I have a word written across my forearm right now, the navy blue Sharpie faded and disappearing. It’s even and straight, inking my skin purposefully, where I can see it.
A few days ago, my five-year-old cousin stopped me. “What’s that on your arm?” she asked me.
“Just something I wrote.”
“What does it say?”
“Why does it say that?”
I just shrugged and smiled, and she prattled on about something else. It was easier to let her move on than try to explain. I wasn’t even sure if I knew what I was trying to say by tattooing myself with that little word.
I picked up my marker and put it there the other day, after reading a blog post written by my friend Jodi. Her words really made me stop and think. “I don’t want to. I. Have. To. Change.”
I’m a very passive person. I, by nature, just let things happen. I don’t really fight for my freedoms or make efforts to participate in certain activities. Thinking about it, I realize the only reason I don’t participate in a lot of the things my friends do is that it’s simply not convenient for me.
I don’t watch TV because no one in my family does. I don’t have a Facebook because my parents aren’t keen on it. I don’t listen to the music my friends do because I have the bands I listen to, and looking for or screening other bands is not the way I chose to spend my free time, when I have it.
Could I do these things? Yes. Could I talk my parents into letting me do some stuff I typically don’t? Maybe.
It’s not like I don’t care… it’s more that I just let things go. I’m passive. It’s fine as long as I’m content and everyone around me is happy.
But I’m starting to learn that letting circumstances live my life for me isn’t conducive to being my own person. Letting things happen to me isn’t exercising my right as a person to really live.
And whereas I am content letting things happen to me, the fact that my life is living itself without me, is not okay with me.
My passive nature often leads me to just act like things will happen. Often they do—but when I apply this mentality to my schoolwork, or my writing, or my friends, it doesn’t work. And of course it doesn’t work. Expecting homework to do itself, good writing to create itself, or my friends to grow close to me no matter what I do is not just stupid, it’s irresponsible.
It doesn’t always seem like it, though. In the moment, nothing really seems like anything. It’s all kind of vanilla, like ‘what will be, will be’.
Since I languidly let things go, assuming they’ll blossom without my work, I’m starting to reap my actions, dead skeletons of what could have been great. My grades go down. My stories sit unread, even by me. I grow apart from the best of people.
Time goes on, no matter if I’m going with it. It’s like a reverse Tuck Everlasting effect: I act like I’ll be here forever, and Time simply doesn’t care.
And I can’t keep doing this.
Change is written so boldly across my wrist because it’s what I need to see.
Change what, Christina?
Well, everything. (Eventually.)
I need to change. I can’t let myself go any more. I’m growing up. Life can’t just happen. It’s my life.
It’s my life.
I need to start living it—which means things. Big things, and scary things. Taking charge of my responsibilities, my school, my writing, my relationships. Taking control of my time. Spending it with people that matter, doing things that matter, learning things that matter
Spending my time with the Person who matters.
I wrote in a journal a few months ago, “I’m fine with apathy, but only in myself.” It seemed out of place in the entry at the time, but thinking about it, it’s true. I like watching other people do things and accomplish things. I’m a cheerleader; I’m comfortable where I am on the sidelines, being happy for you. I’m drifting. Pushed and pulled whatever way the current goes.
My friends like to go against the flow.
I think it’s time I start swimming.
I determined to do that last week. Starting Monday, I was going to actively work at my homework, accomplish things, clean my room, do my chores. Little things, stupid things that should be done all the time… but I don’t do them. I don’t even know how I spend most of my time. Daydreaming, I suppose. Checking my email to see if people remember I’m alive. Going downstairs pretending to be busy. I can’t remember.
Not on worthwhile things, to be sure. Existing is good, but it’s not getting me very far.
And, of course, last week my family got sick. I spent my time taking care of them, until I got it too. And then I was down for the count, sick and unable to do anything.
But I haven’t forgotten for this week.
In my life. Now. Because I need it.
It’s going to be hard, but I’m not doing it because I want to. It’s because I need to. I have to. I must.
My goal this week is to accomplish things. Things that don’t always get done on time. Things like homework. It might be my ‘spring break’, but since I was sick last week, it’s really just another week for me. And practicing my dancing… which I loathe with a passion. My play is at the end of this week, and by Jove I will get this stupid dance down. ROSA WILL CONQUER!
I’m off to go do some things now. I understand my blog posts are usually a little more entertaining… but hey, not everything can be all of the time. ^_^