University Drop-Out. Or not?

Would you count yourself a (beauty) school drop-out if you go back to it later on?

No, I didn’t go to beauty school for some of you who have not the slightest clue of who I am. One clue though: Grease. Got it? Let’s hope so (if not, shame on you).

Life isn’t made to be something that everyone can work out. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s like as if it’s not meant to be worked out or no one is clever enough to come up with a solution to a completely complex equation. When you wish for something so badly, would it be by chance that you might get it? Or are there unknown external factors that result in those outcomes? Personally, I try to look for other ways and solutions other than chance or luck as they can be pretty hit-and-miss and very unreliable. So then, what does it mean when you say that someone just has bad luck? Was it something that they’ve done before that “cursed” them to have a bad day? Surely that doesn’t make sense – it’s not like a charm or some crazy bewitchment thing; luck doesn’t really have anything to do with that, does it?

Anyway, let’s not get too distracted here (as if writing this at 2am is helping). You know, just a thought. Or maybe not. Who knows. My mind is thinking all over the place at the moment so excuse the little distractions that will pop up again later in this post. I want to make it clear that not everything happens according to your wishes, how ever inspiring, ambitious and generous they may be, life just isn’t like that. Sorry to break it down to you.

This is the part where I eventually start to open a bit of my life to you. (Mind goes completely blank.) (Crickets chirping away.) (Tumbleweed endlessly rolls by.) (Owls turning their heads at a 360 degree angle.)

I was one of them – the one who “dropped out” of uni to start all over again afresh. (Hmm, fresh. Reminds me of the rolling waves, the sound of one when it hits the other. Fresh!) It wasn’t due to the fact that I hated uni at the time (the course wasn’t really the reason why I made the quit). Somehow, my aspiration to become a designer wasn’t working for me anymore. I lost that desire. I gradually attended less and less lectures, workshops and studio days just to cripple myself into a ball underneath a layer of duvet (and possibly a blanket), in the corner of my room, laying inert on the bed. Netflix became the only viable option of activity for me (Netflix and chill always, amirite?) I wrote an article that delve more into this type of emotion. If you want to check it out, I’m not pressuring you.

I didn’t want to meet anyone, see anyone, talk to or be talked by anyone. I wanted to be left alone and invisible to the world. I guess the feeling also stemmed from fear, actually a lot of it is fear, and shame. Probably guilt too. That I haven’t done this work or been in, that I’m a flaky student who can come off lazy af, that I do other things and go out all the time (which I didn’t do too much of). None of these speculations were true, even if you were trying to justify my actions. No one can truly understand the person beneath their skin and clothes. It’s a pretty dark cave in there and I don’t wish for anyone to look for it. But it was hard for me to be accountable to someone, until I eventually did in my last days of uni, due to the feeling of being judged and misunderstood. Even though depression is rather common, not everyone has gone through it (they probably have but usually not to the level that I’ve experienced). So I kinda feel sorry for those trying to make me feel better when it doesn’t or worse, it becomes offensive. I’m a touchy person though I try to shy away from revealing my emotions too much, whenever I can. Otherwise, I’m a recurring waterfall that does not dry up. Ever.

I think if I kept all this to myself and never opened up, I would be in the worst state possible and end up somewhere I wouldn’t want to be. I probably wouldn’t get good grades and wouldn’t enjoy uni life as much. But I’m glad that my mouth decided to open up and speak. If that didn’t happen, I don’t know where I’d be right now. And now that I’m back at uni, I can say that I’m coping with life a lot better than before. I’m getting help to make sure that I don’t go down that route again. I’m being more open to share my feelings and thoughts, whatever they may be, and less fearful of what the person I’m telling these to might think. I’m grateful for the close friends that I have but especially for the God that I have and believe in. He’s more than anything or anyone that I can comprehend and He knows me. He’s the first point of contact I go to before anyone else because He knows my thoughts and my heart – He made me. If you’re not religious, you might not relate to this. And I’m not shoving the idea of Christianity down your throat, I hope. But for someone who is struggling so much in this area, I can say that faith has helped me to move away from a place I didn’t have to be in. That meaning I don’t have to do something irrational to myself as a solution to all the problems that I have. You shouldn’t have to anyway. But it made me realise the person I’m worth, the love that fills all the deep pits of loss, fear and shame and the grace that has brought me to salvation.

And I think that’s more than enough for me.

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When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy – Psalm 94:19 (NIV)

Credits: featured image shot by Jack Oxenbury, modelled by Julian Chan-Diaz, make-up by Georgie St. John James, styled by me; blog post image shot by me

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