47 – People like to say I don’t “try”.

Frankly, I don’t blame them.

My friends seem to have the impression that I don’t do anything  but play video games all the time and still somehow do well in school and still somehow juggle all the extracurricular in my life. I don’t practice. I don’t study. I never do my homework until the night  before. I have no right to complain when my marks aren’t up to par.

To some extent, this impression is accurate. I procrastinate and I don’t like to spend my time studying or practicing the white and black keyed instrument that sits quaintly in my living room. Still, I put effort into everything and anything I do. If I’m going to do it, I want to do it well. I simply don’t like to linger too long on things that I don’t enjoy. I simply like to be efficient, that’s all.

My elementary school crush said to me at a New Year’s Party, “My respect for you has just dropped significantly”, upon discovering that I hadn’t started on any of my winter break homework through it was a week into the break. The statement shocked me in a way I didn’t expect. Mostly it was who it came from that cracked a bit of my mentality. He reminded me of who I was, and how doing well in school meant the world to me back when I was a little child. He and I were the math nerds of a grade two class – the teacher separated us from the rest of the class because we had done surprisingly well on a test. We would do math problems in the corner of the room during the math periods, occasionally helping our classmates when they had problems with math. We laughed and challenged each other to see who could get the answer first. Sometimes he would and other times, I would. Math was fun to me then. School was fun to me then. School was fun because I enjoyed what I was learning, because everything seemed to have a place in my little mind. 

He was also the reason for my first confrontation with the idea of a “crush”. A girl whom I didn’t particularly socialize with – granted, at the time, I didn’t really socialize all that much – cornered me one lunch time near the garden that was between the elementary and intermediate playgrounds. The garden was an area that was often vacated due to its plainness and inutility. I liked it though. I thought the plants understood me more than my classmates did. She told me, “Please don’t like him because I do.” I took the hint. So then I let go of my elementary school crush. He moved away after that grade so I suppose it wouldn’t have really mattered. I stopped liking math.

I didn’t stop liking school though, not for a long while. Not until it was cool to not like school. I suppose I just wanted to fit in, wanted to feel like I could also adopt the attitudes of the populous and sing along to their status quo. I never really did though. I still really haven’t.

In any case, when I stop liking something, I don’t try as hard. The girl who poured her heart into every project in elementary school died with graduation. In grade seven, I was seriously depressed. I wrote poetry with my sunken heart, but it didn’t take any of the pain away. I did a project in the shape of a bunny – as at the time I was obsessed with bunnies and they had a significance to me. I used language that highlighted the sorrow in my life. I suppose that was a desperate attempt to reach out to my teacher.  I think I really did get to him because he was always really kind to me. He let me fold cranes in class when I was supposed to be reading and he always smiled when I showed him something that I had made. He still remembered me when I went to visit in grade nine and help with the Sports Day. Just that alone made me happy for the rest of the day.

I did all my homework in elementary school. Finished all my projects and most times went beyond any expectations. I read a lot, going through every section of the library. From factual books about emperor penguins to twilight, I read it all. I studied. I wrote in a journal, upon the advice of my grade three teacher. I skated and swam, played badminton, volleyball, and basketball for fun – though I have never been any good at any sport. I played video games too. I have always played video games. But I used to put my work first. I used to.

All those years of trying, of self development, and of enjoying school taught me how to be efficient. I don’t take as long as other people to type up an essay or to come up with an idea for a visual element. I don’t take as much time to understand a concept. But I don’t do enough. I don’t try enough.

My best friend of about fourteen years told me one day after school that I had to start trying. If I didn’t stop gaming, if I didn’t put more effort in the work I do, then I would have no right to complain when my marks aren’t as great as my expectations. She knew I could do better. I suppose I know that too. It’s the last year of high school. I’m supposed to try my hardest. But that’s not how life works for me. When I do work, I will try my hardest. When I don’t want to do it however, every single cell in my body will resist effectively performing the work.

I was really upset that she was lecturing me. I know it was for my own good, but it left me feeling bitter.

have tried in school. I used to try in school. I tried so hard that I was blind to all else. I tried so hard but it got me nowhere. I couldn’t make friends when I was trying. I couldn’t make the sadness go away. Gaming helps distract me. It has helped me to become acquainted with people that I can talk to, that I can express myself to. Not school. Not trying. I stopped trying as hard because I couldn’t handle it. I still can’t handle it.

