Friday, October 29, 2010

You don't know me.

Something just occurred to me, and I wanted to get it down.

Do most people feel as if their parents know them? While I've been doing college application essays, and other people have been doing the same, I feel like that issue has been coming up a lot....

At first, I wrote an essay that I thought would turn out well...I sat down and said, I"M WRITING MY COLLEGE ESSAY....STARTING NOW. My mom read it and hated it. She was like, it doesn't sound like you.

I must admit, I ended up agreeing with her, but at first I got super pissed about it and it ended up being a two-week long argument. She said my essay was too negative, dark, and unappealing. I responded by saying, "Well clearly you don't know me then. But I know myself, and I know I'm in this essay, and if you don't like me this way, that's too bad." But she won the argument, and I edited the essay over, and over, and over again to make it "positive" until I realized I'd edited myself out completely, and I was trying to write in the voice of a stranger. The idea I'd had, the idea I'd been enthusiastic about for months, the idea I'd anticipated writing eagerly, became ugly, and later I couldn't stand it.

So I scrapped it, eventually. And I was super upset, so I was writing about how I was upset about that....and then that became my new college essay.....@_@ super circular and ironic. And after that, I wrote two more essays, and as of yet the three essays all feel like me, I think. I hope.

My mom likes these better. But still, there are times when she points at a line and says, THIS ISN"T YOU, and I say HOW WOULD YOU KNOW. This whole back and forth process has been stressing me out. It made me wonder if I was abnormal or unreasonable, if I was the only one having these huge arguments.

But then I heard a lot of people talking about the same things, and it made me think that the college essay really is a sort of pressure cooker. People get pushed by everyone else on all sides--do this, do that, take that out, I don't like this, you should be that. So it's critical to truthful, good writing to be honest to yourself. Follow intuition. If it feels wrong for you, it's because it is wrong for you. It doesn't matter if you don't know exactly, explicitly, precisely who you are. Somehow, if there's something that clicks, even if you don't know what, you should follow through with it. An essay about yourself should be something that you can smile about, not something that you hate. It should be something easy to write, not something that you worry about or something that makes you feel insecure.

People don't, people can't, know all about you. People can't know all about me. The writer needs to take control, because they're the only ones who can easily, naturally, beautifully lay themselves out on the paper.

1 comment:

  1. agree so hard.
    although it'd be nice to think there are people who know ALL about you (like super good friends and whatnot) they really can't. so... oops.

    thanks for this post, i really resonate with it.