I love having a platform dedicated to my narcissism, and my numbers show that you love it too. Tonight, I wanted to reflect a bit.
It is Sunday night and I am really at a blank, what to write? When this happens, I pull something out from the archives. Stay with me for a minute while I go and grab a journal. Let's see what time/place will be discussed.
The journal I pick up is my journal from 1995, months before I left for my trip to Europe. The front cover reads: In celebration of the worst year of my life....angst, what could have been so bad young Leyla? That is right, I was turning 23 that year, and turning 23 felt like the end of the world to me (at that time)! I always believed that youth was king.
The first five pages of this journal are dedicated to "Great words" and here is the first of the "great words" according to 22 year old Leyla: Wanton: Gratuitously cruel, immoral, unrestrainedly excessive, overabundant, frolicsome, playful, undisciplined. (I was so emo).
Let's check out the first entry - Planning my lone backpacking trip to EuropeLooks like I was an angry 22 year old, very much in my rebellious, anti-establishment phase - it is a bit embarrassing, but worth sharing, though I am editing to save face. The person negatively described below by 22 year-old Leyla, sadly, resembles Leyla of today. Apparently, maintaing a non-conformist lifestyle well into your 30s is harder than I expected.
July 11, 1995
- I started to plan my trip to Europe, my dream come true. I think the most thrilling part of the trip will be that I will have absolutely no time constraints; I can walk leisurely knowing I have no where to be, no one to meet and not a thing to find.
- Everyday I hate my boss a tiny bit more, and everyday, I wonder how ANYONE, especially his wife, could endure him. He repulses me and is not worthy of one more stroke of my pen. I hope one day I am famous so that I will not have to mingle among the "Young, Savvy, Ambitious" media types that over use words like "Absolutely" and "Wonderful" and phrases like "At your earliest convenience". The types that must end every sentence with an exclamation. It is a wonder they can stand one another.
Fast forward a few pages, my depression persists and my hopes of finding the answers in Europe continue
July 20, 1995
- All looks so hopeless. It seem as if all I have left to look forward to, all I have left to wish for, is a walk-in closet and maybe Europe. And I have big dreams for Europe - interesting jobs and beautiful, smart, well dressed men. I realize it may be an unfounded dream, but it is just so far away (the trip is in four months), I think it could be possible. Somewhere so foreign and different has to have many offers unlike my present state.
- I want so much, yet so far all I've sought thus far is a reckless lifestyle. Partying, boys and enough alcohol to drown a room full of sorrow. Unfortunately, all it has gotten me is a rude awakening, a bitter entrance into adulthood. Hello, I am almost in my mid-twenties and I know I am going to wake up tomorrow, thirty years old, with nothing.
- I have two choices while I am hanging onto the threads of my former youth:
- 1. I can stay reckless and careless
- 2. I can point my gun, aim and fire - pursue my goals
- All of these things can be accomplished if I could stay focused. TV and laziness are my biggest enemies.
End of the journal entry...There you have it...the journal of 22 year-old Leyla. Leyla who was living at home, working in a dead-end job (before breaking into advertising), drinking far too much and unsure of where she was going in life. Until reading these journal entries tonight, I had NO CLUE I had put so much weight, and so many expectations, into that trip to Europe. I always knew it was important but I guess I forgot how important.
It was one of the greatest highlights of my life. I spent three months, alone, backpacking through thirteen countries. I jumped off the Swiss Alps, I ran from the French police, I visited Auschwitz, I rode the subway all night when I couldn't get into my hostile, and I was scammed by a sixteen year old kid in Gaudi park.
That was living!