I’m sorry I’m not the ideal International Baccalaureate student. I’m sorry I never will be.

The funny thing is, despite all this not trying, I’m still doing better than she is. Perhaps there was a twinge of envy in her tone when she was lecturing me. I suppose I’ll never know.

I couldn’t talk to anyone when I was trying in school, when I was putting a hundred percent of myself into everything I did.

I’m doing my best, okay?

Gradually, I’ll learn to try again. But for now, let me take my time. I know it’s an important time to be trying, but let me do it at my own pace.

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11 thoughts on “47 – People like to say I don’t “try”.

  1. Hey, Nessa. I guess this is another Libra weighing in. 🙂 Each of us is blessed at various times in our life with options. Sometimes more and sometimes less. If there is one thing I know it is there is no end to our abilities to discover, to explore, to reinvent ourselves. I’m proof. In my life, I have reinvented myself over and over – reaching beyond the limits I had set for myself before. In truth, my failure was in ever thinking there were limits.

    There are no absolutes, or end to our becoming, our learning. The best we can do is to ’embrace’ it all in every way possible. Everything is a blessing. From sorrow, we learn. From pain, we learn. From loss, we learn. Everything is filled with blessing because no experience is exempt. We are always making meaning (reinventing) through our choices, and in doing so, we tap into the wonder we were intended for – we touch on the infinite beauty and blessed mess that is the universe. When we ‘allow’ that to happen, we are tapping into our true destiny. Always, Eden blooms for us. And sometimes, a single seed blossoms into a destiny we never imagined. Sometimes we eat the apple and sometimes we don’t, but always we choose.

    And in choosing, we create the destiny we were meant to know. For me, the one thing I steer by is love. Listen to your heart and love (love yourself and love the universe). Move the bed and break the plate. Make your own rules, or break down all those left by those who weren’t you. 🙂

    As I know you will, and it will be a beautiful garden indeed.

    Love, Bobbie

    • I really love the idea of “reinventing ourselves”.
      And Bobbie, you couldn’t be more right about how there are “no absolutes”. The future is so brilliant in that way.

      Let’s move along together in our journeys! 🙂

  2. Learning is a joy, pressured learning is not, it is a chore, like we are being taught to work, and that we had better get used to it. I suppose one could call it programming. Learning the way you describe it is the best, means the most, and stays with us forever. The best example I can think of is the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in Scottsdale, AZ http://taliesin.edu It’s hard work, but it is totally engaging. I think that is the kind of learning you are referring too. It is the type I always loved. I did hands on training at Porsche Audi America, Toshiba Medical Systems, Digital Equipment Corp, and loved every minute of it, no tests, no pressure, what I needed was to personally know I had learned what I came for and took it back with me …I do relate and your feelings are important, The thing you can trust most is your heart …

  3. Being a Senior in High School, is generally not a Typical Year for anyone… Sometimes, it means that you’re preparing for College… Sometimes, it means you’re preparing for Life… Often people that go straight from High School to College… Don’t end up truly getting an understand of ‘Life’… And when they Finish College, yes, they have a Degree… But often, it is a long fall to Reality in regards to the Regular Life Stuff.

    It has been my Experience that the People that take a year off after High School, have a Much, Much Greater Chance of making it all the way through College… Most Dropouts, I believe, are the one’s that go straight from High School, to College… They just hit a point where they feel Fried. The other thing that can happen by not giving yourself a break, is you can pursue a Degree in something you think you want, and end up with a Degree in something that you in fact have no interest in by the time you get out.

    That year in between can be monumental in your own Personal Development… Developing, and Figuring out who you are, and what you want that is.

    That aside… It’s Great that you Tried so hard in the Lower Grades… And when I say Great, I don’t mean because you Achieved Great things… I mean, because it can be Very Satisfying to give something your all… And if you have Good Results, well, that feels even better.

    But, some people who just stay nose to the grindstone for too many years, end up waking up at some point, in a job, or in a relationship, or in a life, that they don’t actually like. Why? Because they never took the time to ‘Figure Out Who They Are’… Life isn’t about the Results at the end of the Day… It is Largely, as Cliche’ as this sounds, about the Journey.

