I remember as a young adult the trepidation of standing up and speaking in front of a thousand people. Looking back I thought the fear of judgment, center of attention, and that minute of blurry confusion caused the nervousness, anxiety, sweaty palms, and frustration inside me; some of it did, but not all of it. I think more than anything I felt anger. I tasted my first breath of the real world, foreshadowing what corporate America would offer me in the years following high school and college, and it already disgusted me like curdled milk. I just didn’t know how much yet. It burned like an ember inside me, an undying flame, the uncanny pressures of society, ego, image and professionalism.
Being told by my superiors that I needed to pick another teacher who had impacted my learning and inspired me in high school felt like the bullies who I tried standing up to in grade school. I didn’t always win, cowering to the name-calling or walking away with a few bruises, but at least I fought back, at least I stood tall.
In those moments, being told I needed to pick a core teacher whom impacted my life made me realize the authority of those higher than me is not always the correct path. Such is society and the machine. Had I followed my heart, the true inspiration inside of me, a woman who opened me up to creativity even before I took my first hits of LSD, I would have picked my art teacher. It took 12 years for me to even realize the impact she has had on my life, but this is one of the many regrets I’ve had. I do however, not regret the choices I’ve made in my life to get to where I am today.
I don’t regret losing friends. I don’t regret losing family. I don’t regret the depression and mania, feeling so low with no direction I ran away wasting years of travel on living in my past. The wisdom I garnered has been a priceless jewel and I’ve harnessed it to keep going and following my passions in life whether success or money comes from any of it, it doesn’t matter. I enjoy living ‘In-between’. That’s my freedom from Big Brother.