I’ve been experiencing a premature quarter-life crisis as of late.
(And just to note, I am extremely angry that I stayed up until 5am last night and queued this post to tumblr, but it disappeared in the morning. So yes, I am a bit defeated that I am rewriting this entire thing right now.)
I’ve had an emotional breakdown; I’ve been confused and conflicted as to what to do with my life; and although it is a little sudden to come by at just 21-years-old, it feels strangely comforting to meet the darkest yet truest parts of myself.
A friend of mine called this the coming of “Dark Rachel”: the Rachel who was tired of the ‘light’ and being happy all the time; the Rachel who was once so annoyingly positive and experienced milestone after milestone after success; the Rachel who was once so sure of herself and, for the first time in her life, has no idea what her next ‘move’ is.
For the past three years, I’ve taken every opportunity presented to me hungrily. I’ve dedicated the past three years to Kababayan at UCI, sharing my ten years’ worth of knowledge of Philippine cultural dance to my peers through coordinating a dance suite and then coordinating the entire 250+ student production the following year. After, I’ve followed my dreams of blogging and writing and interviewed/chatted with the very musicians who inspired me, from Kina Grannis to Milo Greene to Yuna and even Dia Frampton. I’ve also chased the story of a band I’ve been following for almost a decade (Meg & Dia) to the point of being able to call them my friends (while even acquainting myself with Manager Mike).
All of these events have been more than a blessing to me. I’ve given myself opportunities to grow in leadership, organization, and socialization; I’ve gained countless friends, mentors and connections; and I’ve learned what it is I care about and value within myself.
But, when all your young ‘dreams’ have suddenly become ‘reality,’ you think to yourself, “Well, what now? What’s next?”
I have always done things with a point of ambition. There has always been something driving and motivating me forward. And at this point in my life, it’s unsettling to know that I find myself, for the first time, without a point of purpose. All of my short-term goals have been ‘met’; I’ve surpassed even my own expectations of how things would be; and a part of me feels as if I have nothing left to prove within myself. That’s quite a strange yet blessed place to be.
Leaving something I dedicated myself to for so long is difficult, and I don’t expect anyone to ever understand (at least at the moment) why I decided to leave. Perhaps I have grown so used to giving myself opportunities to grow that it feels silly to go back when my heart isn’t fully in it anymore (as much as I try). And, after giving so much of myself for so long—doing the hard work for others to learn about their culture, to uncovering stories of other individuals that interest me—I owe it to myself to live for myself for once, even if I have no idea who that person is behind all of the work she hides herself in.
As unsettling this period of time may be, maybe it is the time for me to ‘slow down,’ per se. Perhaps I can finally address my loner independence; maybe I can have the time to foster more real, genuine connections with people; perhaps I can put my hundred-percent towards honing my craft in writing, screenwriting or guitar-playing; or maybe I should let myself get out of my own head and world and create more intimate moments with individuals. Whatever the case, my letting go is probably one of the scariest but healthiest things for me to do; leaving my bed of comfort to pursue unknown parts of myself is weird.
When you’ve ‘done it all’ and feel no need to involve yourself in things you don’t feel yourself in anymore, you naturally want to experience something ‘more.’ As 2014 is behind you now and your sudden glimpse of constant happiness and positivity is long gone, you want to seek out ‘bigger and better’ things. You want to pass the torch and let yourself be free from all of those school involvements and petty distractions that distract you from yourself. Perhaps it is time you unveil your own story.
I am going rogue. And I am letting myself into the dark. (Haha.) Bring it on.