Dear Future Kaye…

Warning: This post is an angry, nonsensical rant written while I am exhausted and have sore feet. If you have no desire to read angry nighttime rambling, please skip this post. You have been warned.

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Eighteen Versus Twenty-Four

I’m almost finished with my first class of trade school. I even finished the final project already. Despite my anxiety about the next course, I am glad this first one is almost over. Though, I’m disappointed I genuinely struggled with the “Student Success” half of it. Of course, I attended trade school to avoid such classes, but four weeks is better than two years of them.

One thing I hate my high school for is making life sound so black and white. They pushed the idea everyone who is successful goes to college, that there’s no other way, that there’s no excuse not to go, that community college is a waste (it was referred to as “the 13th grade”), and that all incoming college students were our age. What a load of trash. And I say that with zero fondness for community college.

I’m still getting over the feeling of being an “older” student, but I must admit I think I’m doing well because I’m not 18 years old in college. While I went to college for bad reasons to begin with (family pressure), there was more to it than that. I was also burned out from 14 years of mandatory schooling since the age of 5. Birth, if you count daycare, preschool, and head start. I didn’t want to go to any school anymore! I wanted to work, make some money, and go to college later! Obviously, that plan fell apart and I despise retail with an intensity that matches the sun’s, but I don’t regret it. I had more freedom as an uneducated part-time retail worker than as a jobless college student. If I had the personality for retail to be a lifelong career, I’d go for it and never have chosen to return to school. Unfortunately, being an introvert means that’s the equivalent of hell.

Having some years off of school let me have some experiences I couldn’t do while in school. And while not all of them were pleasant, it was still a nice, long break from being confined to one place for nine hours. It’s insanely ironic how being surrounded by hundreds of people for over a decade of your life can turn you into a misanthrope. I think my preschool self who was happier building blocks alone than being forced to “make friends” was on to something.

Experiencing something besides school (and bullying) let me feel more motivated and focused when I returned to school. Sure, I still have my grievances. I hate having to wake up at 6 AM and I wish I could’ve stayed with the first group of classmates I started with. But unlike my mandatory school days, schoolwork is not my life. It’s part of it, but I’m not forced to make it all of it. Again, the irony is insane. I get my schoolwork out of the way as quickly (and meticulously) as I can, to the point I will work through lunch to finish it. High school and under? Classwork and schoolwork was a battle to get me to finish if I wasn’t interested in the subject. I know some people do well under pressure, but I think I’m proving time and again I’m not one of them. It seems I do well when the pressure is off. That, and when I feel what I’m doing is worth my while. I still remember almost nothing I learned in high school, and what I do remember is limited to the Italian and French classes I took.

So, I don’t mind being a “non-traditional” student, as it’s called. I’m actually glad I can pay for my own schooling. It means no one needs to keep tabs on it besides me. Want to know my grades? None of your business!

Six Years…

I’ve been running this blog for this six years, and I haven’t even remembered every “blog-iversary”. It’s probably not worth thinking about every year, similar to how birthdays can lose their excitement after so many of them, despite being only once a year. Still, I never expected this blog to last as long as it has, despite that being the goal from the start. I expected to have deleted it by now due to inactivity or boredom. I guess a “slice of life” blog isn’t a subject that’s too difficult to maintain since, well, life doesn’t stop until you die.

My disappointment in those six years is that I’m not really any better off than I was when I started this blog. I’m still living in the same place, still yearning for freedom and independence, and still trying to figure out how this whole game of adulthood works. Yes, I’m working toward it with school and a job, but I still don’t have it and patience is not a virtue I possess.

Oh, well. Can’t have it all.

The World We Live In

I started school today. The day itself was fine. However, one thing our teachers are required to do is go over “school shooting” safety. That is, what we’d do in the event of a school shooting. Part of this meant the class had to watch two videos about just that. I understand why this is deemed necessary and I do agreed we should be prepared. At the same time, it’s tragic that we have to.

I’ve said before I don’t want kids. The top reason I’m just not interested in parenting. I have no real desire for it. However, if I did want kids, I’d be lying if I said I’d be hesitant to bring those children into existence.

