Back, and stronger than ever.
Not going to lie, it’s been a tough year. People have done some unspeakably horrible things to me, I have had to learn to live on my own, and I had to make a decision that I never pictured myself making at this time last year.
However, it’s been a good thing. I guess it is true that when you’re sitting on the business end of a knife and can eventually walk away from it, that you’re all the stronger because of it. Because I very nearly did give up on everything and everyone last summer. I had very little reason not to. The only thing I was truly looking forward to was getting out of the country and being able to forget my troubles. As a result, I resolved to make it through, no matter how painful, no matter how many times I had contemplated inserting the knife, that I would make it to the end.
During this time, I discovered something I had never truly been comfortable with in my life-being alone. Not as in the kind of person who never leaves their room kind of alone, but rather learning to be my own best friend. I had no other options, as most of my friends had already left the area. I had the opportunity to truly contemplate myself and contemplate the world around me, to truly test my own view of the world.
Fast forward to the end of July-I am back home, relaxing after a long summer internship. From out of nowhere emerge the demons from the past, the very same people that helped to put me on the knife’s edge earlier in the summer. It was truly a challenge to forgive. But I did, until I began to question (correctly) the integrity of these people in the statements they were making to me. People I loved, people I lived with, even some friends of mine.
I then got the rope of life-an internship with my dream employer. I had been given another chance, another opportunity to heal, and most of all, another opportunity to find myself. Never mind the added bonus of not having to deal with a certain set of people for a year, even though a lot of my friends were graduating this past year. Nevertheless, I was psyched for Japan, and for my internship when I got back.
I’m now in Japan, where I know practically nobody. By a chance encounter with probably the only other black person on campus (an English professor), I go to her class, where I ended up meeting people that I still talk to today. Listening to both the professor and the students speaking allowed me to challenge what I thought I knew, as I did not completely comprehend how some processes worked in Japanese society.
During my time in Japan, I had an abundance of these experiences. It all came to a head during my last month there, when I had a wonderful date with someone from the school and the end of the semester with my classmates and friends. I won’t go into great detail about the date, but we had conversation that lead to me having infinitely more faith in people, as she was one of the nicest people I had ever met. Meanwhile, I was shown the meaning of camaraderie and solidarity by my friends living in my dorm, who would party together, watch movies together, take care of each other, and other things that made me think about my life. Why was I killing myself with a courseload and a half when I should be getting to know people better? Apparently, not all people are backstabbers…
I came back home to no friends back at home (away at college) and only an internship to really help pass the time. Although it was 10 weeks, it really felt like 20. I had time to heal, to get my career path straightened out, and to even meet some very cool fellow interns along the way. I absolutely do not regret taking last semester off, as it allowed me to clear my head and prime my body so that I could achieve “Anima sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body).
I then decided, after my internship had ended, to drop in randomly on my former classmates at school. While I cannot complain about the welcome I received when I went back, my decisions were also reaffirmed by things I was made aware of during my time there.
A good proportion of my “friends” need to go.
And they will. At the point that I have achieved right now, they are only holding me back. I’m in the best physical, mental, and spiritual shape of my life right now, and I have no time for people still stuck in the proverbial freshman year. I’ve been away from a year. I’ve got a year and a half to go.
I may be late in learning some things/realizing some things, but I do know this-it’s time. It’s time to take over.
Time to take over leadership positions in my house and in my clubs. Time to take over class discussions. Time to run out the scumbags that put me on the knife’s edge last summer.
The best part about it? Nobody knows just how much strength I will actually possess when I go back to school, except for myself. It’s time to shock some people, and it’s time to show them why no man or woman will ever stop me from realizing my ambitions, no matter how much pain I experience.
I’ve been on quite a tear in the last year, and I can’t wait to see my success translate into the classroom this fall.