Shortcomings, Machines, and South Africa

The Facts:

Today I got some graded work back from my English class and my midterm grade for improvisation. I received an A on my paper, which I was quite pleased with, at least until I glanced over at the girl sitting next to me to see what she was smiling about and saw that she got an A+. I have known her since I was a baby, and she’s always been one of the ditsy boy-crazy girly girls, yet she got a better grade than I did. I have very high standards for myself, perhaps too high, so I was extremely disappointed in myself. When I got home, I immediately went online to check my midterm grade. It was a B. There were no further details, nothing on what I needed to improve on, not even a percentage, just the letter. I have been working my tail off in that class. I wanted to quit after the first few weeks, but I stuck with it. I turned in a paper on a performance months before it was due. I got all of my theatre tech hours done months before they were due. I accepted every ounce of criticism I got, took it to heart,  applied it to future performances, and all I got was a B.

This evening, I went to a horticulture meeting at the orchard where I worked on Saturday. I got lots of compliments on how hard I worked and how efficient I was. One of my bosses even said I was like a machine. I got my first paycheck tonight, and I might be working again later this week. I love working there. The people there are so nice, I love being able to help the owners when they are completely swamped with crowds, and it’s awesome to be able to spend the days outdoors.

Yesterday, I posted a stream of consciousness piece titled “It’s Complicated”. In the moments leading up to that, I was trying to write a paper, but thinking about the main guy that piece is about was taking over my mind. I decided to sit down and type whatever came into my mind so that I would then be able to write my paper after a few minutes. It wasn’t some work of literary merit by any means, but I decided to post it because I try to be as honest as possible with my life on this page. In that post, I included the line “I’ve had this site for months and the only visitor so far has been me when I’m not logged in, so I think it’s safe to say I’m the only one here.” Today, I finally got my first visitor, and she (or he) was from South Africa. That was the piece s/he clicked on.  I hope s/he’ll come back and didn’t just leave once they saw that.

Stream of Consciousness:

Improv sucks. I was excited for college, and then improv happened. One of the other girls who was smarter than me in biology got a lower grade on her paper for English than I did. Maybe the world is just backwards today; the dumb are smart and the smart are dumb. I am too harsh on people. I’m even harder on myself. I had to check my midterm grade five times because I hoped there was a mistake, or at least some explanation that just hadn’t loaded yet. If someone dares to give me a bad grade on something, then I demand details why. I am trying as hard as I can and I don’t understand why that’s still not adequate. My friends there are the only reasons I will stay in that class. The professor was a jerk to us even in theatre tech. I GOT A FREAKING B AFTER PUTTING MY SCHEDULE, FRIENDSHIPS, AND MENTAL SANITY ON THE LINE FOR A STUPID IMPROV CLASS.

I loved this evening. I could have a solid, part-time job in a few months working with amazing people at a place I love. Someone finds me helpful enough to pay me and actually want me to come back. I can help out there, and at the 4-H office this week with their field trip programs. There are people who appreciate me for what I do. I get to do what I love; being outdoors and talking to people.

I don’t want to talk to that guy I wrote about yesterday. I don’t know where the snowball of things that went wrong started, but sometimes the only way to break a snowball is by putting up a barrier, and that’s precisely what I’m doing. I need to just let go of everything that happened yesterday and anything involving him. When I let go of it last night, even just for a few moments, I got the paper done. I want to keep getting better. I’ve been too honest with him, and I can’t trust him anymore. He could find this page one day and not even know that he’s the one this is about because the way I think could just be so foreign to him in a few years. On the contrary, maybe in a few years he’ll recognize exactly what I’m talking about, and this one safe-haven, this one outlet for all of my stress, won’t be safe anymore. I wish that person from South Africa left a comment, something I could build off of. Please don’t just leave if you see a single line you don’t like.

I have a friend in improv who cared enough to actually listen to why I was so worried about what my friends would think of the performance and all my troubles with that boy. I could excel in writing and finally be the best at something. It could also all just be a coincidence; an occurrence just for today never to be spoken of again. Was that professor just being as harsh on his students as I am on myself? There might not be an explanation, and I’ll just have to learn to accept that. The details may be on the website in other 24 hours time. I won’t be able to stop worrying about this. My friends and I left as soon as we had the chance to last Friday when we were working on theatre tech because that professor was being so rude. I have friends  in college a who just saw me as some little kid only a few weeks ago, and now consider me a friend. What if I belonged in that mental hospital?

When I get a job, every evening could be just like this evening. I could be relaxed and not have to worry, if only for a few hours out of each day. Three different field trip stations at the 4-H office are begging me to work there whatever days I can. There are kids who aspire to one day be like me. I could stop having headaches.

I’m not going to cave in and talk to that guy again like all the other times I’ve said I’m through. It doesn’t matter where it started, I need to end it before it hurts me even more. What happened yesterday might as well have happened months ago; it’s the same sort of stuff that happened then. My memories of him can’t ever be sentimental. He lied to me about numerous things, and those are just the things I know about. We’ll be strangers in a few years, we may even be strangers now. Yet somehow I’ll just be the one who hyper-analyzed every situation. I will never feel that my secrets are safe. Tell me something will turn out okay, or don’t, but tell me something.


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