zora howard quote, how to get back on track in life, zora howard poem, fear in my 20s


Theoretically, I had a head start. I was out of high school when I was sixteen. Graduated from my diploma -- nope, I didn't actually attend the ceremony -- at nineteen and started trying to get jobs. Now, at twenty-two, with two awful working experiences on my CV I feel like a failure. As though I squandered that head start.

The jobs were awful in that I felt shit while doing them, I had a list of better things I could have been doing with my time in the back of my mind. I was convinced I'd be less depressed if I was working different jobs at different places where my presence was making a difference. Preferably writing the words to awful adverts. So I left. Both times. Each time I ran out of money and speed and heart within two months of deciding on a new start. The first time this happened, panic sent me running towards anything that would help me pay my rent and eat and raise my kid sister. That's how I landed at job number two. I left that in June and I hit the 'two-month mark' in August. I'm here, panicking again. Feeling ashamed of where I am in my life and how I'm going around in a circle of disappointment. Still trapped in a tiny room in which I can't even hear my thoughts most times. Ashamed that I haven't moved to a different stage of life since I was nineteen. That money is still such an issue, as is eating.

I spent what little money I had been given on a diploma that I hoped would somehow get me a foot in at an advertising agency. I took out a loan while at my first job and went to evening classes for three months 'learning' copywriting to better position myself to get my foot in at an agency's door. Four years after my last exam toward my diploma and I still want to try to do the thing I set out to do -- write adverts. I want to know if I'm cut out for it or if I'll even be all right -- at the very least -- at it. With my stubborn and obsessive nature, it's guaranteed that I'll always wonder, should I keep letting the scramble to pay rent get to me, about what could have been. Maybe I'll get an agency job and find out that I'm just as shit at that too -- I just owe myself the confirmation either way. To get it out of my bones, so to speak.

I keep hoping that all this is a derailment -- a detour -- not a shameful failure.