Blog Archives

Self-Transformation, etc.

The best way to make a change in your life and how you feel about it is to start trying new things. Everybody knows this, but we all sort of get busy with our lives and push new ideas aside because it’s so much easier to stick with our old routine. Sometimes, though, you’ve just got to go ahead and put on your big girl panties, suck it up and put yourself out there.

funny-cat-mirror-motivation-bathroom

As a person who has a lot of anxiety about interacting with people, this is no easy task for me. Sometimes hanging out with my own friends can be tiring and nerve-racking, so making new ones is not something I’m especially good at or used to. But after weeks of talking about it with my therapist, I’ve finally found some motivation to take the plunge and actually try.

So what am I trying? Well, it’s just baby steps for now, but I’ve been focusing on: a) Cutting back on people-pleasing so damn much and actually doing what’s right for me, b) Making more of an effort to socialize with my roommates and in general, and c) Trying things that I am interested in instead of just letting opportunities slip by. How I’ve been doing this is: a) I told my roommates I want to live somewhere else this fall. I just can’t live with pets anymore without some sort of allergic reaction, and even though that’s not my fault, I was really dreading the idea of telling them I want to move out. I didn’t want them to think I was being unreasonable or hurt their feelings, so I really considered just staying where I’m at, but in the long run I know moving out is the better choice for me. b) On Monday nights I set aside time to watch The Bachelor with my roommates. Honestly, I think the show is super sexist and ridiculous, but it’s something they enjoy, and I like watching it with them because we all add our own commentary. It’s a good bonding activity, especially when we break out the wine. c) I’ve been searching for a club to join this semester that fits in with my schedule and is something I maybe won’t get the opportunity to do after college. So next week I’m going to a Tango Club meeting, because I suck at dancing and I’d like to be better at it. I’m not setting up any high expectations—I’ll go, and if I like it I’ll keep going. If I don’t like it, I won’t go, and I’ll probably try to find some sort of craft club to join. My therapist used an interesting metaphor for this; she said that it was sort of like gardening, where right now is the time to just try to plant a bunch of seeds. Some of them won’t grow into anything, but others hopefully will, and after time they can turn into something great that I can pick and make into jam or some shit. So basically, I’ve got to try some new things, find what I like, stick to the ones I enjoy the most, and eventually it will bring me a sense of purpose or some friends or at least a fun way to spend a Wednesday night. (For all of you non-therapy goers, metaphors always turn up eventually, even though it’s so stereotypical, and they are almost always something strange that sound stupid in any other situation.) Anyway, I’m planting my seeds, readers. Hopefully something will grow.

In other news, I’ve also had some good changes with Jessie, my ex-partner living in Central America. Since allowing each other to see other people, we’ve become more honest with another and more realistic about our relationship. Now that I feel less pressure to tie my future to his*, I actually feel more inclined to. But I’m not making any sort of promises still, because there’s more work I need to do about figuring out how I want my life to be. In a strange way, I think we are sort of better than ever at this point.

Being honest means I’ve fessed up to seeing someone else in the past few weeks. Now, by “seeing someone” I just mean hanging out and intimacy—it is not a relationship with labels and I intend to keep it that way. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed spending time with this guy (who will be anonymous for now) and it has taught me a lot about the kind of person I am looking for. After looking back at some of my old relationships I now see them in a different light; where I once thought I had serious, adult love I recognize that it was young, foolish love that was based on a naïve dream. Now I know that while it is fun to spend time with people who are free spirits and idealists in your 20’s, the person I want to marry one day is someone I could count on, who is responsible and reliable. And that’s not to say that free spirits and idealists aren’t great people…I just know now that I’m going to need someone who I can both dream with, and conquer reality with.

