Anyone that knows me has seen a lot of evolution in me, especially in the last twelve months or so.
Going back to school (in March 2011) had a lot to do with that change. It reawakened pieces of my soul that had long been dormant: my thirst for knowledge, for challenge, for discussion–all of it was reignited the first day I stepped into the classroom.
I adored school. I relished the purpose and the regimen it gave my life. I discovered a love for writing that I had long forgotten after high school. I was so addicted to education that I waited only two months after finishing my [second!] Bachelor’s degree and diving into a Master’s program in January 2014.
As a result of this newly discovered consciousness and tenacious pursuit for academic knowledge and growth, I’ve also gone through a major emotional revolution.
The dreamer in me sought reality. The proselytizer in me sought to better understand my challengers. The optimist in me… became a realist.
Perhaps the pendulum swings a bit closer to a pessimist some days.
With reflection and exploration . . . came cynicism. With introspection came . . . selfishness?
For all the personal and academic growth, I also developed some behaviors and patterns I never had before. I’m less patient than I used to be. I’m more critical, quick to question the surface value of both things and people. Worst of all, I am selfish: I make decisions based on my goals, my wants, my needs. I was never this way before.
For all the valuable gains I made in my education, I became a less likeable person.
Yes, now I’m real. But was the former version of me less real?
Was being happy, was seeing the good in every person and thing I encountered, truly a bad thing? Was wearing a smile and putting other people first as much as possible really a negative? Am I better now than I was before?
I’m not sure.
I rarely felt sad before I went back to school. I rarely felt disappointed, depressed, or otherwise unhappy. I woke most days with joy in my heart and pep in my step. The more I learn – the more critical my perception of the world – the less pleasure I find in it.
Is the unexamined life truly not worth living?
Perhaps I’m just in a bad head space, but I’m really questioning everything today. I’m not sure I really like myself anymore. I used to, I really did. Bad days were rare. Whimsy was abundant. Happiness was a way of life.
For the past few months … I’ve lost touch with my joy. I want it back. I need it back.
Or maybe I just need a vacation.
~ Victoria Elizabeth