    And in that Respect, like I say, that’s very cool that you got to Experience doing so well at things you applied yourself at. Because that Experience never leaves you, which mean, you know per Experience, that if you Find something else that you are Passionate about, chances are, you will do well at it if/when you Apply yourself. Like I say, that Fundamental Experience of Success, doesn’t leave you.

    I too was Extremely Good at Math… And, I Loved, and still do Love Math.

    So Good at it was I, that I could do much of it in my head, and would just put down the answers, as opposed to writing out the problem. This, sadly, was not what they wanted. They wanted to see how you got there. Or more specifically, they want to see how you got there using their method. This was difficult for me. It bored me to just write things down because they thought, and wanted me to. And when I say ‘bored’, I guess what I really mean is, it ‘depressed’ me.

    Unlike you, I never got that opportunity to experience Great Success within School… But it wasn’t because I couldn’t… It was partly because I was kind of a sad kid, my parents had gotten divorced, and though I was glad my dad was gone, my mom was sad when I was young (ages 2 to 5), and I suspect I absorbed much of her sadness via osmosis. That said, I was blue in school, and just didn’t try that hard.

    I always loved Math, and Creative Writing… But that was about it. For me, Public School Sucked, but we couldn’t afford Private School.

    Looking back, I wish I had gotten involved with something in School… Maybe a Sport or something. I Always wanted to play Baseball, but we lived in a Remote Canyon, and I only had one Parent that I lived with who worked full time, so getting me to a practice would have been hard.

    Thus, I school years were pretty much a torture chamber… And my brother (who is only 15 months younger), and I ended up missing a lot of school because of it… And our mom let us, because she didn’t like Public Schools… But then at some point she started to try to get us to go more, because they complained to her, but by then, we hated school… And kept missing anyway.

    But this me… And this Post is about you… I for one feel that it is a good time for you not to be ‘fully’ engaged in school… This is a fundamental time for you in you own personal development… A time you need breathing room… And I feel video games likely give you this breathing room. All they really do is engage your ‘conscious’ mind, but it’s your ‘subconscious’ mind that’s sorting things out for you… And it’s still fully at work, while you do things like sleep, and play video games.

    As far as someone being ‘disappointed’ in you… Though I know your friend was young when he said that, truth be known, there are certain words that never should have existed in the first place… Disappointment is one of them. It’s a form of what is known as ‘shaming’ in the psychology world. And ‘shaming’, is destructive… There’s no two ways around it. But I wouldn’t blame your friend, he was very young, and had obviously been taught shaming from someone he grew up around. Blame them, ha.

    Anyway, words like ‘disappointment’, and ‘expectations’, are 100% useless.

    And this other friend who says you don’t have the right to complain? Well, all that means is you should complain to her. Chances are, she’s not really your friend at all. And I’m not trying to be harsh.

    Bitching to friends is essential… It’s just a release generally… A release of negative energy, which it’s important to do sometimes. Writing in a journal is also good… But sometimes it’s just nice to complain to someone. I don’t complain much, but when I do, it’s generally to my mom, Lol But she and I have always been good friends, beyond the mom and son thing.

    My point is, what that friend was doing to you, was ‘shaming’ you… Once again, not likely her fault, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t her responsibility… And most people don’t want to take responsibility for what they say, or do.

    I’ll tell you right now, you will never belong in the ‘norm’ of society… And though that may sound like a not good thing, it indeed is not a bad thing. What it largely means is, you already know who you are to a large degree. And the reason you don’t fit in is, you’re an individual… And each individuals wants and needs are completely different than to the person to their left… Or right. If you know what I mean.

    Your mission in life isn’t to fit it… It’s to find where you belong. It’s to figure out ‘what brings you pleasure’ in this World, and Life. Also, it’s natural that in childhood more things brings us happiness… We’re forming… We’re clay, to a large degree… But you’re closer to 18 now (I suspect), and that is a complete different time than when you are younger. But, 18-ish is also an extremely fundamental time of forming who you are… Just in a more refined way than when you are younger. When you’re younger, you’re largely soaking up what’s around you… When you’re 18 and beyond 18, you still do… But, at 18, it’s more about beginning to ‘explore’ who you are… And the best way to do this, is to try things that you’re interested in… Whatever that may be.

