On the edge.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enough Is Enough.”

When was the last time you were ready to throw in the proverbial towel? Did you end up letting go, or decided to fight on anyway?

Letting go isn’t as easy as you think it is. It has always been incredibly hard for me to just simply let go and give up than it is to press on and keep trying.

I’m a junior in college and I’m very close to graduating. About another year or so. I’ve been through all kinds of obstacles, financial hardships, and breakdowns throughout my years here and I always think, why am I doing this? why don’t I just give up before I break completely and save myself now?

A year ago I was at my ends meet. I honestly couldn’t take anymore and didn’t want to take any more. My grades were dropping in 3 out of my 5 classes, those 3 being the more “important” classes due to them being degree requirements. I was so scared of failing, so scared of falling into this pit that I couldn’t dig myself out of.

I was studying for two exams one night, both were equally important and also equally challenging. At around two in the morning I felt like I couldn’t study anymore, I couldn’t process anymore information even if I wanted to. I was too overwhelmed and anxious about the upcoming exams, fearing every second that ticked to its time. I left my dorm and walked outside. It was very cold at the time but that didn’t bother me in the slightest in that moment of revelation. I sat on a bench and thought about what my next possible “move” is going to be. The only thing that swept through my mind, the only option and easiest way out I could think of was walking back up to my room, pack my bags, and leave for home for good. 

But what happened in reality? I went back, re-opened my books and began studying through what seemed like an endless night. Those thoughts chased me but I really just couldn’t actually do it. I’ve worked hard and then to just give up when I’m so close to the end? I can’t do it. Even though I so desperately want to end all of it with just a snap of my fingers, I’m still here. Still trying, still holding on to whatever is keeping me from falling.

Pencil Pusher.

I remember when I was in Pre-K my uncle would sometimes come and pick me up from school. We’d have to sit outside our classroom in the hall way and wait for our parents or whoever was designated to pick you up at about noon.

My uncle was in his early twenties at the time, still a very young individual. I’d see him make his way towards my classroom, wearing baggy jeans and a flannel shirt that was one or two sizes too big. He’d take my hand as we walked across the hall to exit the school while all the remaining children watched as I took my leave.

There was this pencil machine in the middle of the hallway that I liked very much. You would put fifty cents in it and push and pull this metal piece where the coins are placed and out pops a pencil. I found it very fascinating because the pencils came in all different prints and colors and you never got the same pencil twice. It essentially was an endless pit of amusing pencils that you could use.

I always wanted one. I’d see other kids buying them and I’d get excited for them because you didn’t know what pencil you were getting and I’d see the pencil that pushed out of the machine and say something like “I want one too!” but I never had the money for it. I didn’t have the privilege of owning an “extravagant” pencil.

My uncle and I walk down the hall and I look at the pencil machine. About three kids were already in line to buy a pencil. I wanted to see what pencils they got so I lingered a bit more which caused my uncle to look at me. He saw me watching the other kids buying their pencils. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out fifty cents and gives it to me so I too can buy a pencil.

I was ecstatic. I was so happy to have fifty cents in my hand, ready to put it in the machine. I inserted the coins, pushed then pulled them inside the receiver, and out came my pencil. It was decorated with I believe fifty dollar bills. I called it the money pencil. I really liked it, it was by far the neatest pencil I had ever seen.

Every time my uncle would pick me up from school, he’d always give me fifty cents for me to buy a pencil. It made me happy and I think it made him happy too.