The wild, the weird, the unknown, the uncertain — the world. These past few weeks have been a lot. Being forced under a mask of quarantine has made me hyper-aware of who I am and what I stand for. I sit in seconds of introspection, forced to evaluate myself as a person — and sometimes I am disappointed. I try so hard to be good. To be a person who others look up to. To be a person who makes herself proud. To be a daughter who exemplifies empathy. To be a sister who brings joy. To be a friend who provides comfort.
Sitting in this quarantine, however, has made me question if I am following these character traits that I so desperately desire. I am not perfect, but sitting in this secluded trance, I have found a disconnect in who I am and who I want to be.
I keep reminding myself, however, that I am trying. I am trying to become a better person.
The quest for comparison is easy to fall into, and so this year, I have been trying to be intentional in the way I live my life. I want to be me. In order to escape the comparison, I did something quite dramatic for the 21st-century twenty-year-old — I went underground. I deleted my Facebook account and rarely check Instagram. This disconnection from the world has been weird. I live in this hole. I can’t even interact with people other than my family because of this quarantine, and now I don’t even know what’s happening in other people’s lives.
Though, why should I even care to know? I mean, I continue to call and text those who matter most — so does it really matter that I don’t know what’s happening in the lives of my digital friends?
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships as well — and, honestly, I sit at a crossroads. I’ve always been this bubbly-positive-loud person. People identify me with those qualities, and as a result, people sometimes take advantage of my naive nature. I’m not clueless, but I appear to be. I give everyone an optimistic cheer and truly invest myself in those I am around.
This has led me to be friends with everyone, even those who have a cold character. I’ve realized that I can remain civil with people, but not be best friends with those people — that’s hard though. I’ve never consciously distanced myself from people, and now I am realizing, I should. I should be nice to everyone, but purely invest myself into people I truly want around me.
These quarantine reflections have been difficult. They’ve been difficult because they highlight parts of myself I want to improve — and when you must improve, it also means you’re not where you believe you should be.
To be completely honest, I’ve never been fully satisfied with who I am. It’s not because I feel like other people are better — I just feel like I have so much unlocked potential, and I’m scared of not reaching that.
As I get older, as my college experience is coming to end, as I decide who I want in my future, I am realizing that the next couple of years will define my impact, they’ll define my potential push. It scares me because though I know I am equipped with knowledge and opportunities to do a lot — sometimes I wish to simply live my life. Be a simple person in the world. Be someone who spends the week working and the weekends exploring. Then, however, this burst of anger fires within me. Why should I dare to live a simple life? I have been fortunate to have so many opportunities — shouldn’t I have a stronger vision? Shouldn’t I desire to be a CEO, the next president, or a multi-million dollar entrepreneur?
The simple life is stale, right?
I guess this existential crisis has grown from this opportunity to reflect. I spend my days attending class lectures online, at night I study for an exam, and when I’m done I have moments just to think. I get lost in my thoughts — and sometimes they thrill me and other times they terrify me.
I am proud of myself. I am. I have excelled academically in college. I have an incredible summer internship. I have lived abroad. I attend a highly-ranked public university. I have been able to obtain leadership roles. I have friends and family who support me.
And though I recognize these blessings and opportunities, I still feel inadequate.
Maybe it’s low self-esteem or the quarantine quarrel in my mind, but as I sit here on a Sunday night I feel disoriented. I fear what will happen next. I fear that I won’t make myself proud.