It is raining outside. Well not really raining, but that strange drizzly mist which settles over our town and each time seems to herald the return of winter before a modicum of sunshine breaks through the clouds and falsely presents itself as the beginning of summer. So let’s say it is raining.
I am inside, by the window, wondering how on earth at 21 I got so old. Contemplative old. Worrying old. I am supposed to be at the prime of my youth and yet I have never felt more over the hill than I do now. Perhaps its SAD rearing its much missed head, or perhaps it is something deeper, something not just in my head (mind alone). I worry about the future, my future specifically, seeing as I have no idea what on earth it is going to look like, and 2016 is speedily marching along to a destination I do not know if I can reach.
It seems like the world is going on all around us all the time and there are always parties to go to and friends to see and balls to attend and stuff at the Vic and then Ma Bells and the Hotel Du Vin and the Lizard and the Old Course and it is too much.
Let me qualify that: life is busy, and messy, and cruel, and hurtful, and wonderful, but no one can conceivably keep up a social life and maintain good grades in this school. I do not know how everyone does it. Or makes it seem like they know how to do it. I am 21 and I do not know the answers to questions I am not sure I should be asking myself. And I am a gladiator, and a fighter, and a warrior, and I am tired. I am constantly tired all the time of having to fight and wade my way through a degree at this fabulously privileged school. I feel like I am holding onto a ledge on Everest with nothing but my quickly splintering fingernails in the middle of a snowstorm, while on fire. And yeah maybe humour is my way out of confronting how taxing, how heinously, utterly exhausting it is to keep above water at this place, but what does that say about me? I thought I was coming into my adulthood being at this school but every time it seems I lose even the slightest momentum everything stops.
I feel unmoored, drifting through the days with no clear plan in sight, and unlike the geniuses I look up to or the upper middle class peers I have here who cannot get it, I do not see the great grey unknown of my future as a blank canvas on which to impress myself on the world. I am the physical manifestation of Girls’ Hannah Hovarth and it sucks. Everything sucks. So I am not partying anymore, even if that means I miss out on all those wonderful, booze-filled random St. Andrean nights, because one day very soon I will stand on a wooden stage before the hundreds of people in our small world and all I will have to show for my time here will be a piece of paper – hard won with hours of sweat and tears and blood and exhaustion – but paper nonetheless. So for that paper if I have to live in the library forever under a cloud of stress for the shortening days I am still here, then I will.
No more parties in St. A, baby. At least not for me.