Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If I had the chance I'd ask the world to dance

I'm smart. I'm not trying to brag, or give myself a big head. It's just a fact.

All my life, I've been told that I'm smart. That I could be anything that I wanted to be, do anything that I wanted to do. I had a vast amount of opportunities available to me because I'm smart. The thing is... I may be smart, but I'm not intelligent. To some people, these may be synonyms, but to me, there is a huge difference. I'm not a child prodigy. I'm not a genius. I'm just smarter than most people my own age, which is why I was put up a grade when I was younger. I'm not a mathematical whiz, or a walking encyclopedia. I have advanced reading and writing skills, and learning comes a bit easier to me than the average person.

Throughout my years in high school, I was content to get by on this quality of mine. If I didn't understand something, I would just go home and tackle that chapter in my textbook. It wasn't because I was too proud to ask for help; it was because a lot of the time, I never got a serious answer. Any time I even suggested that I may be wrong or that I wasn't sure, other students in my class would scoff and say 'what do you mean you don't know, you skipped a grade!' It was like I couldn't be a normal student with normal problems. When I met new people, mutual friends would introduce me as 'Joanna, the girl who skipped a grade.' I hated it.

The reason I'm smart, and not intelligent, is because I lack ambition. That's right, I said it. I'm not ambitious, at all. I am not a go-getter, or a fireball. I know that I want to be happy, mildly well-off, and in a challenging, yet stable job. The thing is... I don't know how to get there. I'm a week in to my fourth year at university, and I still have no idea what I want to do. I don't even have a direction to point myself in. I'm not the smartest person in my school, now. Not even in my class. All this pressure to do better than everyone else is gone, and I thought it would be liberating. Instead, I just have this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Everyone keeps telling me I'm smart. My family, employers, and friends are quick to tell me that I'm a smart, young woman and that I'll be fine because whatever I do, I'll be good at it. No one seems interested in actually helping me figure out what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. They just tell me that I'm capable, and that they will support my decision. No one wants to take me seriously when I tell them how freaked out I am. How lost I feel.

I'm afraid that I won't find something that I love to do. I'm afraid to disappoint my family. I'm frustrated that the only topics that seem to interest me are ones that are outside my program/specialization. I'm doubly frustrated because I know that if I were to pursue a degree in those topics, I will end up no where. I'm angry that others have set such a high bar for me. I'm angry at myself because I'm falling so short that I'm not even off the ground. I'm worried that I will have paid thousands of dollars for nothing. I'm actually frightened at the amount of debt I will be in once I finish school.

I know there are hundreds of people who feel the same way, but I feel like they don't feel it to the same degree that I do. I feel like my past experiences make the stress seem 1000x worse. I know that's very conceited of me to think that my worries are worse than any one else, but I'm the only one who feels my feelings (if that makes any sense), and that is just how I see it.

It's easier to just put on an 'I'll deal with it when the time comes' attitude than to admit to the people around me how weak and out of control I feel.

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MeiBelle said...

I understand exactly where you're coming from. I was never a kid who really studied in school but I did well. I went to college and majored in something I really enjoyed doing and now it's been over a year and i'm still in limbo trying to figure out what i'm going to do. Sometimes it feels like a waste, but I know that I don't regret it.

No one knows exactly how you feel and it ends up being irritating because people think that they can solve your problems when all you really want is someone to listen to you and not put all this pressure on you.

I also think that you're upset because people just scoff at you the moment you have doubt which is not cool because you are human, just like them.

Also just because you lack ambition to be extraordinary doesn't mean you lack the ambition to be happy. Aim for that and I feel that you'll be much more content.

if you even need to talk girly don't hesitate to contact me. Sometimes it's easier to talk to a friend who isn't in the picture 24/7 <3

Rae said...

Being asian has its ups and downs. I've watched your youtube videos and I read your blog posts regularly but not once had it occurred to me you would worry about what the future will present to you. Or rather, what future you are going to create for yourself.

I'm no better than those who have said you were smart, because through all your posts and videos you exude a feeling i associate with as certainty. You know exactly what you want and how you will go about getting it. Forgive me for reading too deeply! It seems that you need to accept that your "smartness" is a gift not a burden. Accept that you are awesome in many ways.

