I Now Know What I Want to Be
…thanks to COVID-19.
Quite like everyone else, at the back of my mind, life to me had always been much about figuring out the C word—or the S word; Career; Success— even more than others perhaps due to my social reject/ outcast status in school environments and within extended family and family friends. Without which, ‘life is pointless and I am nothing’. My grades were me. I was always such an unhappy, disillusioned, and out-of-touch child, teen and college student (yes, unfortunately, I did not particularly enjoy my years in the U.S. either, as it was a mix of pressure to score in academia and perpetual social rejection, topped off with at the time unchecked and untreated depression and body dysmorphic disorder).
So now in my mid-20s, with a Master’s degree just fresh out of the way, and episodes of my own kind of suffering (I have ACEs, okay), I finally know what I want to be— also thanks to a period of isolating myself in my room for five days straight due to testing positive— it does do quite a job of accentuating one’s melancholia.
I want to be, ahem, nothing. I no longer want to be a writer, a musician, an educator, nor a mental health counselor. I have given my energy and focus to these pursuits and to date, they haven’t been that rewarding at all. To think that I have dedicated countless hours and late nights typing and playing away, researching, writing, thinking critically, working with people…only to realize that I had forsaken the core of who I am, chasing all these activities, hoping they’d give me something back but they never really do.
I don’t want these pursuits and activities and dreams to define me anymore— it’s too dangerous. It puts my sanity at stake. It tells me I can be all of these things and then with brute force makes me question whether I can do all of these things. It’s impossible to please. It begs me to prove to it that I deserve it— that I deserve to be a writer, a musician, an educator, a mental health professional. Meanwhile, it fails to see the work I’ve put in, indeed, nobody is privy to the hours all of us spend by ourselves working at something, yet many have the nerve to call our efforts into question.
The point is that I want to denounce what I used to have in mind for me. I no longer believe the world has anything in store for me. I don’t want to be anything, mainly because I give up on having to prove myself to others but also because if I have to be something and make something of myself, the core of who I am will inevitably be oppressed in the process; made to suffer; because it is the core of me that is pressured to amount to something, be something. And it’s not a tall order, it’s an impossible feat, especially in a world where white men are assumed to be smarter and do better work and where ladies who look a certain way are much more likely to be hired (using metaphors to exaggerate here, but you get my drift hopefully). Nobody really cares about what I’ve got to give; they won’t wait and see because they’ve already come up with preconceived notions of me.
And dear whatever job I work at next, I’ll be doing you for the sole purpose of a monthly income because I’m no longer holding on to my big dreams— thus, you don’t deserve my boundless energy, my zest, nor my unbridled motivation— nobody deserves these from me anymore. I’m now a warm-blooded robot.