The Desire for Silence

I’ve never been the most stable of people; I regularly go from happy smiles and rainbow-tinted perspectives of the world to confused tears and general misery quicker than even I can comprehend, and far quicker than I’m willing to acknowledge. The mix of school, family and generally keeping up appearances often gets on top of me, and loses me within its folds, its waves lapping over me, slowly pushing me further and further under until I’m no longer the key player in this twisted game. Despite its repetition, I only tend to notice this cycle when I’m at the peak of my misery; when I’m already drowning; when I’m already going to have to provide unattainable effort to shift it all from me.

Year after year, particularly when returning to school in a new academic year, I’ve wanted for nothing but silence, peace, and just a moment of care-free time in which I can just stop, switch off and blank out the world. Still, when this time comes around in the holidays, I don’t value it as much as I should, or as much as I would if it were to show itself to me at this precise moment, in fact. Although I neglect to realise this during holidays from the churning ocean of school, time and space is something I so desperately need and, yet, so tragically lack. Personally, I need time to keep my own mental health in check — to stop the demons, dark thoughts, negative days and self-hating thoughts building up until they fill more space than my mind can provide for them, let alone afford to give to them.

This year especially has hit me like a tsunami, and I merely wish I could tell you that that’s an exaggeration: it’s not. My disregard for all the words of students a year or more above me in their education, alerting me to the increase of work that Year 10 would bring with it was ridiculous, and is the one thing I regret about the summer. In some ways, I have a new-found respect for those of you in Year 11, Year 12, Year 13 or beyond, because honestly, fuck knows how you got through this year, and fuck knows how I’ll follow your lead. And all my cynical mind can produce from this is: “well, if this is Year 10, just imagine next year… and the year after that, and the year after that…”.

Every night this week, I’ve worked my arse off for school, and all afternoon yesterday, and all day today — literally. Finally, only now, I can stop and do something else that isn’t work, and that isn’t in preparation for a set of exams I will take in twenty-one months, the outcome of which will affect my entire life, however much THEY tell me that there is “always another path”. I’m only young once, after all, but I will spend these years slaving away because the government says I should. That is besides the point, I suppose.

All I’m asking for is silence. I want the house to be empty, my head to go quiet, my workload to shrink — even just temporarily — to a point where I can forget about it, and not feel that ever-present paranoia that I feel most strongly in bed at night, when I’m sure that I’ve forgotten to complete that essay, or forgotten to print that worksheet. Please, now, just make that pressure that is so intense, I physically feel it from time to time with increasing frequency, cease — just for five minutes. What I wouldn’t give for peace, even from my own phone, and from the people I love and trust. Sometimes, you just need a break; I guess that’s understandable, right?

If you too are going through either Year 10, or a time similar to that which I’ve described, I hope that I can tell you at least this: you are not alone. There are always others who understand how you feel, and who are going through everything that you are experiencing. Whilst that’s not always directly helpful, it’s comforting at the very least, and there’s something to be said for comfort when you’re drowning.

L XX

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28 thoughts on “The Desire for Silence

  1. Honestly I get this. Year 10 was, to date, one of the worst years I’ve ever experienced: friendships went to shit, work killed me and it was terrible. But I got through it, and I survived, and I know you can too. It’s DIFFICULT, but it’s not impossible. Let yourself breathe. Give yourself TIME to relax, and remember: a little at a time.

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  2. Hang in there! It’s tough, I know it is. Year 10 was my worst year but I’m so glad I persevered as it made me a stronger and persistent person. I’m now at my second year of college and I get no peace. At least not the kind of peace I want. Every day is just hectic. Even if I make sure I set some time for myself every night, I’m always worrying about the work I have to get done and the tests I have to revise for. But, I know that all that hard work will be rewarded some day. Not in terms of the grades, I’ll get in my exams, but in terms of the person, I will blossom into a year from now. You might feel like giving up, but trust me, you’ll thank yourself in the future. If I got through it, so can you. I believe in you! ❤

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    1. That is one of the most encouraging comments I’ve ever read, so thank you. It’s difficult, because even if you put time aside for yourself, you persist to worry about whether you’ve left enough time to finish off all of your work etc. I wish you all the best for this academic year X

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      1. No problem! ❤ It is difficult but never forget about yourself at the end of the day. If you're getting to overwhelmed, then take a step back, relax for a bit and then go back to whatever you're doing. Do something every day that makes YOU happy and forget about all your worries. Thank you and I wish you all the best as well! x

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  3. I totally understand where you’re coming from, so far year 10 is definitely the worst academic year for me, and it’s just begun. I feel like the leap from 9-10 is so large and now everyone is having to come to terms with it and people are struggling to adjust, myself in included. If you’re getting stressed, take a step back, and do something calming and that you enjoy, then try looking at it with another perspective, that’s what I find helps me de-stress. Hope you feel better soon ☺️ x

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    1. I really hope that things settle down, and you manage to get through this year with a smile on your face. It’s a huge leap from year nine, but I know that we can do it… Thanks for the advice 🙂 X

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      1. I am, you can totally do this! Don’t stress, be yourself, if you find things difficult in class don’t be afraid to talk to your teachers and seek advice from them X

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  4. Year 10 was my worst year too so don’t worry about it. Just know that you will survive it as I know you’re capable. It will get better truss me daddy

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  5. I am in year thirteen and, honestly, it is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. The workload is crazy, my college don’t care if your health (mental or physical) dies, just as long as you get the work done! Year ten was tough but if you can get through that year then you can get through year eleven and if you can get through year eleven you can get through year twelve… etc etc. Honestly, it might seem really tough, but these years are going to be the toughest in your life; after that, you can just chill and be like “ha, I beat school”

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  6. You truely read my mind! I was telling my friends how I am not going to stop working till I get a freaking job. Literally have table full of homework with a bit of a twist: A FUCKING EXAM! 2 per day. Bye – you’ll never see me again as I’ll die in the test (still working)!

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  7. I can relate. It’s tough and challenging to keep up with everything and not only keep up, but also excel. And when you’re done and you have some free time you feel like you’re not making the most of it. I get that too. But other than to continually try and be proud of your succes, no other path is more rewarding. So when you gotta work, you gotta work because the satisfactory feeling that you get at the end is worth it!

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  8. This is a post I can relate to on a spiritual level. Sometimes, it’s just really really hard to keep up with the world and it’s doings. All I ever want is to take a step back and breathe. Believe me when I say I can absolutely understand what you’re going through atm. The pressure of school, the immense amount of work they give is horrifying and it seriously feels like you’re not going to make it. But hang on, and keep slaving away and working super hard, the way you are now. I know it’ll be rewarding for you when it’s all done. That’s when you’ll be super proud of yourself and pat yourself on the back because YOU DID IT. YAY.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As someone who just went into Year 10 too- I can relate! Of course, I decided to choose computing as one of my GCSE options and our school computing department was messed up until this year so we have to cram 3 years of work into 1! You can get through this 🙂

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