I usually get what I want; not because I am a brat but because whenever I want something I work hard for it. This semester alone I have gotten so much: good grades, two letters of commendation, one offer for a letter of recommendation, my dream campus job, an amazing volunteership position at the CDPC, the offer to volunteer with the albany county CVSVC, three recommendations for executive board for three different campus organizations, a presentation promotion for Middle Earth, the chance to get close to someone I can tell is very special, the honor of being a part of the awesome Salsuny for my third semester in a row, and an official college social life. Not to mention I have the love and support of my family behind me at all times.
That’s all so great right? Of course it is! I am so excited to be getting ahead in life. But what you don’t see are the drawbacks to all of this success. The constant pressure to go above and beyond at all times, having so many people depend on you for so many different things but not having them as support, the lack of sleep, the loss of trust in people, the constant feeling of failure when you don’t meet certain expectations, and worst of all: the regret, disappointment, and guilt when you don’t measure up to the high standards you set for yourself. I got so stressed to the point I forgot to take care of myself; so sick I missed two dance performances and had to skip two days of classes. I break down in the middle of the night because I cannot express how I feel. I am not weak and therefore do not wish to be portrayed that way. When I found someone to talk to it was the best thing in the world until he got me to really open up and I choked. I choked. Own what? My words? My emotions? My actions? My thoughts? Everything. I could not say how I felt or what was wrong with me without breaking down. I felt as if all of my feelings were wrong; that I had no reason to feel the ways I did with everything going so well for me.
That’s when it hurt more. Your feelings are your own and you cannot beat yourself up for simply feeling. I knew this but the fact that I knew this made it worse. I was a hypocrite. I would go to my middle earth duties and help people with their problems as well as encourage them to reach out for help but when it was my turn to get help, I said no. For the fear of being judged. For the fear of being taken advantage of. For the fear of losing control. For the fear of letting someone else in. For the fear of simply feeling that I would be impossible to help. That I have put up so many walls throughout my 19 years of life that anyone who tries to help me will just hit a dead end again and again. And again.
Do not be jealous of what I have because I would never want you going through what I am feeling. Sure the glory and praise are great but when they cost you your health and sanity, are they really worth it? It took being successful to see my failures.
Do not be jealous of what I have because you don’t know what it is like to be in my shoes. If you got what I had, it might not make you as happy as you think. I know what it’s made me though; stronger. It took months, but I am stronger. I will not destroy myself in my attempt to reach greatness. I will not judge myself and ask others not to judge me. I will not be a hypocrite. I will get better, I will get wiser, and most importantly, I will be happy.
So again I tell you, do not be jealous of what I have. Take my successes as a wake up call for yourself: you can achieve anything you work hard for, just make sure you do it for you.