I remember being rejected by a girl for the first time just before high school. I felt like I had been hit with an emotional truck, I built someone up to mean so much and it was unrequited. I kept thinking that something about the event wasn’t how life was supposed to go, the stories around me had the hero get the girl, win the day, succeed. When it happened, I felt a blow like a kick, and suddenly I felt like I couldn’t be the hero of my own story.
Where I once was the protagonist of my life, I was suddenly antagonist. Where I thought I would be accepted and desired, like a hero a blockbuster, I instead find myself feeling like creepy, disgusting and a hassle.
Combined with being an increasingly negative school, bickerings with family, and several other factors, I began to spiral into a very aggressive, cynical and overall apathetic mood. I began to genuinely think I would never be the hero of my own life, I would never succeed, I would have anything I cherished. I was living my life through a Hollywood movie, as though I was a character written in by an external hand— and I had discovered that I was the antagonist.
I fell to a low point then, that I don’t like remember myself in. I was always in the back of the class, I was always numb or metaphorically drunk to my surrounding, I was always half there, half in anger. I think I wore the same sweatshirt for 8 days straight because I cared so little.
That’s my low.
I felt totally empty and disinterested in everything that was going on. I had a task list of: 1) do my work until I can’t think 2) play video games until I can’t think and 3) sleep until I can’t think. There is nothing specifically that tore me down or helped destroy me— it was all me. I didn’t care about anything, I didn’t want to care about anything, and I viewed the entire world as an angry, cruel, cynical place, where all I wanted to do was be angry, cruel and cynical.
Today, I feel like I’ve had a professional low. This isn’t to say that I didn’t get much done, nor is it to say my day was worthless. Instead, I saw my own greed and my own vampirism. I saw how much I wanted things and was willing to do nothing but be lethargic in order to get them. I saw my irresponsible entitlement. I saw my childishness. I saw all the mistakes I had made, prioritizing things outside my dreams and work, and simply expecting them to happen or succeed around me, and for me to leech of their success.
I saw that I needed to own up to my lack of productivity, my lack of focus, my lack of commitment, and my poor use of the great gifts given to me.
I have been given so much, a scholarship, an opportunity to run a website, admission to a great high school, a wonderful girl, a great family, and dozens upon dozens of opportunities. By reaching for many of them, with twice as much length and half as much grip, I have choked them. By committing to a thing, and repulsing from my word, I have done a misdeed against my greatest allies and made my lethargy my greatest enemy.
It’s important to recognize when you’ve fallen, especially when you feel like you’ve screwed your biggest supporters. It’s important to set your lows, to see the consequences of misdeeds, to acknowledge when you’ve let your integrity. It’s important to name your lows, and recognize that in naming them you can one silver lining. In naming your lows, you have nowhere to go but up.
Set your lows, and set them when you reach them, and as quickly as you can, aim upward. With that, I want to apologize to the Praxis advisors for my disorganization and distraction towards my work, and to Michael Strong for being less than a stellar website editor.
Until next time,