I like to be good at things. Writing, sports, academics, and sometimes also faking all three of those when I’m simply not actually good at them… It’s a thing, probably an Achilles heel of mine.

Because I like to be good at what I put my time into. I think we all do. And sometimes, it gets in the way.

After all, there are some things we aren’t supposed to be good at, and I don’t mean the little things either. I’m bad at drawing things that aren’t already drawn for me, just like I’m bad at wearing a beanie and making it look good or playing the clarinet. Some of it might take practice while some of it might not; that being said, when it comes to the clarinet, that one just isn’t going to happen. I can admit that now.

Other things though, they take acceptance. I think you know what I’m talking about with that but give it a minute, and you’ll follow me to the point.

Two weeks ago, I drove my car for the last time until another three months from now. That means I have to ask for rides, plan ahead for bus schedules or weekends or extra plans, and be quick on my feet for last minute changes. Thing is, if you know me, you know that I do not like asking for things. I don’t like needing things from other people, not ever. It’s not that I feel in debt or anything, it’s that I don’t want to take too much. I don’t want to be too much.

But, does it count if they’re genuinely offering?

Sometimes, friends invite me along to go places or ask if I want to do things with them and I hesitate to say yes, just about every time. Because I almost always assume that they’re offering out of obligation or because they think they should… Not because they actually want me there. Even though that’s usually the #1 reason they asked.

And I know that, somewhere far, far back in my mind I know that I know that.

So then, why is it so hard for me to believe it?

Well, it’s because I can’t accept it. When someone wants me around or doesn’t automatically dislike me for my quirks or dumb things I say, I don’t quite know how to trust that.

Instead, I doubt myself. Just like every one of you, I doubt a lot of the things I do—yet, I doubt nothing more than who I am as a person. Therefore, when someone offers to support that person or help them in some way, it’s hard for me to say yes.

I don’t even support that person enough myself. But I’m supposed to trust someone else to do it??

Maybe that’s the point.

It’s hard to let myself be better at being a human. After all, humans are great at a lot of things; we socialize, we laugh, we love, and we do so much else that makes us who we are. But we are also flawed. And we can’t do anything on our own, not really.

I’m not good at letting that truth exist in my own life.

Along with the inability to drive messing with my routines, not being able to remember or work or study the way I used to also changes things for me. This quarter, my classes aren’t as academically challenging as they are intellectual thinking and creativity heavy; when it comes to who I am, creativity is my everything. Unfortunately, these past two weeks have my “everything” sorely below par; I can’t think or create ideas the way I used to, I don’t have the accessibility to ideas or completely connected thinking that I did before, the connections just aren’t as quick.

Photo by Mario Purisic on Unsplash

Essentially, the black-out seems to have almost shut down parts of my thinking that are now slowly trying to pick themselves back up and adjust to a damper that wasn’t there before.

That means I need to ask for more explanations in class, more time to comprehend a reading, more opportunities to work through case studies or extra space to create my own stories. It’s like having a full puzzle to put together in front of you and knowing you can do it, but not being sure whether a piece goes where you think it does, even while you’ve put it together and pulled it apart several times already.

Except it’s me, I’m the puzzle. And I’m questioning everything I do.

When I say everything, I mean the outfit I put on for the day because I forgot what the weather was even after checking it five minutes before, or the bus schedule I could have sworn I just saw because I’m nervous that I’ll still be late after double-checking it for the fourth time.

Now, extend this to talking to friends or telling people things, not sure I have a right to burden them with a life that isn’t their own, or asking for a ride—even when they’re going to the same place—when I wasn’t part of the equation before and I wouldn’t want to intrude.

I have been a dependent all my life, at least when it comes to my parents. And sure, those two are stuck with me, but I do not like being a dependent person when it comes to those I care about. Call it an aversion to weakness (at least my own preconceived notions of which I should work on) or just an annoying sense of pride, I have no idea.

What I do know is that it all seems to boil down to the fact that I’m not always good at being a human. Because humans need other humans, for support or love or laughter or company… We need each other. I know that.

Photo by Kevin Hendersen on Unsplash

I’m just not great at living like it.

This week I’m working on it. Little by little and quite literally now, minute by minute, I’m working on who I allow myself to be in my own life. Maybe this paradigm shift will turn into something larger than I thought, right in time for graduation in a few months. Who knows?

I just hope you’ll stick with me through whatever this becomes. Thanks for joining me today. I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and can make the most of the weekend, maybe even allow yourself a little extra humanity while you’re at it too. We all deserve that.

Happy Friday.

And hey, if you didn’t notice, I’ve made some design changes on the site (here, here, and here)! If you see anything you like—or don’t like—let me know. If there’s anything you want to see on there, just send me an email, hit my socials, or comment below. I’ll get right back to you.

See you next week.

One thought on “A Paradigm Shift–College Style

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