Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 217: It's My Own Design

The warm summer weather has me thinking about the days when I was a college student way back in the 1980's (wow). I spent most of my days sunning myself, going to parties and visiting my friends. I did work full time during the summers, but in those days, I could work all day, and stay up late at night, and not miss a beat. Ah, to be 21 again.

I graduated from college in (gulp) June of 1985, Those who went to high school and were in the class of '80 with me, may notice I did NOT graduate in 1984. That means I was either a slacker or got delayed somehow. While during those years I was not the most motivated, I was not a total slacker, I did my work. But, I did get delayed due to parental circumstances beyond my control. As usual, I am digressing and I do not  want to go there.

The point is once again how music can trigger so many things in me; so many memories and feelings; and can transport me back to places where sometimes I don't want to be. This happened as I was driving home after teaching a gardening class on Thursday.

"Everybody Wants to Rule The World" by Tears for Fears came on the radio. This song is still one of my all-time favorites and it came out in the summer of 1985. I always thought it was very fitting for somebody just graduating from college. I remember how these lyrics in particular struck me at the time:
Welcome to your life.
There's no turning back.... 

It's my own design
It's my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most
Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world...

I can't stand this indecision
Married with a lack of vision

To say I was indecisive is putting it mildly. I was completely lost when I left Santa Cruz, and in spite of not wanting to, I came home, back to LA. I was completely ill prepared to be a grown up and completely unsure about my future. I graduated with a bachelor's in Psychology and realized in my senior year I did not want to be a psychologist, nor, had I done anything about prepping for graduate school. Not only that, I wanted to stay up in northern California and start my life there but, crippling fear of failure, or starvation, or anything else you can think of, and the harsh reality that I had no income, made this choice seem impossible to me at the time.

The lesson in all of this seems to be the same one I keep revisiting during my 50th year. That is that being afraid, limiting yourself by that fear does not make your life your own, rather, you are owned by fear. And, if I could talk to my 22 year old self I would tell her that you can always earn more money, or get more roommates, or figure out some way to survive because later on you will have to do that and you rock it. And, if you let fear limit you, you will spend a large part of your life settling for something because it is "safe" and in spite of having a wonderful life, you will find yourself at age 50, at times still wondering "what if."

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