If someone would have walked up to me five months ago, and told me, “Junior year you will get lost in yourself, and you will not know how to find your way out.” I would have said they were wrong; that I knew everything there was to know about myself, that I knew how to handle stress, that I would stay in control and be strong.
If that person was me, let’s just say, and it was some screwed-up universe where I could time travel and warn my past self about future suckiness, my past self would have said something different. She would have been scared. Perplexed at how we could let that happen. And then she would have snapped into action, preparing herself for the worst and taking every precaution. Who knows if that would have helped anything, though.
But why the different reactions? Why was I hypothetically so quick to believe the worst from myself, instead of a stranger? Is it just that I am determined to prove others wrong when they tell me things about myself? Or is it because I have the slightest amount of faith in myself?
I hate to be in fights with people. I remember this fight I had with Val in eighth grade, where we kept pushing each other’s buttons during a particular phone conversation. We didn’t talk for a week exactly, and while it taught me self-reliance in a strange way, it also gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that just wouldn’t go away. No matter how happy I’d feel, as long as we were fighting, the sick feeling remained. Finally I called her, and told her that I missed her. The first thing she said back to me was that she missed me too, and tried calling earlier. So, while I still felt a bit peeved at her, it didn’t matter in comparison to how much I missed her and how glad I was to hear that she missed me too.
I guess that’s how you know you really care about someone.
But it’s one thing when you have that fight with a friend, and it’s another to have it with a guy. Guys are different. Most of them like to hold grudges and get all gruff when you try to explain your side. Which makes it harder to call them up and say, “Hey, I know you may still be mad, but we haven’t talked in what feels like forever and I miss you.”
When I called Val I was nervous. Just thinking about calling up a guy provokes the same feeling. But it seems scarier, because they could just call it quits. Friends don’t just call it quits, not real ones.
And I guess if you’re going to have a guy in your life to the point where you get into spats you should at least be friends. But why can’t it work the same way? Why can’t people just talk things out instead of getting all MAD?
If you can’t tell, I’m not exactly a confrontational person. I don’t really get mad at people, either. That doesn’t mean I’m some happy person who never gets pissed off at life, now, (I can’t stand those people) but the little things that people get all worked up about don’t get to me. Not really. Most of the time I just brush it off my shoulders and move on. Every once in a while, it’ll get under my skin and start becoming a bother, but nine times out of ten I’ll end up more sad than mad about it.
I’m not too sure why—it’s not like I’m this hugely depressing person or anything.
But back on topic. This coping thing I just explained, it sort of makes things difficult when they do bother me. I either take an extraordinarily long time to get over stuff, or I don’t.
I’ll let it all simmer and stew until I’m about ready to explode. Then usually I say something. But when I do I don’t yell. I’m not even mad anymore. I’m just hurt. And I think of all those things I let go and feel sad because they all feel like dead ends. Emotions I let go of without even looking at why they were there.
This year, junior year, is making those dead ends stack up, and fast. Whenever I do have time to catch my breath, I look at them and can only ask, “What do I do with these things?”
So that’s why I’m thinking about this alternate-universe person. Because they seem like they’d know the answer, and they don’t even exist.
They’d also know how the fight turns out.
And they’d tell me which path to go down, rather than having me stand at the intersection, asking, “Where the hell am I going?”
Originally written: 11/6/11