Holy fuck, the hardest year of my life is almost over.
With a little over a week left until the new year, I still cannot fathom the amount of change that has entered my life throughout the course of this year.
I began the year stressing over tons of shit; by Day 30 I was already grieving the loss of my best friend, facing the threat of losing my home, realizing that my parents have lost touch with one another, and on top of that, finishing college applications and keeping up with the demands of my last semester of high school as class president.
Looking back, I can only remember how mentally and emotionally fucked up I was; I lost touch with plenty of friends and getting fucked over constantly by Day 90, realized that my intelligence was at the very best, modest by Day 120, and thought that the world would be better off without me since Day 1.
For 150 Days, I woke up and put on a facade of happiness. For 150 Days, I woke up and plastered that
genuine smile on my face and dealt with the bullshit the day had in store for me. Every day I “lived” became another day I spent talking myself out of suicide. Every damn day I “lived” became another day I spent saying, “Hmm, maybe you should kill yourself this way, Antonio. It’s quicker and a lot less painful,”with every day producing a new, quick and painless way to expel myself. I was a pen stroke away from a suicide note; I knew exactly what to say, who to mention, what to do and how to do it. It became an ordeal against myself; for 150 Days I craved release from the darkness that consumed me, the darkness that my mind immersed itself into. I hated myself and who I was becoming. I realized that I was no longer happy with who I was and began to gravitate towards the darkness that seemed to call for me.
To this day, I am still surprised that I’m here.
On Day 151, I graduated from high school as Senior Class President, Meritorious Valedictorian, and was UCLA bound.
This was the liberation I was asking for. This wasn’t the liberation I was asking for. The events of my last semester of high school, all 150 Days of it, transformed me into nothing more than a cynical, pessimistic oxygen converting piece of shit.
"Oh, you were Senior Class President? Being Class President doesn’t mean anything after high school. You wasted your time, dumbass. Meritorious Valedictorian? Fuck you, you know that you’re really fucking stupid compared to everyone else. UCLA? Ha! You’re kidding, right? You’re only going because you couldn’t even get into Berkeley, your dream school.
YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH, YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH.
Fast forward to Day 262: UCLA Move-In Day.
I got away from everything. This was the liberation I was asking for. I can’t even begin to explain how I felt, practically living on my own, free to do what I want, when I wanted to. It was as if I was given an opportunity to start all over again; met new, awesome people, got a feel for the college way of living, joined a fraternity, obtained an internship and facilitated a student conference. Granted, some days were harder than others but, I began to wake up….happy. I woke up excited for what the day had in store for me; a totally “new” experience. Perhaps, I just forgot what it felt like to just, be happy.
It’s weird looking back and seeing myself at such a vulnerable state. I can’t believe how far I have come, from Day 1 to Day 356.
I stand here today as a person who sees myself in a different light.
You’re studying Political Science at UCLA? Shit, that’s one of the Top 10 Political Science programs in the country. You should be happy and thankful. You’re a Sigma Pi man? They’re one of the best of the best, you should feel at home and blessed to be associated with such an amazing group of men.
You’re becoming happier and happier every day? That’s who you’re supposed to be! You were not yourself the first 261 Days but, you know who you are now. Be grateful for the people you surround yourself around. Be thankful for your family, The Goons, and everyone else that has kept you alive this year and fuck everyone else that brought you down.
I can’t wait for Day 1. It will be very, very different.
To the stupid shit head,
Why hasn’t it hit you yet? Don’t you realize you need to get your shit together? This is real world shit, this is nothing like high school. You may have succeeded way beyond everyone’s expectations in high school but, it was high school. Remind yourself that you are a student at one of the most elite, most respected institutions of academia in the world. Check your privilege, you little shit. 5% of almost 100,000 people were granted this privilege, the other 95% would kill to be where you are.
Your mom is working her ass off to support you and keep you afloat, don’t tell me you’re wasting her efforts on booze and weed, before the academics. Get your shit together, you already fucked up enough. Make the next couple of weeks count. Do it for the people who sacrificed plenty to get you to where you are today; work your ass off and show them the benefits of your hard work and dedication. Do it for the family, do it for the goons. There are plenty of people rooting for you, plenty of people willing to do anything it takes to see you succeed.
Don’t lose yourself, again. You know very damn well how dark that situation can become.
So I was on the train today and these two black guys were having a conversation not even that loud and said “nigga” like once when this white lady turns around and says “How do you think MLK Jr. would feel about you using that kind of language” and one of the guys snaps back and said “Idk maybe if your people didn’t shoot him I would know”