There’s a noose around my neck. I can feel the individual fibers of the rope rubbing my skin raw, creating red welts that bleed and heal just to open up and bleed again.
When the floor falls out from beneath me, I have no idea if I will fall or if I will fly.
How do I stay within the borders of “good” and “safe” while still letting them know that I’m going to be ME? I’m an adult, but they see me as a child. . . . I’m broken and I’m hurting. I’m bleeding out my emotions like my wrists have been slit. — journal entry, September 7.
Nobody ever told me how difficult it is to grow up.
Nobody ever said, “Hey, some days you’re going to want really badly to stay home and eat ice cream and binge watch TV shows because you’re so tired you physically hurt, but you’re going to have to get up and pretend you’re alright because that’s what grown-ups do.”
Nobody ever said, “It’s really frigging hard to work two jobs and take a full college load while trying to sleep eight hours a night, stay active in church, and maintain a social life.”
Nobody ever said a lot of things that I wish I had known before now.
I don’t know what God wants from me. I try to be good but I’m never quite good enough. I try to be kind and loving without letting people walk all over me, but . . . I don’t know. Something just always seems to go wrong.
And God is so quiet. So distant. It’s like I can never do enough to bring his attention back to me, except that’s not how this works. I can’t throw a tantrum and expect him to come console me. — journal entry, September 28.
I’m finding that the hardest part of growing up is the transition from “child” to “adult”, and getting other people to understand and respect that transition.
It’s easy with strangers. It’s, “Hi, I’m Jami. I’m 18, and I want to do XY&Z with my life.”
But with people that I know? With the adults in my church and my family and my friends’ parents, it’s more difficult.
It’s, “Hey, I’m 18 now and I know that I didn’t just wake up an adult on February 8th and that really I have no right to ask for any sort of independence, but . . . I would really appreciate some more respect and free–Oh. No? Okay . . .”
I’m not oblivious to the fact that I’m not a “grown up” and that I’m not ready to be out on my own.
At all. I’m actually really aware of that.
What everyone else seems oblivious to is the fact that if I don’t start to gain a little bit of independence/freedom/whatever you want to call it . . .
I’m going to crash and burn when I do get out on my own (and, enter Fear of Failure).
I hurt so badly in my heart right now. I’m tired and I’m tired of being so tired and I’m tired of people making light of why I’m tired.
I’m so afraid of failure. I want to be enough. For someone. Anyone. I want to know what it’s like to just. Be enough. Not even like I want someone to think that I’m perfect, because I’m not, but I just . . . I don’t know.
I’m a mess. I’m on my bedroom floor, so close to tears but too tired to actually cry.
There’s too much, or maybe I’m too little. There’s just not enough of me to do all that I need to. — journal entry, October 6.
It’s difficult to be a compliant human being; it’s difficult being the kind of person who hates conflict so much that she’ll allow herself to wilt just to keep everyone else happy.
It’s difficult to feel suppressed, to feel smothered.
It’s difficult to want to say, “This is me and I’m going to be me and I’m going to start trying different things and seeing what kind of things I like, not just follow along with what my parents and peers have told me is right for the last eighteen years,” but to know that it will only stir up stress and anger and tension.
I want to stand up and shout, just scream, “Hey world, this is me.
This is me, and here I come.”
I began working on this post over two months ago. It’s been sitting in the “draft” folder, staring me down every time I start a new post or read through an old one. And I don’t know what’s been holding me back. Cowardice, probably, but every time I’ve gone to publish . . . something’s held me back. Something’s said, “not yet.”
And I know why now.
This “adapting to changes” thing? It gets easier. It gets better.
It isn’t perfect. I’m not completely used to it and I don’t know that I’ll ever be. I don’t know if it’s possible to be.
There are some days that drain my sunshine and leave me on my bedroom floor for an hour when I get home from wherever I was, staring at the ceiling until someone has called my name enough times to motivate me to stand. There are some days when I’m so overwhelmed or so sad or so exhausted that I snap at people and I curse when I make mistakes and I end up throwing something or sobbing over twelve pages in my journal because there’s too much in me, too many words to just leave them to fester.
But it isn’t every day anymore. It isn’t even most days.
Most days are good now. Most days are filled with joy and laughter and I’m learning to prioritize and I’m learning to give myself breaks and I’m even learning what foods to stay away from in the cafeteria.
I’m learning to always make time for my Little Bit because she’s getting so big and growing so fast and the customers at the grill can wait two seconds while I listen to her tell me a story or help her with her letters. And I’m learning to not snap at her when she walks backwards in front of me because she wants to be with someone. And I’m learning to always, always, always accept her hugs, even if it means setting down a tray or a glass or whatever I’m holding.
I’m learning to say yes more often than I say no when my friends ask me to hang out. I’m learning that even though I think being with people when I’m sad will make it worse, it will really help because I have great friends who make me laugh and yeah, people are draining, but only the wrong people steal my sunshine and the right ones make it shine brighter.
I’m learning not to skip church because I want sleep or because I have an
assignment due or because I simply don’t want to go. I’m learning to play piano even when my hands are shaking so badly I make three mistakes every measure. I’m learning to write down things as they happen instead of counting on remembering details later. I’m learning the importance of staying in contact with my online friends.
I’m learning so much and none of the important stuff that I’m learning is relevant to my GPA.
So, for everyone who’s asked me lately how I’m doing . . .
I’m learning. Praise God for that.