Friday, October 29, 2010

A few years at least

I couldn't pin it down exactly. Maybe if I reread some of my old journal entries I could give you a rough estimate. I feel emotions. I can be pretty happy. What I feel more so than anything is loneliness. But I live alone. People expect you to be lonely when you live alone. When I tell fellow college students that I live alone, they usually seem a bit shocked. I am envious of people who have fun relationships with their roommates, almost like they're best friends who've always known each other. Right now I can't think of anyone else, any of my facebook friends or twitter friends, who live alone. I hate living alone.
I lived in a dorm room for my first two years of school, before I transferred to here. I didn't care much for the company of my roommates, so I spent most of my time with the girls next door, talking about celebrities or complaining about school, talking about places we'd rather be. Those girls were the only thing that kept me sane during my time there. If it hadn't been for them, I probably would have transferred out much sooner. I also had some twisted drama with a boy there, which ultimately left me exhausted and numb. I felt stupid. I felt impotent. I felt ugly. I felt old. I felt like I was falling apart. And even after I transferred, the recovery was slow. Spending so much time alone interferes with my sense of time. Time evaporates at a disgusting rate. I wonder maybe if it's because I'm forced to do monotonous maintenance-oriented tasks more so than I would if I lived with another person that I seem to have less time. But more than any specific reason, I think that it's simply unnatural to be alone on a regular basis. Our brains crave social interaction. I've shared my thoughts about this with some of my friends/acquaintances. Of course, they suggest that I should join a club or two. Not a bad idea. (I know how contrary this is going to sound.) But I just don't feel like it. Putting myself out there and ...all that. With the smiling and the introductions, and deciding how I want to present myself...and caring what a new group's perception of me, while not even knowing if I should care what their perception of me is...

If you've read this far, you're a fabulous person. Definitely a people person, you are. Congratulations. Really, some would have already given up.

The point of this entry is that I haven't really been happy about being me for a long time, a good chunk of my life now. I've spent the last 7 years experimenting with different levels of angst, depression, and burn-out. And I don't really know how to get out of it. It's just a matter of pulling my entire self up at once... I mean, it isn't as if I'm not TRYING. I am definitely trying. I just feel alone in it. Like there's no one who really understands how weak I feel. Certainly I know someone who could relate to feeling like they don't have control of their life anymore, though I'm not sure I should characterize what I'm feeling as "out of control." (Psychiatrists love that shit.) I feel like no one really remembers a version of me that was stable and reliable. It really puzzles me when someone describes me... and it's obvious that their impression of me is weak, impertinent, bitchy, narcissistic, unstable, flamboyant, and...dumb. People think I'm dumb.  Just typing that makes my chest tighten up. I have done some really dumb things, some in the pursuit of "knowing."And there's not exactly an abundance of evidence that would support the contrary.
People think I'm incapable. I'm not even the third place ribbon. I'm like the "Good job!" ribbon. The last time I got a "Good job!" ribbon was in the 4th grade at a Cub Scouts function. I threw it in the trash on the way out. One of the moms picked it out and handed it to my dad. I told him that she had a lot of nerve, and he agreed. We one first place the next year.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Step 1

I bought a book yesterday that's all about making the most out of life, by working less and setting different kinds of goals. I love self-help books, but this one has me scratching my head: some of the advice is a quite nonconformist. I'm only 50 pages into the book, but so far I assume the target audience is the middle-class because he assumes that everyone is able to survive on reduced income, while still planning fantastic trips to South America. I have no personal income, and any income that I might be able to obtain would be quickly depleted by day-to-day living, so a lot of the advice regarding vacations isn't currently useful to me. But other advice he gives, concerning life goals and such, could be useful to me, especially because I'll be graduating college next year.
I should also explain how I heard about this author. I follow several travel info accounts on Twitter, and a couple weeks ago I clicked on a link about "Round the World Tickets." The author of the book I'm reading is an expert on them. I didn't know that RTW's were real, but apparently you can just call American Airlines and ask for one and they'll set you up. They're not cheap, starting at $10,000 or so, but for the amount of travel and flexibility that comes with them, it sounds like a nice deal, if you have a month free and an extra $10,000 lying around...not to mention a few thousand more for hotels/food/ground transportation.
Okay, here's a few of the questions he asks on page 46. I thought they'd make for good blogging material. I've paraphrased liberally.
1. Define your nightmare, the absolute worst that could happen if you did what you were considering.
Being ugly and poor. I'm not sure what I'm planning on doing. 
2. What could you do to make things better, even if temporarily? 
Work a minimum wage job and exercise? I guess this applies to a point in the future when I'll have already been graduated. 
3. What are the probable outcomes or benefits? Have less intelligent people done this before and pulled it off? 
Having a comfortable living and not being ugly? YES. 
4. If you were fired from your (hypothetical) job today, what would you do to get things under financial control. Run through questions 1-3 above.
prostitute myself Get a different job?  Move in with someone? Donate plasma. Possible outcomes: shame, humiliation. Pretty intuitive stuff. 
5. What are you putting off out of fear? (What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do...A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one more thing every day that you fear.)
Improving my writing and sharing it with people. Getting in shape.
6. What is it costing you - financially, emotionally, and physcially - to postpone action.
Well, never developing my talents. Having progressively less confidence in my physical appearance. Probably accelerated aging. Less money than I'd have were I published. Less money than a person who's doing the exact same thing, but who is more attractive than me.
7. What are you waiting for?  "The right time" is a bad answer. 
Good question!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Professor: Any announcements? Questions? Concerns?
Student: Tonight the university is hosting Temple Grandin whose research and inventions helped reform the livestock industry and make it more humane. It's at seven o'clock in the life sciences building, in the Monsanto Auditorium.
Professor: Well that's debatable as to whether her ideas actually improved the industry. What time is it again so everyone can hear?
Student: At seven in the Monsanto Auditorium.
Professor: Ha! That's ironic that it's in the Monsanto Auditorium.

What a bitch.