Where was I a year ago today? What was I doing? How was I feeling?
These questions suddenly came to mind as I was scrolling down my Tumblr dashboard and came across posts by year 12 students about finishing high school. That was me a year ago today.
Time really does fly.
I’ve just passed the three quarter mark of my first year of university; week 6 of semester 2, and I am loving it. I’m doing well academically. I’m on top of all of my class work, fairly well prepared for all my assessments. I’m becoming more and more involved in the extra curricular aspects of university. I just recently joined SIFE and can hardly find words to express my excitement about the potential it holds for me. I’ve been doing so many things, but yet I still feel as though something isn’t quite right.
I feel like I’ve lost my words, my thoughts, my opinions.
I’m not sure when or how it happened, but I’ve suddenly realised I have little clue as to who I am. Did I know more clearly a year ago today?
I can’t quite remember.
Perhaps I’ve been trying to hard to do things, to be a person who does thing, who chases things, who tries to mould themselves to the opportunities that are alluring for one reason or another. Somewhere along the way, I must have forgotten to remind myself of who I am. But even worse than that, I’m afraid to ask myself the very questions I so desperately need to answer.
There’s a quiet fear in me, one I can’t quite put my finger on. I can feel myself reaching for the mask, looking for bricks to rebuild my walls, waiting for that chance, when nobody is looking, to quietly slip away back into myself. Although I loathe such behaviours, and have always found it greatly disappointing in the people around me; it has been happening so quietly, and discretely, that I might have completely lost myself without my noticing at all. Is this what it means to grow up? Is growing up losing the ability to express myself in ways different to what society expects?
I can feel my childlike optimism slowly fading away, not by conscious choice, but I find I simply lack the time to imagine such things, to dream and hope of things – things adults would call a hat, but I once saw as a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. I’m not proud of that.
Where to now?
Maybe it’s art.
Photo from Doko he Iku (Where is it going), RMIT First Site Gallery Exhibition by Naoko Inuzuka.