Recently, I've found myself in a bit of a rut. I'm in this deep, dark ditch that I've dug with terrible grades in school, iffy to awful relationships with friends (and family), zero initiative to enjoy life, a huge lack of musical theatre and an even bigger fear of my future. I like to think I have a relationship with the universe, or something, and at the moment, it is destroying me. I spend my days alone, tired, sad and have no energy to change that. I look around my life and see people prettier, smarter, kinder and happier than me. The people around me telling me I am all of those great things just sound like broken records, repeating what they were designed to.
Now, this may come as a surprise to a lot of people. I'm usually quite chipper and happy when I'm out and about, and if you do know me, then this is likely the only side you've seen of me. Which is by no means bad, because I do like being chipper and happy. Unfortunately, more often than not, I'm, well, not.
You see, there's a lot going on in my brain. I am a state of the art overthinker, ruminating my way into disaster. Even if my situations aren't that bad, I make them worse, with my imagination, with my anxiety. Or maybe, I am truly just a drama queen, like my parents call me. But this time has seemed so different, a lot darker.
I used to be a wonderful student. I was in classes that were levels ahead of my peers and actually enjoying them, even gracefully flying through them. I loved to participate and to be educated, but something changed. I lost control somewhere. I started my sophomore year with dropping out of classes that were giving so much stress, I was more often than not, breaking down into tears at my kitchen table, homework sprawled out in front of me. After dropping the classes that were killing me, I was breezing through once again and thoroughly enjoying my experience in the musical American Idiot (this show will receive its own memoir in the future, which I am currently working on). Life was, in short, okay. I had friends, I had grades, I had happiness.
American Idiot ended and I seemed to have lose control again. The wheels were off the track or I had pulled the steering wheel too far or something—but I was failing all of a sudden. I remember putting in the work, I remember trying hard and then I remember pounding headaches while looking at failing grades. I remember trying not to cry in school because I was letting a lot of people down, myself included. The thought of getting a tutor terrified me, because I didn't want anyone to think I was stupid or incapable of something that everyone else my age seemed to be doing just fine. By being afraid to be an acknowledged failure, I became an even bigger one to myself. This was only the beginning.
While struggling to bring my grades up (which is very hard once they've hit rock bottom), I had a mishap with my cellphone that resulted in a new one. And while this sounds wonderful, I had lost all my contacts, and therefore a lot of communication with my friends. I was losing friends that were bored with me, mad with me not reaching out and just people who forgot about me. I made desperate pleas on nearly every social media for everyone to come back to me, and to this day I still am missing some important people. But for a while, I was blindly struggling through school with no rope to grab on to, no hand to hold, because the world is digital now, and I had none.
It's not like I'm fantastic at making friends either. School is a nightmare for kids like me. Someone looking to be left alone unless you have some substance to give. I'm not looking for wild parties and sports games. I'm looking for kids to stay in with, make pizza and cookies and sing and dance in my pajamas with. I'm not looking for fleeting friendships and rivalries I just want friends that will last me more than a year. And I'm not necessarily an outcast. I'm treated okay at school, a few douchebags here and there get on my nerves and a few girls will always call you out for your chewed nails but mostly I stay low, under the radar. But that's no place to make friends. So I don't, really.
So no good grades, no good friends (sh, yes I know a few of you reading this love me and were there... but I'm not talking about you). To top that stuff off, I don't talk to my parents. We just don't interact very well. I have a sort of dark humor that, I admit, doesn't fare well with adults. I'm us usually sniffing for trouble without actually taking a whiff, so I don't have the best relationship. I'm looking for support in the place it's supposed to be and really not getting enough. So I got sad, but I also got angry.
At this point, I was a mix of sadness, anger and fear. The fear was stemming from everything else. Without good grades I feared for my future. I saw it going down a drain I didn't even know existed in my almost perfect life. Without good relationships in my life, I then let myself be tugged down the same dirty drain. It was clogged with my own suckiness and everywhere I looked, that's what I saw. I saw my failure as a student, a friend, and a daughter. So my anger prevailed.
A lot of people view angry teenagers as angry with the world, with those around them, and while it's easy to see that, they're most often angry with themselves and the situation they've gotten into. That's been my case now for a while. I can without a doubt, at least at the moment, say that I don't like myself. I find myself stale, with a personality much like others. I find my talent boring and believe I have nothing truly unique to offer to the world or any sort of industry. I am now an average if not below average student, and I look back at past Mia, so vibrant and intelligent, and feel as I've let her down, too. And while I dislike myself, I have also lost all the energy to change myself. Because for some reason, something inside me tells me it will all be for naught. Everything goes down at some point. Why even try to rise again?
Now while that mindset has been extremely toxic, a few buddies of mine have been desperately tugging my out of my rut, by willingly throwing themselves into it. And now this is where this post will start to look up. Here is the message, the meaning, the lesson.
I've learned to recognize who my true friends are, where my true happiness lies and what my true goals are. When you are down so low, you are looking for an answer and most likely it is too dark or too cloudy to see one, and that's what I was feeling for a very long time. But you have to wait it out, like a real storm, because we all know by now that storms don't last forever. In fact, they can be very short. Admittedly, they can be destructive too, but you know there's a calm coming. Sometime. There are so many reasons not to give up that there's not enough time in the world to list them. But anyway...
The storm will clear and so will your head. Let yourself rest and digest and you will find that you're going to be okay, if not today, then tomorrow. I tell myself, when I get really scared and desperate and so sad I don't think I can take another second... I say, wait ten seconds. Then, I congratulate myself. Because I lasted ten more seconds. And I challenge myself to do it again and then I celebrate with a smile, or my favorite song or a call with my favorite person. Then I tell myself to keep waiting for ten seconds at a time until things get better, because it would suck not to be there for when they do.
So that's what I'm doing now. Things still aren't great, I don't know when they will be. But for everyone who has been worried about lately, take this post to heart, know that I'm okay, or I will be. There's a lot more to do than care for me so go change the world so people struggling even more can enjoy it. That's what I plan to do.