The start of something new

I’ve always believed that the High School Musical movie series are Disney’s best creation. As I rewatched the series years after my childhood obsession, I realize that they still are a perfect coming-of-age story. When I was younger, it was the catchy soundtrack that kept me hooked, but now, looking back as a senior in high school, it’s the portrayal of internal conflict that captures me.

Especially now, watching the main character Troy listening to his dreams while fighting to make everyone else happy, I feel connected to the narrative of indecisiveness and fear more than ever. I know that I can’t be the only one who is scared of the future, with college, family and my own goals hanging in the balance. Like Troy, we’re all struggling to hear our own voices over the opinions of our family, friends and society.

But sometimes, we’re unsure that we even know what our own voices sound like.

I’ve had my fair share of challenges and heartbreaks, but most of my life-changing decisions have been made for me. My parents have guided me all my life. I’ve been along for the ride. 

But I’ve never been at the wheel.

Overwhelmed by my own insecurities and doubts, I’ve clung to the direction of others to avoid admitting that I’m scared. It’s an arrangement that has worked out perfectly for me; I thrive when I have order, organization and control. 

I believe in change, but just not too much.

And what’s more life-changing than deciding where to go for college, how to pay for it and what to do with your life when you’re not really sure how to make those types of decisions. 

I keep waiting for some divine internal voice to tell me what I want, but I’ve started to think that I already know, and I’m just not admitting it to myself. Being confident is easy when it’s to everyone else because you can pretend like you’ve got it all figured out. But telling the truth to yourself is so much harder. Because when you don’t admit your own fears and weaknesses, they follow you around as regret your whole life.

Time slips through our fingers every second we’re alive. I wish I could grab onto it for a while, and linger in the time I have right-now, figuring everything out. I would sort through my thoughts and write them all down. I would create a map of my goals and fill in all the blank spaces of where, when and how. I would sit down with my reflection, no matter how hard, and listen to her tell me the truth of it all. 

If anyone figures out how to do that, please let me know.

I’m usually the one with all of the answers. I’ve got everything tucked neatly away in my planner, with color-coded to-do lists on sticky notes and song lyrics in the margins. It’s scary not to have the answers for the first time. There’s no textbook, web browser or human being that can tell me how to make a decision that resonates with who I truly am.

But I’m figuring it out a little bit more everyday.