I can remember feeling like a hostage, sitting in an airless, sweltering room as sweat and confusion seeped from my body. I stared out the static window at the green lifeless trees. The leaves hung motionless in the absence of a cool breeze with a filtered haze of unbearable humidity. The buzzing in my head was brought on by severe boredom mixed with heat exposure and the backdrop of an annoying drone. I was subconsciously hoping I wouldn’t be taken from my own world and called upon to prove my intellectual skill. It would be hard for the teacher not to see my lack of commitment to learning and life. I was beyond caring.
In fact, the teachers did notice that I wasn’t all there in body or spirit. What they didn’t understand was my academic plan was based on a foundation of reluctant achiever, congenial partier, and a minimalist existence. My budding social life was the primary focus. Administration was onto my lack of motivation based on the overwhelming number of tardy days and the consistent below average grades. College unfortunately was becoming a faint option during my senior year. My parent’s expected little from me, and I expected even less. It was the perfect marriage for someone with no direction.
Doing just enough to get by was all I could emotionally handle. My friendships with Alicia, Jinny, Kim and Teresa were my ultimate touchstones. They had my back, and that’s all I thought I needed in life. They, for the most part, excelled in their studies and made future plans beyond school. I was an outlier. I couldn’t make plans beyond next week. Being part of the crew was great, but all the time, all these years, I knew something was wrong.
Many years after high school, I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression, a condition I believe I had been suffering from since High School. Were my early years marred by this debilitating disease? I believe so. I’ve spent years since then evaluating myself and have happily grown to be a highly successful person. Does it matter now, or in the long run, if I know that A+B=C, or memorize the Periodic Table? If I could go back and do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I may not have fixated on those trees outside the window.
I would have been present in my future.