All of us in your situation, including myself, have to realize that its not about pleasing everyone around us (easier said than done) but, setting goals for ourselves. We need to take one day at a time instead of obsessively worrying about the "future". We make ourselves crazy when we begin to pinpoint all the things that are going wrong in our lives. Take a breath and tell yourself that things always work out, because its true, if things haven't worked out for you now, I don't think I'd be reading your blogs nor would you be the person you are today. So, have faith, you've survived 20+ yrs a couple more is nothing!

Edwina said...

Hey, this is the exact same feeling I had about a year ago. I studied math in university, had more than enough coop jobs, not ambitious, but like stability. My luck level is mediocre all through my life. The fact that I didn't get a job offer during my 4th year still pains me in the heart. I say I somewhat brought it upon myself because I was second guessing at that time. I felt like if I was stuck with a job in the corporate world, I would be stuck forever. So I didn't prepare as well as I could for the interviews that I had. I remember the scary thought of finishing university haunted me everyday. No matter what I was doing, it would be at the back of my head.

Fast forward 1 year, I am working now in the job that I had my 1st interview upon finishing school. I'm still working hard towards my designation. But deep within me, I kind of want something more creative. And still to this point, I don't dare voicing this out to most people I know. Just scared of the look of disappointment I guess.

Good luck with you :D

Elle said...

maybe you're right, maybe i dont feel the same way as you but i know how it feels cause i went through it also. having already graduate from college, i jst have 2 small part time jobs. it's good for the meantime but i still have decisions to make. do i continue with school? do i look for another job? i've lost my passion for what i studied in college and wondering if i should pursue something else... hectic! but it is true, eventually things would straighten out itself and it'll be clear. as for now, maybe you can talk it out with your family, friends, and even counselors in school (and state how serious you are with it)... it might just help.

kirstyb said...

love the blog and very true great outfit below BTW xxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

loved this post!! in a way helped us see a different side of you .

PincStuff said...

Aw its okay girly, keep your chin up, we all go through this in life... sucks that the impact is double for you >< but no worries, life is a journey and uncertainty is all part of it! xoxo

PincStuff said...

Aw its okay girly, keep your chin up, we all go through this in life... sucks that the impact is double for you >< but no worries, life is a journey and uncertainty is all part of it! xoxo

Elle said...

maybe you're right, maybe i dont feel the same way as you but i know how it feels cause i went through it also. having already graduate from college, i jst have 2 small part time jobs. it's good for the meantime but i still have decisions to make. do i continue with school? do i look for another job? i've lost my passion for what i studied in college and wondering if i should pursue something else... hectic! but it is true, eventually things would straighten out itself and it'll be clear. as for now, maybe you can talk it out with your family, friends, and even counselors in school (and state how serious you are with it)... it might just help.

Rae said...

Being asian has its ups and downs. I've watched your youtube videos and I read your blog posts regularly but not once had it occurred to me you would worry about what the future will present to you. Or rather, what future you are going to create for yourself.

I'm no better than those who have said you were smart, because through all your posts and videos you exude a feeling i associate with as certainty. You know exactly what you want and how you will go about getting it. Forgive me for reading too deeply! It seems that you need to accept that your "smartness" is a gift not a burden. Accept that you are awesome in many ways.

All of us in your situation, including myself, have to realize that its not about pleasing everyone around us (easier said than done) but, setting goals for ourselves. We need to take one day at a time instead of obsessively worrying about the "future". We make ourselves crazy when we begin to pinpoint all the things that are going wrong in our lives. Take a breath and tell yourself that things always work out, because its true, if things haven't worked out for you now, I don't think I'd be reading your blogs nor would you be the person you are today. So, have faith, you've survived 20+ yrs a couple more is nothing!

MeiBelle said...

I understand exactly where you're coming from. I was never a kid who really studied in school but I did well. I went to college and majored in something I really enjoyed doing and now it's been over a year and i'm still in limbo trying to figure out what i'm going to do. Sometimes it feels like a waste, but I know that I don't regret it.

No one knows exactly how you feel and it ends up being irritating because people think that they can solve your problems when all you really want is someone to listen to you and not put all this pressure on you.

I also think that you're upset because people just scoff at you the moment you have doubt which is not cool because you are human, just like them.

Also just because you lack ambition to be extraordinary doesn't mean you lack the ambition to be happy. Aim for that and I feel that you'll be much more content.

if you even need to talk girly don't hesitate to contact me. Sometimes it's easier to talk to a friend who isn't in the picture 24/7 <3

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