Oh man, do I love me some Matty Nay. He’s coming to Dallas soon and I cannot WAIT to see him again. Never before have I seen someone give that much of themselves on stage. Except for maybe that guy from CT. Anyway, I was re-reading an entry I had written on Facebook some time ago and was linked to a live performance of Matt’s song, Little Victories. Here it is for your viewing pleasure and the words are included afterward.
This time, I’ll be sailing
No more bailing boats for me
I’ll be out there on the sea
Just my confidence and me
And I’ll be awful sometimes
Weakened to my knees
But I’ll learn to get by
On little victories
This time, I’ll have no fear
I’ll be standing strong and tall
Turn my back towards them all
And I’ll be awful sometimes
Weakened to my knees
I’ll learn to get by
And I’ll learn to get by
On the little victories
And if the world decides to catch up with me
It’s a little victory.
I have been thinking so much lately about life and timing and the insanity that comes from growing up. I have questioned my path and where I’ve been this week. Mainly because I started school again on Monday. That’s right! I am a student again! This time will be different, though. I assure you. Why, you ask? Because I have finally figured out what I should have majored in all along. Art.
The other day my bro (hi, bubs) came to town and when I told him about my decision to go back to school, his entire face lit up. No matter what, seeing him that proud of me was pretty awesome. I didn’t expect that. Actually, the interesting thing is that I have chosen to do this for ME and nobody else. The positive reception I have received is like the icing on the cake. I keep kicking myself for living it backward for so long.
I can remember the awful feeling of doing the expected thing and floating on what others thought about what I should do. I vowed last year to never let myself get into that position again. The problem is, now that I realize my mistakes, I feel like I’ve lost a lot of time.
Every time I would call home from A&M, lost and drowning, my Dad would try to explain to me that school was supposed to be easier. He said that once I found what I was supposed to be studying, I would look forward to going to class and doing homework. At the time, I found that hard to believe. I lived in a world of severe competition and nobody I knew was having fun in school. We were all just doing our best to survive. But then, as the years ticked by…I did see my friends blossom a little bit. They started to really get into their classes and that’s when I realized I had to get out.
I know now that I sabotaged myself as a cry for help. It was a stupid thing to do because it wasted time and money but I wasn’t healthy enough to figure out how to just ask for help at the time. The truth is, I actually thought life was just going to be like that. Those drowning feelings – dreading class and even getting out of bed – it all seemed perfectly fine. I was unhappy but I thought that growing up meant accepting that life was going to be tough.
I can tell you for sure that I can name instances when I know I was being spiritually attacked by an enemy. It’s not popular to believe in evil but when it’s breathed down your neck and you could actually SMELL the sulfur and know it wasn’t of your own doing, you’d be converted to not take evil so lightly. I remember being tormented by thoughts convincing me that I wasn’t going to be happy because I wasn’t worth anything. I say all this because I don’t want anyone to ever think I didn’t do well in school because I didn’t care. Or, as my Grandmother accused me of the other day, not having a PLAN. My plan was survival. Making it enough to wake up the next day.
In that sense, I feel sad that I couldn’t have experienced a “typical” college experience. I missed out on a few rites of passage and all in all, I think I lived a lifetime of pain in those five years. However, the time away from home taught me SO MUCH about friendship, human nature, guys, parties, living with roommates, how to find my way through unknown streets alone, managing (or mis-managing) finances, science and even how to build my own website from scratch. I would never trade those years in for something easier and more time and cost-efficient. That’s what I needed to go through to get here.
That knowledge is comforting to an extent but what is even more comforting is the fantastic, amazing, fulfilling years I have lived since moving home three years ago. I feel like I have aged ten years just in the last year and half. I am not sad about anything I have experienced since leaving school. I really think that was the best decision I ever made.
Since coming home, I have had the opportunity to travel alone – which literally changed my life overnight. I don’t think I could ever travel to Europe completely alone for safety reasons but that would be a dream come true if I did. Even if I never get to go that far, there is something that broke loose when I flew by myself around the country in the summer of 06 that fell away and is never coming back. Those tormenting thoughts about my lack of worth somehow took a hike. It’s really strange to know now that when I feel them creeping in, I can just as easily make them leave again. I am in charge of allowing myself to go down that road. Learning that has made all the difference.
This is turning into quite a novel but I will say that when I think back on what I missed by not taking the easier road, I can also think of all the great things I have learned that other people haven’t by the time they are 26. I have watched some people play catch up recently and I feel blessed to have grown through the torment of the last few years. I couldn’t have seen that coming.
I will be blogging much more about school and even about my beloved recent vacation (as soon as I find my missing camera). But until then, know that my general direction is forward and my overall mood is content. I am also mostly inspired and grateful for that as well. Little victories. Every single day.