I began reading Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and a quote stood out to me. It reads, “You’re the only girl I’ve seen for a long time that actually did look like something blooming.”
Putting that quote into a different context, I think that more recently, that girl may be me.
For those of you who have read this book, I do not consider myself to be Rosemary, though I feel like I can connect to many aspects of her innocence, dreams and the subtle transformation of her character. But reading this one quote captured me, as if slowly everything in the world came to a halt. At that moment, I felt like I was motionlessly looking at myself through a mirror, self-examining and wondering about how I myself had finally bloomed perhaps, into a more complex and intricate being.
Everyone around me is going to university, and I feel as though I have strayed from the usual path. I have started making my way, but I can still see everybody, and I question whether I should turn back while I can. Looking at my past self, I sometimes realise how naive and anxious I had been, but I have made the decision that time is not worth wasting on things that ultimately won’t matter to us and determine who we are if we don’t let them.
The primal reason behind my gap year is not getting into my first choice university because of 1 mark (literally). But I have come to realise life moves on and we have little control in that matter.
And you know what? I think that can sometimes be a great thing. Life is constantly ushering you forward, endlessly propelling you into the future. Unlike the Rosemary, we are not fictional, and someone else does not and cannot control what we say and do. We exist. This is reality. And we have to seize it.
There is always a part of us that blooms with new experiences, like Rosemary; and for me – I think it will be this gap year.
I hope that my journey can reassure someone out there that it’s all going to be okay. And it will.
“In any case you mustn’t confuse a single failure with a final defeat.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night