My students wrote some priceless narratives about “what they carry.” The conviction that these voices need to be heard actually played a major role in my decision to start a blog. I look forward to adding my voice as well with “What I [Really] Carry.”
First are links to PDF files. Under them you will find copy/pasted texts. Enjoy! ❤
More will be posted over time… this is a work in progress.
I Carry the Expectations
I don’t exactly know a good way to start this, so I will tell you a little about myself. I carry the best grades amongst my siblings. I carry a potential future in football that many think I can go places with. I carry a natural skill for understanding people and I’m known for being too nice. I carry the responsibility for my future, and the responsibility of exceeding my already insane goals. Everyone I know expects, and wants me to keep up with the pace that I have practiced for my whole life, however I don’t know if i’m up for the task. Everyday I feel the tremendous weight on my shoulders only increasing by the increment, while undeviatingly decreasing my happiness. I’m drowning in an ocean of stress that’s slowly taking my breathe and is seemingly impossible to surface. However, I can’t give up because I’ve come to far to throw away all my accomplishments. On top of that, the whole family is going through troublesome times and it amplifies everything and increases tension throughout my home. Due to this, I carry the need to satisfy my parents in order to keep them less stressed because my siblings won’t put forth the effort. I know if they have at least one kid succeeding, it will keep their heads on and make them not go insane. Unfortunately, I am that kid, and it’s an impossible feat. I know the struggles they go through and I feel for them, I really do, which is why I try my hardest to make it easy on them. As a result of this, it brings crippling pressure on me to succeed and balance my family as well. I’m also thinking about my own future and I know it’s in my best interest to do these things, but the thought of being a failure in the eyes of my parents is constant motivation to not give up. I’m fine with not being the most successful person I can be, I don’t want to sacrifice a high school experience and potentially a college experience to live and breathe school and football. I’m scared of my life passing by too fast without making memories and actually living. I don’t want to wake up with regret everyday for the rest of my life either, I want to make the right decision, but it’s impossible to know. I have a lot riding on me and my future, and because of this I carry all the expectations, and I don’t know if i’m up for the task.
I carry anxiety. Anxiety that people will judge me no matter what I do. Anxiety that I will amount to nothing in the long run. Almost nothing can distract from the crushing fear that I will break down in front of everyone. I carry exhaustion from school, my responsibilities at home, the people around me, my mother’s expectations, and the fear of failure. So many questions arise from being in my head all day every day. Why do I have anxiety? Is there even a reason? Do people think of me in the ways that I think they do? Why am I so introverted? Do people judge me for being an introvert? So much has changed in our lives since freshman year and we all carry new things with each coming year. My burdens are heavy enough to exhaust me to no return. Once I am physically and emotionally tired, it is hard for me to recover because the stress that comes with it is even more tolling.
I carry the burden of worrying what other people think. There are times when I don’t care, but when I do, my insecurities get the best of me.
I carry worry. Worry that if I do the wrong thing I will always think about what I did wrong and that single decision until I find a way to fix it. I can’t fix everything. Accepting that I will make mistakes is something that does not come easily. I worry that people assume things of me that aren’t true. That without getting to know me, they will assume the worst. I worry that because I am not talkative or social that people will assume i’m rude or stuck up.
I carry curiosity. I want to learn about cosmic theory and know what is beyond the small part of the universe that we are aware of. Is space infinite? Are there other planets with living organisms on them? Did anything exist before the universe? Are there alternate realities and dimensions? I want to travel and learn about different cultures and people. I want to learn the differences between people from different places
Most of these things weigh me down and exhaust me mentally and physically. It is hard to carry them but without these things I would not be who I am now.
Before I start this I want this to be clear, this is not a pity party in anyway. This is not a cry for help. This is simply me expressing the things that have accumulated over the past years. I carry an immense inventory of things. Some of them being anger and frustration. I carry these things on a constant basis. This anger and frustration tends to follow me everywhere. School, home, work, and even sports. I carry this for many reasons. This anger and frustration feels like a bag of bricks that I carry around and each time something causes me to feel these emotions it gets worse. My drive and will to push forward in school and in sports seems to get lighter and lighter. With school the load is very heavy. I am surrounded by the many things my moral compass clashes with. With this comes the anger and frustration. I carry the frustration and anger because I see my peers succumb to the lifestyle of drugs and drama. Something they see nothing more than an “herb” or “natural” or “everyone does it” but nothing about putting foreign elements to alter your brain’s function is natural. Rather than accepting that others aren’t willing to partake in such activities they label you as the odd man out. Since the beginning of my school career, I have been seen as the odd man out and have been picked on for it. These views bring back an old wound that has not healed and may not heal. And with this the weight of anger and frustration comes. This place where one comes to learn and broaden their mind has become a place where people seek substances and the latest gossip of one another. The very foundation of principal and conduct I carried has been tarnished due to the toxic atmosphere of this school. A toxicity that has caused this weight to only seem heavier and cause me to drag and crawl myself in a desperate attempt to move on and with this comes the anger and frustration. They follow because they believe that I should not act this way and suck it up and drive forward. Because of this weight I have less patience for things at home and work. Things like a lecture, an uncooperative student, or just blatant rudeness. The constant repetition of going to this toxic institute that promotes the use of drugs amongst peers and breeds a culture of disobedience, rudeness, ineptitude, and the aspiration of ghettoism. This atmosphere makes people believe that claiming an area code, or a city changes people’s perceptions about you when in reality it does not matter. This is something I hoped never to see again when I moved. I imagined and hoped that the weight would become lighter but this hope has long faded. The weight that crushes me does not allow me to simply let things go. This weight has caused me to no longer enjoy things like sleep because when I wake up I am reminded by what awaits me in an hour. It no longer allows me to simply turn the other cheek or walk away. It causes me to do and say things I normally wouldn’t. The weight reminds me of all the past pains and suffrage that have accumulated in a clutter. It reminds me of the people I have looked up to or gone to for help, have disappointed me. In some ways this weight is lifted by people I love and those that have offered advice. But until I am free from this overwhelmingly hazardous space, I will still be followed by this anger and frustration.