If I was asked what I enjoyed growing up, right-off-the-bat I’d list gaming, Milk Duds and being far-far away from socializing with people.
This is the part where I say, “times were different back then, huh?” or “a lot has changed.” Maybe Milk Duds don’t make the list anymore, but my social anxiety? Well crap, it’s still there. When I turned to find out it wasn’t just a phase; I was dealing with mental disorders.
I constantly asked ‘why?’ growing up. I didn’t push myself to become greater, I just accepted average. I didn’t think I could be beyond my low standards and it felt like too much effort to attempt to. I was just some weird girl with loudly colored hair and no aspirations.
I was getting away with it until I went to college.
Three years at Palomar and I was still not settled in a major. I did well in school but I never truly enjoyed it, there was no passion. It was a community college and I wasn’t enthusiastic about it. One thing I knew though was I loved writing, English didn’t work so my fate lied in journalism and The Telescope. I declared it as my major without having enrolled in the class yet.
Once I joined The Telescope, I was apathetic. I only wanted to write, and had no plans on socializing, since that was the normal disposition in community college.I overlooked that The Telescope was an entirely different thing than your typical class. I feared I couldn’t tackle it for one reason only: I had to talk to people. Strangers.
I overlooked that The Telescope was an entirely different thing than your typical class.
It wasn’t just a quintessential ‘how is your day?’ customer service type of deal I was used to; I had to actually had to get up in someone’s face and interview them. I had to get to know my source and get information. Being alone with someone asking them questions? Believe it or not, short or long conversation, I had trouble because I was anxious.
I could imagine someone rolling their eyes at this. I get sometimes that it’s hard to grasp. I talked, smiled and laughed like everyone else, but I had anxiety. I had the perpetual fear that my writing wasn’t enough, that I said the wrong thing, or that I was just generally awkward. I didn’t feel my writing. I avoided sometimes interviewing and coming to the newsroom every week. This was my major and I needed to be involved, but I wasn’t.
It was a difficult time in my life. I felt like I was drowning while everyone else was swimming. At the time, I refused to talk. How can I say how I felt? The stigma of mental illness got to me. Eventually, it worsened and I had no alternatives but to face it. During the time I was hospitalized, I thought about how to move forward. I went through therapy. I was confused, my life was a swirling vortex of doubt, it was on fire. I didn’t know how to deal with school and my feelings.
I came back and I decided to try again. Somewhere in-between working at The Telescope and dealing with my mental illness, my inspiration kicked. Dealing with another semester was something I didn’t regret. I’ve done so much unimaginable writing and I fell for it as a career.
A year in journalism was tough for me, but I learned to work with my anxiety rather than avoid it. Even though I might still get a little mini-heart attack interviewing, I’m still way better than I used to be. I was no longer that undriven girl wondering ‘why’ every second.
To The Telescope I would like to say:
I was so fortunate to work with you guys. As online editor, I’ve read your stories, posted your photos. I know for a fact you are all phenomenal and talented. Although I was distant at times and I couldn’t make it to production nights, thank you for dealing with me. The moments we’ve shared and the trips we’ve taken will stick with me as I move to SDSU and progress with my career.
I never thought that Palomar would have such an experience within it. I’ve had so much fun here. I’m so thankful I’ve learned from our incredible adviser and also our business manager, who managed to tolerate me so well.
Well, it’s safe to say I no longer wonder sit and ponder ‘why?’ all the time about my life. Thank you for being my finale at Palomar, and the beginning of my venture into my own peculiar adventure. It has been a true pleasure.