Thursday, 21 May 2009

future, amongst pressure and other things

I never really thought of myself as one of those kids that clung onto their mother’s legs when faced with something new as a child.
Fact is, I was.

I was going to do ballet once. I did one lesson and absolutely loved it. Next week, I wouldn't leave mama's side. I was too shy, too afraid, to leave her.
I haven't experienced that feeling for a long, long time.

I am the eldest of three children. My siblings are less than three years younger than me, which has pushed the level of sibling rivalry through the roof, especially recently with us all now entering teenagerdom. So, like a group of penguins jumping off the ice into the water, there was never really a chance for me to stop at the edge, peer over, and get scared, before the next one would push past and overtake me, so it’s been go, go, go.
And now, with the arrival of my P's, I feel that feeling. I felt it for the entire day before my first solo drive: 'oh no, what if I’m not ready? What if I crash? I have to have mum or dad there, I can’t do it without them'

I did the drive, and for the record, loved it even despite the rain and fog and cold (really not the best conditions to take that 1st drive in, but ii sure beat taking the freeway and portrush and Magill.

And now, I am looking online and at career info expos about the next 4 years of my life, that will, traditionally, set out the basic course for the rest of my life.
This fact is beginning to sink in, and it scares the bajeebers out of me.
I’ve been looking at Adelaide uni, really, it’s the only place I want to go. UniSA is next, and flinders last. However, I’ve been looking interstate, too. ACU, Deakin, Bond. Looking overseas at places in America. Did you know that Yale has an 8.3% acceptance rating? And Harvard 7.1% ?!
I understand why mama's so strict about security and safety nowadays.
I look at these things, and it makes me wonder what I’m really getting myself into.

It’s like getting cold feet on life, sometimes. That deep-seated fear knowing that, in my family, I am the first.
I am the first because, basically, my immediate family are estranged from all other family members except my grandparents. Not my choice, and it is something that deeply bothers me, to the point of me vowing for my family never to have that. When I have a family of my own, they will know their roots, whether my brother wants to see me every week or not. =P
neither of my parents went to university. Indeed, neither of them finished year 12. My mum dropped out sometime after or during year 10, and my father enlisted in the police academy at age 16. And I think it is this, and the intense pressure particularly from my mum, to finish so well, is partly because they never finished and it’s kind of like me fulfilling her dream as well as my own. I wrote a little speech for English the other week, and sadly, it seems to fit all too well...
"Children have such great expectations placed on them by their parents that their own dreams and desires can become buried in the effort involved in trying to please. We end up the product of our parents dreams, trying to live the life they wanted for themselves."

I don't want to be that. I’m too independent, sometimes to a fault, to do this.
But still, I’m at the point now where, like that penguin, staring over the edge, I’m scared as hell to jump, but I know I have to. I have to set the standard for my brother and sister, who will no doubt surpass my leap if only to keep the parents satisfied.

The irony is that there never was any question about university for me. I was going, tough luck.
As for the other two... well, that’s a different matter. Actually looks as though Fraser will go to tafe, or at least do a course while in school, and imi will do the same, depending on what they decide they want to do.

I notice stress emphasis on certain things, like the necessity of my success. I realised that, well, maybe I should become a psychologist if only for the reason that I’m beginning to diagnose my own faults and stresses. Woot, I am my own therapist. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
And I realised it, as usual, during the morning commute to school, watching the world fly past at 110kmph. I am so fixed on success because that's how I receive recognition. I’m writing a scholarship application at the moment, and right now, there is a very, very long list of things I could put in there. All the merit certificates, awards, medals, titles, and the current scholarship I have. Not to sound up myself, of course. Modesty, thankfully, makes its logic well known to me: there are those that know their talents, and there are those that have the need for everyone else to know them too. the latter category irritate the f**k outta me because they get truly offended when I try to point out, usually politely, that the world does not need to know about this particular achievement over again, or that my own results are my own business, no one else’s.
But that’s off the point.

Once again, a massive massive tangent, but hey, that’s how I write nowadays. Just a stream of consciousness, despite these probably being all very valid points of debate.

Though I would like to write a little more on this need for success.
I’m in two minds about this. for a while now, I have felt that to do anything less than be revolutionary is to have wasted a life, and yet there is another part that wants to be here, where I am, safe and secure, in a stable family, and a stable job etc. nothing fancy. Totally polar opposites, I think. Typical Gemini.


On that note... my birthday in 2 days XD
17... Finally. Haha. As mama's pointed out, much to my distaste, it’s not like it’s a big deal, so err go no big party allowed. I mean, for goodness sake, people have big parties for no reason whatsoever! Why can't I? Because she said so, as I am sure the argument will boil down to.

I think it’s all about fairness. And about them adapting.
My life and I are changing at an exponential rate.
Despite being sick, which has, rather dramatically, detrimentally affected my existence for the time being, there are a few things in this next 12 months that are HUGE on the 'epic life events' scale. At least for my family. All this year 12, TER, university stuff is all new to us, and its obviously a little daunting, a little scary, to more than just myself. But very, very smart genes must be apparent, despite the lack of degrees? - how else would we have three kids in the same family so adept at languages - there’s no denying it - my brother has the potential to be amazing at German if he has the right teacher, and I feel an unusual swelling of pride in this fact.
He’s the kid I love to hate.

We fought so viciously when we were younger. Now we just exist. He’s getting over the year 9 and 10 jerk-teenage-boy syndrome, eventually, to which I am eternally grateful. It’s civil, and every so often, we talk like actual people, about actual things. It’s a case of 'hey, don't say that about my brother! I know I say it, but he's my brother, only I am allowed to say that.'
And I hope to heaven and hell alike, should they exist, that it’s the same back.

Wow, that's a pretty fair jump from driving to sibling rivalry v love.

I guess that's just how I roll, to make myself sound extra, extra lame on a night such as this.
I guess I'll just have to do what I always do, being the eldest, the unequivocal leader in the field of being me, and having to puch a path through life for my sibs to follow, just, at the very least, to relieve them partially of the pressure I get from said parents about success and getting things perfect.
That pressure's a killer, I swear.
But it's how i've lived my life for the last 16 years and 363 days, and its how I'm always going to live - the leader -I got the role whether I wanted it or not, so that's how I'm going to handle it: jump in, scared s**tless, and hope to god I remember how to swim.

65 minutes - for the record here - theres 1495 words here.
i put the effort into writing it, i congratulate you on having the stamina to READ it!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Liv, Facebook ever-reliably tells me it's your birthday, so happy birthday!
    \\\____\ \____\
    \\|----| |----|
    \\|----| |----|
    \\|----| |----|
    \\|----| |----|
    \\|----| |----|
    \|----| |----|

    That was meant to be a present.

    Just a few things I've picked up:

    Your first four paragraphs talk about fear, and relying on parents. Then your next few mention not having choice in going to university, and about fear because you've relied on parents to make that choice for you, and about how that will affect a lot of your future from the end of this year. It seems a cycle that relying on your parents is causing the fear that in turn causes you to your parents (or maybe I'm reading too much into this).

    Also, a lot of it seems to be about pushing on alone, or exploring into unknown territory. I'm pretty sure you know what I'm going to say next, but just to be certain: a lot of that territory has been covered before, and people who've been through it before can help you, and for the grounds no-one has ever covered before, you have mates that will help you through.

    Finally, brothers, brothers, brothers. They're adorable and intolerable, lovable and smotherable. They can be a bit of a toss of a coin. But they is there. And they is cool.

    Now I sleeps, since my English is degrading. Best wishes for the future, and hope this 17 thingo works out for you!