Today, I withdrew from my german course in college. It is the sort of activity that one normally associates with some kind of failure. And it is true, somewhere in the back of my mind persists a nagging feeling of defeat. But that feeling has a translucency to it. It is artificial, in the way that caffeine only marginally replaces sleep. Because in the fore of my mind, I can't help but feel a sense of elation, as though I have somehow achieved a great victory.
Since my first semester in 2002, I have completed a staggering number of credit hours, ranging from mundane core nonsense like History to more interesting things such as Photoshop, and Macromedia Director. Hell, I even got an associate's certificate out of it. I've even spread my wings as a Graphic Designer, having made that simple yet crucial first step of watching real, actual money trickle into my bank account, in exchange for...? Not hours spent as a cog in some massive retail machine, but creative expression. It works, I saw it works, and I call that success. I have since moved on to pursuing an English degree.
But throughout the entire thing, I myself have been pursued. An ever present force in my life has been driving me like an ox before a cart, and my burden is that force's twisted definition of success. It is this force that has at every single semester thus far driven me to the point of desperation, that I enroll in some classes, any classes, to avoid the terrible prospect of dissapointing it.
But now, I feel the first rays of freedom's divine light. Over the past two weeks I've shrugged off yokes of various types, broken bonds, cleared away the mucky clouds hanging over my head. They are far from gone, but I see the light now. This is my first step. And I have to say, I'm bloody scared. But I'm also angry. And like a certain character in a certain longish tale that's been bouncing around in my head for far too long will one day remark, "Strong people aren't the ones who are never afraid. Strong people are the ones who are scared, but go right along and do what they want regardless."
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