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It’s the guilt that weighs me down. I live in a constant state of guilt. When I do things for myself, like watching Netflix or taking a nap, I am wasting time not being productive. When I do things for others I am being a people pleaser, and living my life for other people. I can’t win.

I hate that in our society you grow up thinking that you’ve not only got to be something, but be the best at it. That’s one thing I hate about being a writer. I am not competitive–in fact, I am anti-competitive. I don’t give a damn if I’m never number one or the President of the United States or Britney Spears. I don’t want honor from anything but my own heart. All I long for is to be content. I long for helping others and appreciating sunrises and walking to most places and eating good food. I don’t care about prizes. But at the same time I am young and scared that I am wasting the precious time I have by doing nothing.

It’d be cool to join the Peace Corps. And I want to go to Europe. And I’d like to go out with my friends and take a crazy road trip. I’d like promote women’s health rights in local legislation. I would like to paint a picture, even if it sucks.

But I am stuck at school, and if I’m not stuck at school I’m stuck at home. I’m stuck. I want to explore and figure out my life, but I don’t want to be far from my boyfriend like I’ve been all school year. And I need to work so I can save my money to start paying for things for school. And maybe I’m also scared because I don’t really know what I’m doing with life.

So I feel guilty because my solution to all of this is to watch Netflix, or nap. Or just focus on other people instead of myself. And that just doesn’t do anything about all of this guilt, pinning me to the floor.

Maybe all I’ll ever be in life is average, but I won’t stand to live my life anything less than happy.


Dear World, Get Off My Case

All I want to do is nothing. Actually, correction: all I want to do is see my best friend Val, spend time with Landon, eat good food, travel the world, create further crazy antics with my friends, write, and a million other things. But not one of them include school, and this intense pressure I have on my shoulders.

Have you ever been good at anything? And by that I mean recognized as good by judges, coaches, schools, etc. Something that people you have never held a conversation with know you are good at. Well, I always hoped that thing would be writing, but since I have trouble sharing things with people (ironic, I know) that’s never happened. So up until my sophomore year I was sort of a dead-beat. But then I joined my school’s speech team. Long story short, I went to state two years in a row. I love doing speech. But so far I have put zero effort into it. And now my coach is getting on my case.

“You went to state for two years…you’re going.” “When are you gonna practice?” “You haven’t even picked anything out?! The meet is Thursday!” “You have to do speech!”

What if I’m scared, okay? I’m already in the school play and behind on some school assignments and that sucks up a lots of time and worry. Now I have to add one more thing to the list and be good at it? I’m not being good with anything right now…what makes people think speech will be any different?

It just frustrates me. “You’re letting me down,” my coach said, and I just laid my head on my desk. I feel like the worst person in the world sometimes..which is an extreme exaggeration of ‘course, but not completely off the mark. Isn’t it transparent to everyone that I’m a complete fuck up this year? The hard-working, good girl from last year no longer exists. The sooner people realize this, the better.

Look, I know I’m not going to be valedictorian. I know I won’t be considered anything but average in the play. I know that I will continue to suck at sports and running and smooth moves forever. I know that I’m no beauty queen and I’m no saint. My mom always tries to tell me that the world doesn’t expect me to be, but she is so WRONG. I have to be this obedient daughter, this top-notch student, this committed member of every club I’m in, and reliable friend. Honestly, I wish people just wanted me to be me, no other expectations.

That’s why I get nervous when I let people see what I write. It is the one thing I will not let anyone touch and tell me to do their way, the “right” way. Sometimes it is the only way I can even get a glimpse of who I really am at heart. To let people set their warped expectations upon it would ruin the freedom it gives me.

Please, world…just stop making me do things I don’t want to do. Stop everyone from guilting me into being this person I’m not. Why can’t people let me be in charge of my life and happiness?

At this point, I want to quit everything and damn everyone’s opinion. I know I’m not a complete piece of shit, so why the hell am I hanging around people who make me out to be one?

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