Acceptance is a funny thing, it comes in stages, or maybe it just comes and goes, I’m not sure yet.
One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept in my life, is not attending the University of Southern California. I chose the school when I was 13. It’s in LA, has an amazing cinematic arts program, greek life, huge population… everything I wanted in a college. I worked my ass off in high school taking as many weighted grade and AP courses as I could to boost my GPA, and I got accepted. I remember receiving my giant envelope from USC like it was yesterday. I was so happy I cried, I called everyone I knew, I posted on Facebook about it… it just never occurred to me that my parents couldn’t afford it. That I wouldn’t get financial aid. That I wouldn’t go.
College isn’t something I like to talk about. My freshman year was so bad I transferred schools at the end of it, and the only reason I didn’t transfer schools a second time is because I hated school so much I couldn’t fathom the idea of credits not transferring and being in school for more than 4 years.
I know that it’s no one’s fault I didn’t go to USC, but I can’t help but be angry. The last 4 years of my life were agony, and I can’t help thinking that if I had gone to USC I would have been happy. Of course, I may have hated it, but I’ll never know, and I choose to believe that I would have loved it.
Back to acceptance… my mom says I haven’t accepted not going to USC because of how much I talk about it, but I’m not sure I agree. Does accepting something mean you’re no longer angry about it? Does it stop you from being sad? I don’t think so.
Take a break-up, for example. You can love someone so completely and still not fit into their life. It doesn’t even have to be a bad break up, maybe you mutually decided that you weren’t right for each other or you didn’t work long term. You accept this when you stop pursuing the relationship, but you’re still sad about it ending, at least a little bit, right?
Today was a good day for me. I didn’t cry – seriously, not one time. I actually started thinking about what I would do when I get home. Maybe the road trip from Cali to STL will be fun. I can’t wait to go apartment hunting and find my own place that is completely mine and mine alone. To me, all these thoughts and positive planning mean I accepted the fact that I have to leave California (and my friends and my boyfriend and the sun and the palm trees and the beach). I really have, because I’m no longer searching for jobs or apartments out here. I’m no longer trying to stay. I’ve made plans the make the best of the time I have left here. It’s still incredibly depressing… but I’ve accepted it.
I didn’t cry today. That doesn’t mean I won’t cry tomorrow, but I didn’t cry today, and that’s an improvement. Baby steps. It will get better. It will be okay. One day at a time.