Last night, I stopped and looked up.
I had gotten out of my car and was ready to walk straight through the front door of my home again like I always do, but some strange force compelled me not to do that this time. I decided that I wanted to see the sky. Granted, it wasn’t the best view of the sky (light pollution is an unfortunate reality living in suburbia). But I persisted. And slowly but surely, I could see tiny flecks of light dotted across the sky.
Almost all of the stars that populate the sky at night are alive, pulsating with energy in a process that’s seemingly endless. But there are a few that are dead, their light a faint reminder of what it was that’s taken millions, billions of years to reach our eyes. I imagined that I could see Big Dipper, and Little Dipper, and Cassiopeia lounging on her gilded throne. I played connect the dots and began seeing smiling faces and cubes and indistinctive blobs. I made my own constellations, giving each figure pretentious-sounding names and feeling a bit of awe rise within me towards the bright burning balls of energy light-years away.
And then I realized how strange it seemed for me to be standing and looking up at the sky. No one was outside by this point, but embarrassment lingered anyway, and sheepishly I went inside.
My summer hasn’t been as particularly eventful as I’d hoped it would be, and that’s okay. What my summer has lacked in things to do, it’s more than made up by things to think about.
There are some moments where I can’t help but feel lost in the void.
In about a month, I’ll be entering a new chapter of my life: college. The people I’ve met thus far have been wonderful and incredible, and I truly am excited for the memories I’m bound to make on campus. And while it’s been an incredibly exciting prospect thus far, there are some moments where I can’t help but feel lost in the void.
For the longest time, my weakness has been my self-doubt, and after the ecstatic high that comes from getting accepted into Stanford, a new and unwelcome feeling of worry had settled in its place. I worried if I was truly admitted on my own merits or if it was a fluke, that I was simply a packet on the reject pile that was bumped into the accepted pile. Sure, I had done things in high school, but reflecting on my experience I felt something close to a fraud; I was a person who played the game of school well, but with nothing comparable to what my new peers have done.
These were people who were winning Olympic gold medals, exploring cutting-edge cancer research, and creating successful startups. Meanwhile, all I could seem to think was, Do they like me? Do they respect me? Or are they nice to me out of pity? It had been gnawing at my brain, wherein the only logical conclusion seemed to have been to exacerbate the anxiety I was feeling and fear the very people I wanted to befriend. In short: I was scared.
I knew this was an unhealthy frame of mind, and I sorely wanted it to change. But when your own psyche taunts you, is it really that easy to dismiss the doubts which you fear are correct?
Not that dictionaries are the be-all and end-all of personal discovery, but in the midst of my anxiety, I had found Merriam-Webster’s alternate definition of constellation intriguing:
constellation \kän(t)-stə-ˈlā-shən\ noun
a group of stars that forms a particular shape in the sky and has been given a name; a group of people or things that are similar in some way
I remembered last night, and I remembered the serene feeling that washed over me, and I grasped for a way out of this cycle of self-doubt. And I think I’ve figured out a way to accept, if not totally resolve, my fear of rejection.
Our insecurities lurk in the shadows and recesses of our brain, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to strike and deliver a maximum blow to our confidence and self-esteem. But all it takes is a connection to remedy those insecurities, a relation you find either with others or within yourself that bridges people together.
And soon enough, in this way, everyone finds their place, connected and supported and loved much like the stars connect in the sky. It may take time—maybe a long time—but I think I can stick around and wait for that moment to come.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I just look up to the stars and imagine myself as one of them.
I feel at peace.
Until next time,