02 December 2013

Letters to my teenage self {Part 2}

Dear Meghan

Last time I wrote, you were just finishing school and university beckoned.

Without a totally defined sense of direction, you decide that becoming a Japanese teacher sounds like as good a career as any, but this will change though before you even make it to your second year. University brings with it more freedom and with so many of your school friends choosing to live in the hostels on campus, you begin to resent the daily half hour drive to and from campus and decide you need to experience more of student life. Again, it’s not a wise choice with hindsight but you’re still young and immature enough to just want to fit in with those around you and so this is inevitably the path you choose. 

You embark on a relationship early in your first year of university which becomes a defining moment in your life. Rightly or wrongly, it shapes many of the decisions you will make over the next four years. Before the year is out, the lack of curriculum choices make you turn from your original decision to be a teacher and pursue Japanese and Mandarin Chinese solely as your degree majors in a Bachelor of Arts degree.

This relationship you are in is tempestuous at the best of times, and many of the friends you have made earlier in the year try to make you see sense, telling you that he is not good for you and that he has many of his own deep-seated issues that come flying to the fore the moment a fight starts. But love is blind and you choose not to see it, choosing instead to value this relationship more highly than those of these other girls. And so you turn your back on many of them, almost forced into it by his power over you and his ability to twist the arguments they have against them until you cannot see sense.

On many a night after some stupid fight you will find yourself crying in your dorm room, finding yourself willing to stretch to crazy lengths to get his attention, or to prove his insane jealousy wrong. You'll even think that maybe drinking half a bottle of gin on your own on a Sunday night might do it. Or that putting a cigarette lighter to your wrist to feel some pain instead of the numbness and sadness at yet another blazing row might do it. One night you'll even go wandering off campus and roaming the streets in the dark, barefoot and dressed in nothing but summer PJ's in the hope that you might prove a point by storming out into the night. You'll feel incredibly foolish and childish when a police patrol car then picks you up and takes you to the central police station until they can figure out what's going on, dropping you back to the hostel in the small hours of the morning. 

This is a dark and hidden side of your life. Not many people will ever know this side of you and the desperation you feel in these times. They may only see you getting fantastic marks on all your university papers, A's and A+'s and you actively engaging in student life as President of the hostel in your second year living there. With a new group of students having come on campus, there are some new and more grounded friendships in your second year that balance out the craziness of this ongoing relationship. You hold onto these tightly to keep you afloat in the worst of times.

to be continued.....

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