Yes, yes, the world has always been cruel. School shootings aren’t new. Not for the US anyway. But that’s all the more reason I wouldn’t want my hypothetical kids on this planet. To know all it would take is for me being unfortunate enough to be the closest target when a shooter opens fire and my life can be ended in a split second is already too much for me. I can’t even sleep in the dark because of such fears. Many people would call that paranoid… until it actually happened. In fact, although I was very young at the time, I can remember my home being burglarized. No gun was involved, but seeing your mother attacked while being powerless to do anything more than fearfully hold tight your some-months-old sister (who you barely can hold because she’s heavy) isn’t exactly something that gives me the idea the world is a great place to add children to. My mother has told me I called 911 and saved her life. I don’t remember that, but if it is true, I’m glad I could do such a thing at such a small age. But I’m just as depressed I had to, whether I remember it or not.

I don’t want my toddler-aged child to save my life. I completely admit one of the reasons I would homeschool my child(ren) is the thought I could send them off to school one day, unknowingly giving them the last hug and kiss I ever would, is too much for me to stomach. I can’t do it. Obviously, homeschooling wouldn’t protect my child from a burglar, but at least only I’d be guilt-ridden for failing to protect them (and probably commit suicide to join them unless I had other children or my boyfriend/spouse).

I can’t. I’m genuinely happy I lack interest in parenthood because I just can’t have children while knowing that, though it’s unlikely to happen, it could. All the sweet moments of parenthood wouldn’t make up for the loss of my child any more than having another child would replace the lost one. I worry for my own well-being, and that of my loved ones, as it is. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a passing thought every now and then that any day could, unknown to me, be my last day of life. I’ve thought about my boyfriend not hearing from me, assuming I’m ignoring him, and believing for the rest of his life I “ghosted” him with no warning, never finding out I died. I’ve thought about the same happening with my job and my friends. On one occasion, a manager mentioned to me the reason we limit the amount of money in the register throughout the day in case our store gets robbed. Yes, that’s a lovely image to have while working behind the counter and certainly didn’t fuel my already passionate desire to stay as far away from cashiering as possible.

Maybe it is paranoia, but with every new safety precaution that is becoming necessary, it is much easier said than done not to be paranoid. And while it’s no reason we shouldn’t take them, all the safety measures there could ever be could still turn out to be nothing. The high school in Santa Fe, Texas that recently had a school shooting had a safety plan in case it ever happened. It happened, and many people were still wounded or killed.

I can’t do it. I just can’t.

Hope Is Wasted On The Hopeless

In three days, I return to school. After all of the nonsense that happened, I should be happy to return, especially since I don’t have to pay as much as I initially did. The key word in that sentence is should.

I should be happy. But I’m not.

To pay off what financial aid did not cover, I have to make monthly payments, the first of which was due on the day I start school. Unfortunately, the time between receiving that balance and its due date were too close. While I have savings for this kind of expense, I’d rather not use it if I can help it. The result was I split the payment between my most recent paycheck and one of my credit cards.

I can pay the credit card off. There’ll be interest, but what that will amount to is barely a pinch in comparison. At the same time, this is the first instance I’ve put a large purchase on one of my credit cards. And since I’m still paying off a medical expense, it wasn’t really something I wanted to do. There was no option I wanted to do.

I’m not happy. I’m worried. I’m sad. I’m afraid. I’m frustrated.

The looming question in my mind, the one that stands over me like a collapsing tower, is: Is it worth it?

I have to hope it is, but debt, however necessary it may be, is never fun to owe. Putting any part of the payment on my credit card was a one-time thing. That I had to do it to begin with makes me hope completing this school is worthwhile, but fear more and more it won’t be. Excitement and fear are not two emotions that can mix within me. One kicks the other out, and in this case, fear has sent excitement packing. I feel unnatural as it is, being someone who’s just starting school while everyone else is graduating (two of my friends from high school graduated with their bachelor’s – one in chemical engineering, the other in psychology – just days ago), so more than anything, I want my time and money toward this school to prove to be worth the debt. Worth the stress, the tiredness, the temporary smacks to my credit score. But, admittedly, mostly worth the debt.

I won’t know if it’s worth it until the end. I have to hope it is. I have to believe it will be.

But I don’t know if I can!