currently i've been
GCSEs gave me an excuse to abandon the things which define me, morphing into an exam machine. weirdly, I think I enjoyed having constant obligations. I readily dropped the hobbies which shape me in exchange for revision. exams were freeing in a way, because the pressure to be 'creative', 'productive', 'myself' were invalid - all of my energy was projected outwards instead of in. despite the shittiness and constrictions, exam season was like a little vacation from having to be Hannah.
but now the freedom of summer has complicated things. i took a hiatus from dancing, reading, playing guitar and writing and now i'm questioning whether i can get it all back. i feel like i've lost a little of myself (if i ever had such a thing).
i'm too malleable, too easily influenced. i pick up the mannerisms of my closest friends; i adopt the political views of various figures i respect; my clothes are a slight deviation from popular trends. maybe that's what identity is anyway - a patchwork of our environmental influences. but the lack of a strong foundation upon which to build the rest of my identity scares me.
so i clutch onto old emblems of myself. I still tell people that Tricky's one of my favourite artists, when in reality I hardly listen to him anymore. I play up my nerdiness, because being good at maths and science feels like something safe and sturdy when the rest of my interests are constantly melting and reforming into new shapes. i'm trapped between the responsibility and reason of authority and the parties and spontaneity of teenagers. neither really appeals to me, so I flip between both worlds at random.
I've finished secondary school and am moving to a new sixth form. it's deeply saddening but also a relief. i don't believe in the whole 'reinvent yourself over the summer' trope but i think meeting new people will be refreshing. something has to be sacrificed in order to grow. moving forward means leaving things behind.