15 October 2010

What if I dropped out of school?

What if I took off a year, or two, or three, or five?

What if I spent some time growing up? What if I learned how to cook and how to look for jobs? What if I learned how to make friends in the real world, how to reach out to communities and people, how to interact as an adult, how to not be alone?  What if I dedicated myself to real-world activism?  What if I learned how to make change happen outside of college campuses, and what if I developed skill in the areas of direct action, mobilization, and making change happen?

What if I took some time to find myself?  What if I read all the books I never had a chance to read?  What if I transitioned to a place I'm comfortable in? What if I changed my gendered last name to my stepdad's gender-neutral Nagai, and started going by Cale? Doesn't mean I want to live male full-time, but maybe dress androgynous more often than I do feminine?  What if I figured out what my political beliefs really are?  What if I decided if I'm a radical anarchist or a libertarian conservative, or, more importantly, what if I discovered how to do radical anarchist activism even though I have fiscally conservative beliefs?  What if I advocated for the well-being of marginalized groups I don't belong to, and what if I made some change?

What if I moved in with my step dad in Chicago?  What if I grew closer to him and opened my life up to him?  What if I made up for all of those years growing up without a father in my household?  What if I discovered my place in Chicago, fell in love with the city?  What if I worked there, advocated there, dreamed there? What if I went to the Art Institute every weekend?  What if I traveled?  What if I found a job abroad, maybe in England?  What if I came back to DC after a while and worked here, lived my life here?  I really don't want to leave this city...

What if I came back to school later, after I learned who I am and figured out why college is going wrong?  I remember my first month in school, feeling thrilled with my classes, thrilled with my homework, growing intellectually every day.  I remember telling someone how happy I was, how I can't imagine a place I'd be happier than a college campus.  Then why is it still going wrong?  Why don't I like it here, even though I was sure I would?  Why is there something missing in my life, and I can't tell what it is?  I can't find what I'm looking for if I don't know what it is, if I don't know who I am.  I can't find what I'm looking for here.

What if I still got my PhD someday?  What if I came back to finish my undergrad at the perfect school, in the perfect place?

What if?

1 comment:

  1. Since you're still early enough in your degree you totally could. I wonder the same thing a lot, then realize I'm only a few weeks from being done with my major requirements. It's a different world when you're not too close to having a degree already.