I wake up to my favorite songs back in freshman year of college. Chosen between the passions I had back in high school and the priorities I looked to grow on.
Today I woke up a bit late, and my CD played a little deeper into the CD, versus the same 3 songs that I always listen to before stepping across the room and pushing the button to confirm I reached reality.
Back in high school, I began thinking at 16 that I wished the world would make a little more sense. That I had the courage and insight to fix the flaws in my own character
“who will I be when I graduate high school in 2 years?”
“You will be someone… amazing.” a guiding voice replied. And I put full faith in him.
AT 18, as I stepped to the stagelight in cap and gown as the jennytang I wanted to be. Granted amazing was still being defined by one person who was not me, but I had an image in mind who I respected. Someone who doesn’t play the system, recognizes her privilege, stays grounded in the real struggles of the world, thinks before speaking, and knows how to put a damn good look on her face.
Now of course, these priorities don’t exactly align with Berkeley. Contemplating everything before speaking makes you seem distant, being critical of other people’s “first world problems” definitely is not the empathy that makes friends, and spending 20 min making yourself look good in hippyville just…. no. Soon I had the goal of being able to formulate my own opinions, to get people to see me for who I am: to align my words and actions with my thoughts, to have the courage to express myself event without that “damn good look”. To have the courage to start doing, despite the fact that I will never have full conviction of all the related issues.
But here’s a little trick. This time these traits were chosen by me. Which means they morph as my thoughts do. They also have no solid confirmation of another party. In addition, there is no validation process to tell me I have reached my goal.
Welp, I don’t know. Did I stay with my principles? Did I sell out? Would the 18-year-old jenny look at who I am now and be proud? Have I solidified these traits I admire in me so I have the strength to carry those into the real world? Berkeley- have you done what you needed to do?