I will preface this by saying I am writing this safe and sound in my dad’s house. I came home completely unharmed, and had a fantastic day in the city beforehand. But I am done being quiet and dismissive of these matters, and I have taken the onus of writing things that make people uncomfortable because they really, really need to be said.
I try to walk home alone in Jersey City as little as possible. I usually carry some sort of weapon with me, like a knife, but I left mine at home by accident. I didn’t even have keys to use as a blunt object to poke people’s eyes out (some self-defense things my mom taught me years ago). All I had was a phone in a case that I hoped would be hard enough to give someone a concussion if I smacked them with it. So, naturally, I was on edge.
Not long ago, I didn’t think I was going to make it out of Cornell. When I last wrote, I was in an existential crisis, wondering if all of the choices I was making were not, in fact, what I really wanted. I had to constantly reassure myself that this was the right thing to do; put up motivational quotes to remind myself why I was here; proclaim my self-identified meaning of life; anything to ensure my place would be saved on the next bus to real life.
And finally, after a hailstorm of exams, papers, plane tickets, gas stations, tears of desperation and elation, early mornings and late nights, I can officially say I am a graduate of Cornell University, and now an officer in the United States Army Reserve.
I will start this post with a pre-emptive apology. This post is very lengthy. Maybe even feminist. But this is not a message for feminists. This is a message for anyone who’s ever wanted to do something with themselves. Aka everyone. But I’m mainly apologizing because I’m about to make a broad generalization, and compare a beauty pageant to a dog show.
Yeah, I went there.
(But really, hear me out on this one, if you can.)
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” - Theodore Roosevelt
It’s the end of my last fall semester. I’d long dreamed of this day coming… and having done something great by now… like maybe I would have written a book or made some artwork that made it to a museum. Maybe I would’ve made waves as a pre-vet student and gotten recruited into some prestigious field of research, or maybe the CIA would think I’m a little impressive and take me in. I was always optimistic of my fate and daydreamed of success in a variety of different, unlikely outcomes. But life has curious ways of unfolding, and I couldn’t be happier of the fate I had never predicted. Continue reading
It’s been a few months. A few mental breakdowns and sobbing sessions later, I’m somewhere in the middle of the semester. Hours of sleeplessness, and a couple pounds lighter, I am alive. I am definitely on the cusp of sanity, as witnessed by my loved ones, but alive. I’ve done a fair bit of work since I was here last. Continue reading
I am alive. And I am a functional member of society. Kind of.
But in all seriousness, this is one of the sparse moments I will have all year to write a quick post. I’ve been running around like a headless chicken since my last post, about 6 months ago. It’s been a hell of a semester, and a hell of a summer as well. Next year will likely not be an exception with roughly 21 credits both semesters, so I expect no less than a fiery sprint to graduation. This is less a political or philosophical rant, and more a general update on what happened, what lies ahead, and why that scares the living sh*t out of me. Continue reading