you’re gonna go far, kid

i don’t think you’ll ever quite understand, until you feel it. the fire licking at my bones; i will not fail again, i will make myself be known.

and the audience feels like it’s miles away, as they clap, and whisper you’re gonna go far, kid–you’re gonna make it big, someday. and when you’re seven years old, living in a storm cloud, i guess that sounds pretty great.

and so my brain grabs onto shit like this, and doesn’t let go. i guess i run with it. take the path of least resistance. i stare my demons straight in the eye. so i work harder, and faster, and stronger, until no one can hurt me, not even you. and now it’s 12:07, and i wander through a graveyard alone, and try to puzzle it out in rhyming lines of poetry.

but i just can’t do it. because there are some things even hot glue and desperation can’t fix. but you said i could do it, you promised and you lied and and now it’s 12:25. and i guess i just can’t help but wonder, if i’d been different, if my brain had been better… would it all have still turned out like this? or would i be high above the clouds you showed me, when i was seven years old. with my castle, and my riches?

but it’s just conjecture. meaningless.

This is the most melodramatic piece ever, and I’m totally gonna be so embarrassed by this in a few years. But whatever, that is a problem for later.

I’ve spent my whole life seeking approval. I don’t think I’m particularly unusual in that. As a kid, I remember learning what I could get praise for, and what I couldn’t. I remember modelling my entire life at the time around figuring out how to get praise out of the adults in my life, mould myself into exactly what they wanted, almost instinctively. Maybe that’s a little weird, I’m not sure.

For me, the thing I got praised for was my achievements. Doing better than everyone else in my class, getting a good grade, you get the drill. I don’t think I’m particularly talented, or gifted or whatever drippy word you want to use–I’m just a very stubborn kid who was placed in an environment, where from a very young age excellence seemed like the only option.

But for most of my life, people have told me how much potential I have, about the career they think I should lead, or the courses I should take, or the university I should go to. Telling me I’m smarter, or I’m better, or whatever–which I know, sounds like a really dumb thing to have a problem with. But learning the only way you can get praise is by being better than other people all the time is, uh, not the best thing to internalize when you’re seven, let’s just say that. Because from that point on, your entire self-worth becomes dependent on constantly outdoing yourself and your peers every second of every day, and if you can’t do that, your entire identity is gone.

It’s just weird, I guess. Because no matter how much other people cheer for me, or praise me, I still feel hollow, and empty, and other people caring about me doesn’t make me feel any better. Which is hard. I don’t know, it’s just something that’s been on my mind a lot of late.

Lots of love,


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