I am feeling very lost right now (in a sincere, non-melodraumatic way). This feeling is new and unnerving.
The drive that use to consume me to succeed in school is lost. The thought of not being my best, not working as hard as I know I can, doesn’t even bother me anymore. The stress I feel when work piles up is acute, but not chronic the way I’m use to feeling it when wrapping myself up in my school successes as my identity.
I don’t want this, this school thing. But I don’t know what I want. I do know what I think I want. I see myself branching out and making something of myself independent of the socialized institution of higher education as a means to financial, social, and personal success. Something in me doesn’t believe this is actually how things are yet I wonder if that belief about the increasing uselessness of my time in college is because I am feeling lazy or unmotivated to do the mundane, but still highly challenging, course work. Is devaluing education a justification system for me not wanting to do my day-to-day assignments. Last year I would have likely concluded that a large portion of this belief system was an excuse but I am feeling now that only 10% of it is and 90% is actually authentic.
I really have lost interst and understanding with my time here in college. I frecuently ask myself when I’m unmotivated to work (spending 10 hours a day doing absolutely nothing but poking around at homework assignments and not actually getting anything done) why exactly I’m here. I can usually rattle off a list of reasons that I’ve been told to consider (better job prospects, increased social status and respect with an ivy education degree, so-called ‘higher learning’ is good for the mind, etc.) but none of them I’ve really internalized as real for me. I don’t feel these reasons and thus have a hard time using them as moment-to-moment motivational factors.
This loss of my core self, self-concept if you will, is really disturbing lately. I am feeling meaningless daily and have seemed to cope by taking excessive naps and justifying to the public with excuses of working too hard. I am not working hard enough and lately not at all. I am at that turning point where I can go out this semester with a bang and do really well or fail some of my classes and feel forced into making a decision about an alternative route to college.
Nothing here really excites me. On a whim I decided I would be a sociology major but the more and more I say that aloud to people the more I realize that my passion is not in that statement. I think I’m holding onto this major prospect because it gives me a sense of identity right now when I’m feeling really lost on this path of academia.
This is not a matter of ability, I am well prepared to do school. This is a struggle with deciding what meaning I want my life to take and having enough security in myself to make steps towards achieving it.
But then there is that demonic voice in my head that tells me I am just a child, ridiculously responding to the tiny stresses of college life with rash plans for my future of extreme success in entrepreneurship. But then there is a part of me, one that I feel is the most stable, that says my objection to continuing down this path in this way is an acceptable thought/belief to have.
I have never felt this sort of identity struggle about my life path. Dropping the idea of medical school after realizing that lab work nor basic practitioner interested me enough (I had just said for years that I wanted to be a doctor because it was socially acceptable and made the people around me feel like I had high prospects for my future) to dedicate my career to this sort of work was very hard to admit to myself. With that path I saw myself working years on end, pushing myself to the point of giving up or the cracking of my spirit, only to get to a place with a nice title but no real feeling of meaningfulness. I wouldn’t say I lied to myself about my passion but more that I was willing to accept and take all the way anything that sparked minor interest in me. I am raising my standards now, I only want to pursue what really excites me and makes me feel like I matter in this society.
I feel like I am getting closer to an answer, to discovering a ‘passion.’ I use that word lightly now because I can’t really justify something being a passion if I haven’t fully immersed myself in it to see if I love it (I have never really dived into entrepreneurship, hair product formulation, or product design) so it is not reasonable to declare it a passion. What I know for sure is that it has quietly held my interest for almost a year now and I spend a lot of time thinking about what success could mean for me in that path. I feel good when I imagine my entrepreneurial outcome in a way I didn’t feel with being a doctor and don’t feel with finishing college to have a boring job related to my major.
I want to understand what I truly want to spend my life doing and feel ambitious enough to take an unorthodox path if necessary.
“They gon’ love me for my ambition” -Wale