The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Past and the Present

Yesterday, January 23rd, was a long, but valuable day of classes at LMU. All three of my courses were Journalism courses— a little odd for an Entrepreneurship major used to taking solely business-related courses— and I learned a lot about various aspects of the field. I would unequivocally say however, that my most valuable experience was a 20-minute writing assignment in Professor Datcher’s course; despite being somewhat tired and restless by his 7:15 class, I was able to reflect quite a bit about how I have grown immensely in the past few years. It is very easy to get caught up in your current problems and difficulties, just to lose sight of the great leaps forward you have taken!

In Professor Datcher’s class I mainly wrote about my struggles in middle school. Back then, I was a lonely, attention-seeking, obnoxious, deviant, hyperactive child who nearly got expelled from school— although probably not for any reason you could guess.

For a long time, even after my middle school troubles however, I didn’t seem destined to attend LMU. I was lucky; I was first rejected from the university upon application, just to be later accepted. Coming into my senior year of high school, I had no better than a 3.3, and no extracurricular activities really to speak of. (Unless being on the basketball team, but not playing because the season was cancelled, counts). I almost didn’t even apply to LMU because I thought my chances were close to nil. A high school advisor whom I still haven’t thanked made the recommendation I do so.

Being smart was never the issue, even back in middle school; attention and motivation were the issues. I was extremely neurotic and self-deprecating— I told myself that I couldn’t do something, and because of such negative self-talk, I couldn’t. I was more depressed and alone than I could ever recognize being at that age, and I had no strengths that I could identify. I had no major interests or hobbies, and I was in chronic pain. The left side of my jaw was locked like a Master lock without a key due to immense stress and teeth grinding, and I feared the simplest of things, such as talking to a girl that I liked obsessively.
Due to my struggles from time immemorial, I often look at my life as just being one big struggle. As soon as I solve one problem— like my jaw pain— something else takes precedent and makes me feel hopeless or like a failure. I usually haven’t even recognized the next struggle that will take place until it takes place because I have been so preoccupied with eclipsing the current problem. What I used to care and worry about a few years ago, I have very little concern about today.

The biggest thing that I have struggled with and continue to struggle with however, is being delusional. I have been depressed for most of my life— whether I was able to recognize it or not— and I have always thought that maybe that one thing will make me happy. For example, I thought I’d be ultimately happy if I loved a girl, started a business, had money, etc. I know I’m not alone in this quest for happiness; it’s the human condition to always want more than what you currently have.

Anyway, I still struggle with depression, anxiety, and being delusional, but I feel as if I have grown immensely. No longer do I mull over and worry incessantly about things I want to do; I do them— or at least try. (My New Year’s resolution for 2014 was simply to do things I’ve been afraid to do). I no longer say or do insanely stupid things; I’m very restrained, perhaps too much so to overcompensate. Although I struggled my first two years at LMU, I am back to being the stellar student I was in elementary school (in second grade, I was taking 4th grade math classes), as I have gotten a 3.6 each of the past two semesters. I am still funny and smart; however, now I’m mature as well.

I am a new Dan. The past will never go away, but all I can worry about is the future. When I re-take classes that I didn’t do well in the first time around this summer after walking the stage, I will do much better I’m sure-- and hopefully I’ll be able to get into a good grad school. No one would know my past unless I shared it, so the pain and struggles don’t matter except in the sense that they made me stronger. All I can do is keep marching forward.


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