I once knew a girl who was really into fonts. She had so many notebooks of different handwritten fonts that she didn’t know what her real handwriting was like. This was her hobby, her “thing”, what she did when she was bored or to occupy her time. Everybody has a “thing”, don’t they? A thing that you’re known for or are proficient in. For my brother it’s cars. For my mum it’s sewing or cooking. For one friend it’s painting. For another it’s writing fanfiction. Something you’re good at or enjoy doing, whether it’s karate or découpage.
For me though, I’m not sure if I know how it feels to have a passion. I just don’t seem to have the time or energy to feel more than a passing sense of enthusiasm. Whether that’s because of my mental health, or maybe because all the opportunities in life seem to always pass me by, I’m not sure. I never have the patience or even the aptitude to properly get into or stick at anything. I don’t know why I’m like this. I do feel a profound sense of jealousy seeing people doing things they obviously love, like drawing or going to a weekly martial arts class. I just don’t understand what that’s like. I have things I’m interested in or like doing, but I so very often find myself bored and with nothing to do – and despite my mum’s best efforts at convincing me, tidying my room does not relieve boredom. Even if there’s something I desperately want to do – like film making – there’s always something to hold me back (in this case my supreme lack of talent). It’s kind of heartbreaking really. I want to have confidence in, and feel a connection with things I try. I want to be an artist, a musician, a writer, hell even a ballet dancer, but I know I can’t.
It’s like in Learn My Lesson by Young Guns – I’m still haunted by all the things I’ll never be.
Everyone I know is better than me at everything I care to or want to try. I’m not an artist like several of my friends. I’m not amazing at video games (I’m rubbish). I’m not as good at writing as anyone else. I’m not even better at photography, despite having done a college course. I can’t act, sing, dance or do gymnastics. There’s no chance of me being sporty and I don’t even drive yet. I’m nowhere near as good at computers as my mum thinks I am. I can’t even swim.
There’s nothing that I’m the best at. There’s nothing that I’m even really good at. I don’t have any pastimes or hobbies. I’m only doing my degree because there was nothing else I was capable of, and I’m nowhere near ready for “real life” yet.
…But it’s okay, I think.
Maybe I’ll find something along the way. I am only eighteen, I have a lot of living to do after all.
And there’s the rest of that lyric: To live is to learn.