Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Panther Pride

My greatest fear should be dying. Or - worse - being buried alive.

Fuck it. Yes. THAT'S my greatest fear.

But rounding out the Top 10 is Athens, GA.

I went to undergrad there, and I fucking hated that place.

While everyone else was partying, pursuing their passions, discovering themselves, I was nursing a daily nervous breakdown.

Even as an idiot 18 year old, I knew I didn't belong there.

Thing is though, I was an idiot 18 year old with a fragile sense of self of nonexistant support system. So I stayed.

I stayed because I had no idea where else to go.

Other than taking Cipro, attending UGA and not having the direction or the help to leave is likely my biggest regret. And let's sit with that knowledge for a moment - the worst thing to happen to me outside of being systemically poisoned was attending the fucking University of Georgia.


Now you have some semblence of an idea the damage that decision caused.

I still have nightmares about it - and a graduated in 2003.

Perhaps even more haunting than the suffering I endured there is the knowledge that, had I gone somewhere where my talents were nurtured, maybe some things in my present day would be different... Better.

Maybe I would've played Sally Bowles somewhere...

But we cannot undo the past. And I like to think I changed some things and made better choices around age 30, when I went to grad school at Georgia State University.

I loved it there, and had professors who offered me the opportunities and nurturing support that the idiot at 18 lacked.

I met some really incredible people, some of whom remain my friends to this day.

As long as I live, I will be forever grateful for that time, and proud of myself for learning, growing, and making better choices.

And as long as I live, I will get a knot in my stomach when I think of Athens, GA.

But we cannot undo the past.

We can, however, never go back there.

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