The reason I have a blog; write blogs, read blogs, is because in doing so I'm not thinking about other things. When I started writing back in late 2010 this page was designed to be escapism by words. Games in general are things that effect the present. In writing about games, I'm generally not thinking about where my life is going in a year's time or in a decade's time. After spending a day sick, exhausted and consequently dejected sorting through my prospects for my inevitable tertiary education I've realised why I still write blogs. It's because I really, really didn't want to face all this.
I'm in my last year of high school. Stress is another thing that keeps your mind firmly rooted in the now. I generally live week to week, deadline to deadline. There hasn't been the time to stop and wonder what 2013 is going to look like.
My problem, and its always been my problem, is that I know what I want yet I'm not sure if it can happen. I want to become a journalist and write things down so people can read them and make up their own minds. This is a recent discovery, mostly due to my time as part of the "press corps" during the Singapore Model United Nations, (i.e. Schools send the seniors off to research what the UN is hot and bothered about, then debate about it as if it was the genuine article). I wrote an article that was censored because it called into question the conduct of one of the administrators who was trying to influence the debate along what she thought was the right lines. I don't know whether you could call it a "scoop", but it was the closest thing for a student-run magazine whose intended function was to interview people and make the conference seem like heaven on earth.
It's a long story, and not one I intend to elaborate on here. But from that moment on I knew that there was something important and exhilarating about finding out things that people ought to know. If haven't already, you should try reading Terry Pratchett's The Truth. It's the only book I've read to date that encapsulates that feeling of why "news" is important and having complete strangers come up to me and comment on a situation then wouldn't have known about if not for my work made me understand what Pratchett was getting at.
As I sifted through prospectus after disturbingly cheerful prospectus today, I started to wonder whether this pipe dream is possible, whether I as good-but-not-great student with an affinity for history and english could make a living in a dying industry. There's no course that screams "this course will make you prime journalistic material sunshine" and when it comes to using my intelligence I like it when I'm treated like an idiot. Instead, the world of tertiary admissions is a nebulous list of prerequisites and provisos. If I get x then I can take y course, if I screw up and get z then I can only get into w. If I stop looking at these labyrinthine websites, can I stop thinking about this altogether?
My parents, my friends and especially my infinitely-patient careers advisor all ask me what do I think I'm good at. My reply is always a different version of "I'm good at (insert subject a,b and c) but I have no idea whether I'm good enough". Am I good enough? You have no idea how much hinges on that question for me. There's a difference between being a high-flyer and being a low-flyer occasionally supported by regular gusts of wind.
These numbers, these "prerequisites" are all going to be decided in November. 80% of everything gets nailed down over a period of two weeks. Up until the moment that it's all over, I am never going to believe that I get the required marks and even then, whether they'll actually lead to anything. Self doubt and uncertainty, Probably the two character traits that your average employer frowns upon, or maybe the two character traits that are contributing to this sense of paralysis.
A marketing man writes these pages and logs these numbers. Records the benchmarks determined by supply and demand, the minimum requireds and typical offers that make the next year's prospects as clear as mud. I don't know okay, what number will come out of two weeks of academic hell. But decide now, don't wait for evidence or justification or some sort of reason why you think you'll do this well in 4 month's time. Here's a shiny pamphlet to help you choose.
Know thyself. Socrates obviously wasn't a teenager when he coined that one. Right now, I don't want to think about my "future" because every step of the way has a question mark over it, courtesy of my own self-doubt and the fact that everyone else I know is certain of the inevitable success of me.
I shouldn't have to think about this. Scratch that, I should have to think about this but I'm mentally incapable of doing so properly. I've spent the past few years nailing down what defines me, I'm not ready to turn around and say "here's how it's going to go" with any sort of authority. Faith in one's abilities is something I've yet to master, until then it's all just "future" and it seems insane that people like me are being asked to carve a path when they barely know if they can or not.
Thus, I'm using this blog as the name blog implies. Maybe if I write a thousand or so words about how I don't think I'm good enough to be paid for writing a thousand or so words, I can escape this screen full of "future" and all its promises that I don't believe. I can't make these decisions. Not yet, I don't think I'm good enough.