    I suspect this ‘need to fit in’ that you feel, is more about your ‘need for love’… Call it an educated guess. I do not thing you actually ‘want’ to be like other people. I just think you want ‘love’. And who can blame you.

    During your life you will indeed want, and get love from other people. But, the biggest challenge is loving yourself. Without that, you will always be trying to fill a void with other people’s love… And though it is essential to a degree to be loved by others, it is even more essential that you love yourself.

    And the best way to love yourself, is to ‘listen’ to yourself. And, explore, explore, explore what’s out there.

    Never allow yourself to be locked in to others opinions of what you should be, and/or what you should be doing with your life. At 18 and beyond, sure listen to what they say… But in your own time evaluate all things, and feel your way towards both important, and not so important decisions.

    I’d also make a list… A list of ‘Needs’, and a list of ‘Wants’

    These two things are very different… Though they often cross paths.

    Example;

    I Need Water, Food, Shelter, Rest

    But I Want to make a Living as a Writer, and I Want to Listen to Music, and I Want Love

    For me, Love kind of falls between Need, and Want… I feel that a Person who Loves, and is Loved, is Fundamentally Happier, and Fundamentally Healthier.

    But will I die without it? Well… Not so much. But I will be slightly miserable, Lol

    And my point to this Huge Reply is, ‘You’re on the Right Path’… Yes, it is painful sometimes… But so is finding people that are ‘Truly’ Encouraging in your Life… It takes time. I’ve had different friends along the way… Some I’ve had for a bunch of years, some only a couple… What’s important is your Environment… And People count as part of your Environment… So be selective about who you spend time with. Hand around the one’s that like ‘you’, and who you are. Not who they think you should be…. That is but a Fantasy… Their Fantasy. There’s not much Reality to it.

    Follow your Heart my Friend… Don’t let your Mind get the best of you

    xo

    DJ-

      • Maybe you;’re right. Maybe I have tried too hard for so long to ‘fit in’ when I’m someone who doesn’t have to.
        Love is definitely something I need rather than want. I feel that without love, life becomes a little more empty. Although my friends aren’t always the most understanding, I will continue to love them because for the moment, they are the ones that are close to me.
        My mind is a little silly and doesn’t quite like to listen to my heart. But thank you, Jade. For being here, for your continuous wonderful advice, for sharing your own story, and for listening to mine.
        I hope both our lives will be flooded with ongoing love.

        • So do I… Love is my Favorite thing, Lol… And being in Love is pretty grand too (Libra here, in Love with being In Love, Lol)

          Oh yeah, you don’t need to stop loving unsupportive people, we love who we love

          All the best

          xo

          DJ-

  4. ‘Nessa … I dislike (read hate) institutional learning. In HS I wanted to be an auto mechanic, but they wouldn’t let me take shop. If the idiot guidance counselors never suggested I take electronics ( which we had) I could have done the hands on and learned then what it took me tem more years to discover. I got a scholarship to NYU for being a fencer, and lasted 3 semesters … Once my draft lottery was up, and I knew I wouldn’t get called up for Vietnam I bailed and got my first job – Fixing Volkswagens! I never finished getting an institutional degree, but I have schooled myself all my life, and I know my resume gets tossed asside because of it, that is my only regret.
    You are part of a new generation here on earth, the story about the garden just confirmed that. I don’t like labels, but for perspective they are called star, indigo, or crystal children. Institutions won’t ever be to your liking unless they allow creative growth. Check out “In Blue” (Susanne) at Make Belive Boutique -she is studying in a new field called Transpersonal Psychology. There are places you will feel warm and nurtured, but you will have to dig for them. Most institutional learning is boring, that is why you appear to procratinate, you are not, you are just bored. You probably speed read naturally because your mind needs too … Follow your heart, you are OK! -gfs

    • To be honest, I don’t really hate the institution as much as I hate the pressures of society. There is something comforting about learning a set curriculum, about having teachers to turn to when I’m in trouble. I don’t like being assessed nor do I particularly like taking tests, but the feeling of understanding something – it gives me a rush that nothing else does.
      I suppose I could learn in various other ways, but there’s nothing about the school environment that I haven’t always liked. I just sometimes wish I could be one of those girls who talk in the back of the class, who look like they’re having so much fun.
      I don’t know if this is something that you can relate to, but that’s just how I feel.

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