On Friday morning at 10.30am, I completed my final school exam (ever).
The end of my school years seemed to impend like the Bieber/Gomez reunion. And well, now it’s here, it rushes in like summer: without a cross-over period.
I woke this morning, and in utter bliss, walked blindly into a muggy day. Refusing to believe it was anything but the beginning of a series of brighter mornings. Ones that would make me forget the dull neighbours I once argued with.
Winter was long like my school years. I spent many afternoons frustrated at the rain. Together, we would watch, angry- we believed it was holding us from running outside. But there were days, in fact, years, where, drops on our window panes, it was just what we needed. Beneath our coats, we would admit it too. We, grateful, would drive on despite the screech. Oh, how we talked of it. But if given the opportunity, we would have refused a door out.
Sure, it kept us confined, but it led us to the best of people; we learnt to make the best of situations.
I’ll miss those afternoons where we lost our minds to highlighters and to white boards. Our laughs would merely fade out to fade in; they never did turn off. I remember those days like it was yesterday. It was yesterday.
But soon, we’ll have to start saying “back at school.” And we’ll have to grow up. And we’ll have to mature. And we’ll have to stop using the excuse, we’re young.
I’ve been unsure how to write this post. I’ve come back to it several times. But at this “pivotal” stage, I guess it makes sense (that I truly guts up and write it).
So I do- I ask you to prepare yourself. Because if you’re in the mood to laugh, this is probably not the one to read. I urge you to scroll The Paul Henry Show’s timeline instead.
This is about to get real personal. In fact, probably the most personal Currently Loving has ever seen.
*Drinks sip of coffee.* Okay. Let’s do this.
It goes without saying, but I’ll do so anyway: 2015 has been an insane year. Honestly, I can’t think of a word that could otherwise describe it. I’ve had some of the most incredible experiences of my life. Perhaps surprising considering my actions, I’ve learnt about myself, and about others. I’ve changed, I’ve remained the same. I’ve met new people, I’ve caught up with some older folk.
I’ve surprised myself. I’ve made myself proud; I’ve made others proud. But for once, I’m going to address how I’ve disappointed them too. And I’m not going to focus on the aftermath, the point where I become a wholesome, rounded person. I haven’t yet reached the stage. I guess in doing that thing called growing up, I’m hoping to do so.
This year I did, I made some mistakes. And I’m not talking about some sneaking-into-the-house-at-4am teen stunt (though I did that too). I’m speaking of things a bit bigger.
This year, I learnt the weight of the statement: you hurt the ones you love the most.
I was the cocky celebrity of my own household: happy with where I was at, refusing to acknowledge who got me there. I took the people who had only done good to me, who would never dream of doing otherwise, for granted. Their generous spirits, their trusting hearts, their concern? I considered all these to be a fault of their own character. Sure, I recognised these qualities as admirable – yet only on the surface. Otherwise, my actions absent-mindedly abused them. If they spoke, they would have said, “it’s not my fault it’s in your nature to give, and to trust.”
I viewed my actions – my notoriously defiant, selfish actions – as victories when they succeeded. When they blew up in my face, the problem was not to be found in me, but in you, your reaction, your over-reaction. I sought confirmation of this. And because some beautiful humans will look at a glass, and call half-full sufficient, I got it.
Because I was McKenzie. Outgoing, carefree, eager-to-live McKenzie. Anyone who was going to stop me was going to have to learn to set me free. Or I, I was going to be free behind their backs.
Certainly, some decisions I made this year enabled self-growth, depth of experience, and tested my own morals. I can’t regret those memories, but in hindsight, I’d change the way I endeavoured to create them.
I’ve always been content with surprise. It’s a characteristic of mine which has worked favourably in the past. It gives me determination: to stand up right when you think I’ll sit down. To work fucking hard right when you think I’m about to give up.
But I get caught up in the belief that it’s mysterious, oh so desirable to be unreadable. It seems I love to put people off their game. I’ll do it to the point where they have no idea where they stand with me. To myself, I’m compensating when I make a select few feel special.
It comes so naturally too. I am, by my very nature, lively and open, yet to-myself all the same. It means I don’t even fight it off anymore. I watch myself as I push people away, as I make the ones whom I most owe an explanation, feel more and more distant, and less and less knowing.
I become the victim of my own independence, of being “the youngest in the year” yet “so mature”. I’m ignorant with maturity. I believe I can do it all on my own, all the damn time.
And I want you to know, I’m not bagging myself down, as much as I am revealing myself to herself. These parts I haven’t wanted to see – for years, in fact. I’ve attempted to twist them beneath positive adjectives, because it’s easier to accept things in a different light, than it is to change a faulty lightbulb.
I believe that it’s easy to know the person you want to be. It’s harder to know what they’d do in every situation. Better yet, to carry out such actions despite a desire to do otherwise.
This year, I did McKenzie, and sometimes, it was awesome. I laughed, and I made other people laugh. In those moments, life was the best it could be. I was making other people happy without trying.
But there were moments where I did not live up to the “inspirational” side of my personality. Moments where I would have told a friend to sack her “what would McKenzie do” mantra. I wasn’t worthy of that emulation, nor were my actions.
I’ve accepted my mistakes, as I too accept that we will all make them. I recognise this is pertinent to moving forward. However, I’ve too learnt that such delightful ideas as learning from your actions are firstly, easier said than done. And secondly, represent the bright corner of, on first glance, an extremely dud coin.
The truth is, people don’t and will not forgive us immediately. And as much as we wish this was the case, normality does not come within a matter of days. Why, sometimes it doesn’t return at all. Mistakes, or their repercussions, are not always as temporary as anonymous implies in his/her tumblr quotes.
But I share this with you – my raw thoughts – because I don’t want the fact that it takes effort and time to repair wrongdoings, to stop us from repairing things at all.
I want us to stop accepting the less favourable of our qualities as just “who we are”. That being a bitch, or being selfish, or closed, or non-communicative is simply a fault in our personality of which strays from our sphere of change.
Let’s not simply sit and hope that this transitional stage, or the passage of time will heal what we may have broken. In maturity, we should learn to be the initiators of change in ourselves. This road to independence is merely a basis on which to do so.
While this blog is full of ideas and inspirations looming in my mind, they are as much lessons for me, as they are for you as readers. When I write them, I’m telling myself. To strive to be better, to epitomise that ‘better’.
So I’m not expecting you to read this post and instantaneously channel the best version of yourself. Because hell, I’ve written it, and I know I’ll still lie, and I’ll act selfishly, and I won’t always be inspiring.
But I’m ready to try my best. It’s time I used my selfish nature to give credit to my greatest qualities. To live up to this ideal version of me. Not the perfect version – but the version of which I’m proud to be despite her flaws. The one who I can confidently say strives to do right, by herself and by others. I’m ready to stop hindering my “huge personality”, as someone recently described it, by my equally noteworthy mistakes.
So I will, I’ll truly take note of them. And next time I’m about to act in line of a less greater McKenzie, I’ll turn directions. And I might find myself in a middle path, but one day, I know I’ll move myself enough to follow the right one.
This transition is merely the beginning – for all of us.