When I signed up to write an article for this blog, I thought: Yeah, it’s going to be so much fun! I’m going to write another internal meaning of a fairytale paper and it’s going to be great! I then proceeded to come to two realizations: 1) It is a lot of work to write that kind of paper; and 2) I have no time. Why don’t I have any time, you ask? Well you see, I am a senior in highschool. You remember high school don’t you? The worst years and the best years. The fond memories, and the cringe-worthy recollections. I am almost done and doing everything I can to stay afloat long enough to graduate and get on with my life. I am halfway through the year and everyday I wonder again if it’s worth it. Is it worth getting out of bed and going to boring classes again and again? But again and again I must subconsciously conclude that it is because I continue to go. That is a choice that I make.
Regardless of the consequences, or punishments, I could still decide to sleep all day. When I walk into human biology Monday morning it is my choice to be there instead of in my warm bed. So why is it that I am filled with anxiety, anger, and frustration as soon as I walk into that classroom? Why is there a collective groan among the senior girls when the bell calls us to our seats to begin our lesson? (We were in such perfect unison and harmony, it felt like a scene from High School Musical without the musical part… so just high school…)
My point is that I am in control of my actions and attitude even when I am attending an institution that makes me feel oppressed and controlled. It is my unconscious choice to avoid punishment and attend my classes. But it is also my choice to think of it that way. I could choose to look at it from a different angle. I need this education and in actuality, I love it and want it. Without school I would be a listless slob that had no sense of structure or time management. I really do love to learn, deep down, and the relationships I have with my teachers are going to last for a long time. I choose to get out of the bed in the morning so that I can learn and be a productive human being. That’s much more inspiring and enlightening than a fear of detention.
I am only just starting to figure out the power of choices. I am taking my first steps towards making conscious and deliberate decisions, but I I have been making choices for myself since I was able to think, feel and do for myself. That means that up until now they have been all but unconscious. More accident than actual choice, and many I regret. I regret not reading more when I was younger, I regret not making more friends, or taking more chances, or doing more research, or listening to the right people… and the list goes on and on. But if high school has taught me anything, it is that time is my most valuable resource, and it is not worth wasting any on regret. The most you can do is see it, understand it, and learn from it.
For three years I would spend the last few minutes before falling asleep kicking myself for staying up too late, or watching that one more episode, and it was a vicious cycle. It has only been this year that I realized that I don’t have to do those things that I regret! I can learn from those times when I do regret my decision and make a different choice. I’m still not very good at making myself finish homework before opening netflix and I have perfected my skills of deluding myself into thinking that I can watch a 45 minute episode in 20 minutes but at least I’m conscious of it. At least I say to myself: It is really worth it? Is this really how I want to spend my next 20 (45) minutes? Sometimes I respond: You’re right, I should sleep so I can be well rested tomorrow, thanks for the reminder responsible-self. And sometimes I say: I can sleep when I’m dead. I may be wasting 45 minutes of my life but, hey, at least I accept the responsibility of my decision as my own and don’t blame it on netflix for streaming such quality tv shows.
So where does this leave me? It leaves me in a mindset where I think about everything I do. I weigh the consequences and benefits and make a choice. It also means that I try not to complain. Complaining doesn’t do any good for anyone and really it’s just voicing regret, which I have already labeled as a waste of time. Plus, I’m probably the one who made the decision that got me into the situation I am complaining about! It all boils down to being conscious and aware of why we are doing what we are doing. If, when you answer that, you don’t like the answer, you should probably change what you are doing, or find the real reason.
So, I didn’t write another fairytale inner meaning paper. I decided to save that for another time when I could give it the time and attention it deserves. I decided to prioritize other things so that I wouldn’t regret getting behind on anything else.
I would hope that none of this is news to you and that you have at one point or another made a well thought out decision, but there is always room improvement and maybe this gave you some new ideas or points of view that you can ruminate on and apply to yourself. Or you can decide to disregard it all and never think of it again. Either way, it’s up to you.