“I’ll have all of my goals accomplished in x amount of years,” you say, as Depression gives a hearty chuckle at your expense.
If I were to ask a 13-year-old version of myself what she thought I’d be like in 8 years, I already know exactly what she’d say, “She’ll be skinny, with expensive clothes, a boyfriend, and she’ll still be deeply involved in music, and she’ll have a bunch of friends. And she’ll go to a really good Ivy-League school.”
Call it unrealistic or foolish if you like, but this is how I genuinely thought high school and college life would be. I’m not entirely sure why I thought this way. I think it was because I became a little too involved in The Clique Series and watched too much television. My expectations were high. But, to be fair, I had no idea that the following year (2008) and the years following would involve a string of shitty events that would eventually lead to a downhill tumble into a deep depression. Did I think that, at 21, I’d be a size 18, almost completely abandon singing, and have a pretty small circle of friends? Hell no. Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t awful. I do appreciate the people in my life and all of the things I’ve accomplished in the last 5 years or so. But sometimes I do wonder what life would be like had everything gone exactly as I’d planned it.
What if I came out of my parents’ divorce and relocation hurt, but not completely broken? What if the depression never hit?
I imagine I’d be as ambitious as I’d always wanted to be, and able to enjoy myself without the awful anxiety whispering negative thoughts in the back of my head.
I do sometimes wonder what it’d be like if I did get into an Ivy League school or NYU. I wonder what it’d be like if I’d applied to Howard U. Would I be happy? Would I have been as successful as I planned on being in college? Would I have a lot of friends and a nice part time job? Would I be a healthy size 8 or a size 10, able to shop anywhere I want, and never worry about how I looked? Would I be in a steady relationship with someone who compliments me in the best of ways? Would I be the picture perfect Kappa or Delta and someone who makes a substantial change in her community?
Or would the emotional breakdown happen then from the stress of trying to lead a perfect life?
This blog wouldn’t exist. I don’t think I’d be as understanding and open minded about others had I not struggled. This isn’t to say that I’d be a completely awful person.
But hardships make you reevaluate everything you’ve ever thought about the world around you.
When you’re twenty-one, and you’re battling depression, but you’ve overcome some of the hardest moments in your life, you sit down and think everything over. I’m not where I planned to be, and I can’t change that. But my future is bright with possibilities and the ability to change.
With all the ‘what ifs’ and ‘I wishes’ tossed aside, my only question now is: What’s next for me?