"Lean with it, rock with it" blares over the radio station and my hope crashes to the floor, with a shattering outcry of...Fuuuucccck.
"What?! What's wrong?! Are you okay?!"
"Oh, yeah. Sorry mom, I missed the Cash Cow "Jam of the day" and I really needed to win a grand. Fuck."
Ok, you know you're in desperate need of money when you waste an hours worth of gas, driving out of the way, all day long, waiting for the song of the day to come on. My finger on the dial, ready to call in, I even practiced my scream of JOY. Complete jubilation. Eh, lost cause.
So I failed to win money, but what did I not fail at??? Oh, taking the ACT today.
Yes, I said ACT. I realize that I'm five years late. I should've done it when I was 18, but instead I said "fuck school, I'm too busy trying to be famous." and actually, I was. The ACT wasn't even a thought, there was no consideration, studying, planning, etc.
Until now that I'm taking classes in May, at a four year university. I had vowed, I would NEVER ever, go to school. Not because I didn't love school, the actual process of learning, but because it didn't seem to fit in my 18 year old version of a "life plan."
So today, 8 am- number 2 pencils in tow, a baggie of Teddy Grahms, and BAM. ALL of that high school insecurities I had managed to ward off (since I was 15, I began homeschooling at 15) came flooding back like a fucking tsunami.
Fidgiting fingers, hair smoothing, unnecessary throat clearing, feeling complete judgment when walking into a room of 20 teenagers who look like they want to jump you for your lunch money, and girls who are evaluating what type of eyeliner you use and if you're elligible for future boyfriend stealing, or gossip topics.
I did NOT miss this bullshit. I didn't miss the industrial toilet paper that hurts your ass, the teachers with scowling faces, fleece jackets and scrunchies. I didn't miss self doubt, even if its a constant, as you grow it's manageable. I didn't miss the bad lighting or the rules.
Though being an adult comes with a slew of responsibilty that I'm completely aware, I am still unqualified for, it also comes with a sense of self assurance.
An assurance that I think only comes when you've decided to come into your own, live in your skin- even if it's blotchy, blemished or uncomfortable.
An assurance that doesn't mind a room full of strangers but sees it as an opportunity to connect and observe personalities different from your own. An assurance that doesn't hunch or pray to go unseen, that doesn't immediately question what their wearing if it isn't the standard jeans and tee. An assurance that has a voice seperate from the school body as a whole, and a voice that they aren't afraid to use- even if it's different from everyone elses.
I throw my hands to sky with clenched fists when I miss the "song of the day" because, I don't want to be chased by the IRS in April when I'm struggling to pay taxes, but would I trade that to revert back and take on the crippling sense of insecurity, dependance and to contort myself to fit into the mold of adolescence??
What's the best quality you've gained since leaving school?