getting angry and even *crying* because Greg showed me A Clockwork Orange. Getting *mad* at him because he showed me something that graphically depicted rape which he "should have known I wouldn't be okay with" I was unbelieveable. It didn't matter what his motives were, it didn't matter how much he apologized, I felt that the incidents in and of themselves proved how little he cared or respected me, and how huge our problems really were.
But the truth is, we have no *problems*. Our problems are my problems, and I was and still am going through a huge, violently transitional phase in my life right now. I am an emotional wreck, constantly crying and bemoaning my sad fate as a purposeless collegiate with no "things to call my own" -- as in, a goal in life, or contentment with how things are.
And you know what they say, you can't be with someone when you don't know who you are yet. But I am unwilling to give up the best guy I have ever known because I am having problems. It's not an option for me. So I have been trying, through therapy, to fix this while still being with him.
And I *will* get better, and I will stop fighting with him and being so easily hurt by the stupidest things. I will find my "purpose" if a purpose is what I truly seek, and I will be happy with it.
Greg has such an amazing outlook on life. It's almost unbelievable, but our views on the world and religion, etc, are identical in almost every aspect. Where we don't match up is in our acting out of those beliefs. I've had a hard time adjusting to the things which I know I need to be myself again: for instance, a more laid-back attitude towards problems. It's a hard thing to go back to when you're used to flipping out all the time.
I don't know if I really have a conclusion to this landmark. I believe that I have found the person with whom I will spend the rest of my life, and I will do everything to preserve that. I believe that I can and will be a whole, happy, healthy person again. I believe in a great many things, but mostly, after over a year of this emotional rollercoaster of high highs and low low lows...mostly I believe that we as human beings have the capacity to be the best person we can think of, and the worst. I have allowed myself to become the worst of all my nightmares, the needy, obsessive, insecure girl who can't make a decision or think rationally if her life depended on it. But i believe I have the power and the strength to become the girl I've always wanted to be -- calm, self-possessed, in control of my own emotions and destiny, and unreasonably happy. That's the girl I want, and that's the girl I'm going to be.
To Greg, I love you more than anything. You have made me see how much worth I have even if I am acting worthless. I see my own beauty and light in your eyes, and you are the single most amazing human being I have ever known and loved.
Thank you, Hatrack, for just being here. It's a constant in a world of uncertainties for me, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Wow. In so many landmarks I feel like I'm reading about parts of myself. The two years after Steve and I got together were some of the toughest of my life too. It is amazing how patient they can be waiting while we figure ourselves out. Just being that patient would drive me crazy in and of itself.
*hugs* you are a great person Leonide. I know you will find yourself.
*hugs* It works both ways, I'm sure. Leo, I have absolutely no doubt that you will become the woman you want to be. She's in you now, in your desire for her existence.
Posts: 26063 | Registered: Mar 2000
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Your not poor--You have us. Your not awful--We wouldn't let you stick around if you were. Your not pathetic--Honest. The world doesn't hate you. Well, maybe parts of New Jersey and some mountains in Montana, but they don't get along with anyone.
The secret is to smile more. Nothing bad ever happens when you smile. Its only after you stop smiling that the bad stuff happens, so smile and the weight will leave your shoulders.
Posts: 11895 | Registered: Apr 2002
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Leonide, I'm amazed at how confidently you've made your choices. You may not feel that way, but you have a stregth of will and character that shines through.
Posts: 13854 | Registered: May 2000
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To all those who are facing the young adult Identity Thang, from those of us who survived ours and were actually the better for them!
(Yes, I recognize the irony of that statement when made by a 34 year old woman pretending to be a Hobbit on the internet. I'm hiding from a Landmark post myself. So sue me. )
Posts: 1664 | Registered: Apr 2004
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I also suffer from this delusion that one day I'm going to wake up and find myself a bag lady. At least, that's what your chapstick rant suggested to me. The drama of the gifted child. (((Leonide's inner child))).
Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003
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Well I happen to think that Strider hasn't posted because he's been spending time with his girlfriend all day. And he happens to know that his girlfriend would rather him not sit around posting on Hatrack when she could be getting some quality Greg time.
Kira, you're awesome and I love you and there's no one else in the world i'd rather be with. And there's no one else i'd rather love. And you have no idea how happy it makes me that we love eachother(well...you probably do ).
quote: Our problems are my problems
wrong. they're our problems. just because they happen to be orginating from your end...
Congrats on making big, scary decisions that are really for the best. Congrats on taking charge of your emotions, your behavior, and your life. Oh, and congrats on 2k.
Posts: 1090 | Registered: Oct 2003
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Patience, Kira, patience. Your life gave you a set of wonderfully crafted square pegs. Now quit trying so hard to pound them into the round holes in front of you. Let 'em be, just let 'em be.
More importantly, let Kira be. College not working for you? Roll with it and worry not about your major, just study and sample. You can't search out a calling, you just have to listen for it.
Arguments with your loved one that don't make any sense? It's because the life you are trying to lead is going against your nature. Just relax, take some pressure off of yourself and simply be who you are. Some folks work a whole life to get where you are right now...
Posts: 2848 | Registered: Feb 2003
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quote:"I don't have enough money for chapstick...I'M POOR AND AWFUL AND PATHETIC AND THE WORLD HATES ME!!"
Heh. I do that.
Though, actually, after two and a half years of dating my incredibly patient and insightful boyfriend, I've gotten a *lot* better. Sometimes I feel like giving him all the credit, too, but it's definitely a team effort.
So I'll echo BannaOj in saying how reading landmarks feel like reading about parts of myself sometimes.