• Noelle Gordillo

Operating Under Someone Else’s Rule

I feel like every move I make is being controlled by some omniscient puppeteer who wants me to conform to everyone else. I have little to no authority over the ways I turn and the paths I take. Since I feel this way, I wonder if all of my desires are fabrications—woven together by the fabrics of my own experiences. The tricky thing is, none of these “experiences” can be considered “authentic”—whatever that word means. How am I to know what “I want” is what I actually want if I’m operating by the hands of another?

I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. It’s hard to be true to oneself when there are so many outside factors that control our behavior. Cultural ideologies, the wishes of our family, friends, and pressures to be successful. I mostly feel this when I’m drowning in school work that I find to be tedious or simply unrelated to any of my interests. I begin to say to myself, “What am I doing with my time?”

I’m being pulled into so many directions--being told, “No, Noelle. You can’t spend all of your time singing, creating, and filmmaking. That’s a waste of time.” Oftentimes, I wonder why I believe that. I think it’s because I have always felt pressure to sustain myself financially given that my passions are not very monetarily appealing. I need to be “successful”. But what is success? The definition varies from person to person. Right now, for me, success is balance-- spending equal time on schoolwork, relationships, and personal goals.

During this time of self-isolation and quarantine, I’ve decided to schedule out my days to make sure I don’t spend too much time on that research paper and not enough time for myself. Maybe I’ll make a singing Youtube channel, play guitar, write for PieFace, or read a book?? One that wasn’t assigned to me?? I’m yanking those strings away from the omniscient puppeteer and redirecting myself toward a more balanced lifestyle. That is success--that is happiness.

Maybe one day, I’ll completely cut loose.

artwork by Lorelei Taybi

read more about Noelle here

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