I'm one week in to my new "academic career." Each day the voices in my head tell me that I can't do this, that I have to quit before I get in too deep.
Each day I've forced myself over the threshold and into the school. Each day I've looked up and seen Albert Einstein's face, photocopied and Scotch™ taped to the wall. Each day he says the same thing. Each day I consider telling him to go fuck himself.
I can't actually tell Einstein to go fuck himself. He's right. I hate that he's right. I've spent my whole life thinking that I'm not good enough, and that thinking has created problems for me. If only I could figure out how to change it.
I was only a few steps into the stairwell at the end of class when I heard the rush of footsteps and loud chatter behind me. Within moments I was being overtaken by the moving herd of people that had been released from another class.
There were several people behind me, talking loudly. They were young and boisterous, the type of people I try to avoid. Immediately I wanted to be as far away from them as possible, but then I overheard one of them say something along the lines of, “where am I supposed to find a stranger with a bizarre disease and an interesting story by next week?”
We were nearing the the bottom of the stairs. I could make my escape if I wanted to. My blood pressure shot up. Should I say something? Would they just laugh at me if I said something? Would Einstein say something? Before I even realized I was doing it, I turned around and said, “I have a bizarre disease and an interesting story.”
Enter panic attack mode: As soon as my last word was uttered, I braced for the blow. I was about to be laughed at or dismissed. I needed to run. I calculated that I could take a few swift steps and be out the door before I had to hear the response. Wait, running away was my old thinking. Fuck you Einstein. I hesitated a moment.
“Can I write my essay on you?” came a reply.