I had a funny sort of inspiration for all of these realizations lately. Yesterday I was sitting in my car outside my therapist’s office, looking out the window, and thinking about what it would be like if I were pregnant. Mind you, I have no desire to be a mother any time soon, but  since I’ve lost track of my periods I was a little concerned about this at the time. (Just for the record, though, I’m not pregnant.) Anyway, I sat there picturing myself with a little boy who was mine and I suddenly saw this attainable version of myself that I’d like to be someday. I was independent, and I trusted my instincts though I was sometimes scared, and I stuck to important values that I wanted to pass on to my kid. Values like being honest instead of proud, being kind and fair,  especially when you don’t agree with someone, and learning about the things you don’t understand instead of dismissing them. I know it sounds sort of silly, but when you think of the life you’d like to give to someone you love with all of your heart, it becomes clear what you think people deserve. And I think if you can take that idea of life, and apply it to yourself instead, you realize that maybe you deserve that too.

So this is my journey in becoming someone I can admire and aspire to. It’s not going to be easy (in fact, it will most likely be pretty uncomfortable as I push myself to do new things), and it’s going to take time and work, but I’m trying because at the end of the day if I tried, at least I did something different.

de5ccffba634afacbdf8ad521513b120

 

*In the past, I’ve used she/her or they/them pronouns for Jessie (or tried just avoiding using pronouns altogether), however recently I learned that Jessie’s correct pronouns are he/him, so that’s what I’m going to start using!

Advertisements

The Hard Decisions

b0105ec58eeda1ca7045d2200557a9ef

I didn’t plan it like this. I have no plan. Maybe that’s a problem, maybe it’s not.

Last night I suddenly found myself asking my partner for a break. It was incredibly hard, because a) I still love her very much b) I knew she would not be happy about taking a break c) I absolutely hate disappointing her, and generally anything that makes her unhappy. But it was the right thing to do, and I have to keep telling myself that despite all of the guilt I feel.

It’s not like I’m unhappy being with her. On the contrary, she makes me so happy and content with life. But there are things I need to learn about myself, and I need to learn them alone. Like, for instance, how to have a life a part from my relationships. I disappear in the people I love, and I stop doing what I need and do what they need instead. And that’s not the worst quality to have, I know, but it’s not fair and it’s not what I want. I want to be able to love someone and be self-reliant at the same time. I want relationships that are healthy, and not functioning as my lifeboat.

She’s an amazing person. She makes me laugh, holds me when I cry, surprises me all the time, and inspires me to pursue my dreams. But the thing is, I don’t know what my dreams are anymore. And while I was happy to be with her, even long distance, I found myself trying to live through her. I would wait for our Skype conversations each night, and her texts each morning. Everything else was just passing time. So I found myself questioning if that was the kind of life I wanted to live for the next two months, until I see her again.

It boils down to this: I’m not ready for the kind of serious relationship where you start thinking in terms of years from now. I’m only 21, and I have so much left to figure out about what I want in life. I don’t want to decide who I’m going to marry because I haven’t even decided when, where, and how I’m going to grad school. I haven’t decided what kind of career I want to have. I haven’t decided where I want to live, where I want to travel, or even where I’m going to live this fall when my lease is up on my current apartment. I’m just not ready, and I’d rather be honest about that than try to make promises I can’t keep.

It hit both of us last night when my partner (ex-partner?….sigh) said, “I know that you’re the best thing for me.” And I said….nothing. At least not at first. “You seem so certain about that, and the thing is, that’s what I want.” I wiped off my tears, “I want to be that certain about something, whether it’s a person or a place or anything. But…I’m just not.”

It was the kind of brutal honesty that leaves you with nothing to say. I looked at her and could practically hear both our hearts breaking, because that’s not what she wanted to hear and not what I wanted to say. But it was the truth, and while I hope one day I can say all of the things that make her happy, I’m just not there yet. And I’ll be damned if I hurt her even more by leading her on and pretending to be ready for things I’m not, like Fred sort of did with me.

So that’s where I’m at. I think this is important because I don’t want to lose her, and I didn’t want to break up. But I did it, I made the hard decision, because I believe it was the right one for me. And I’m not ashamed of not being ready, and I’m not going to beat myself up and say I was the bad guy.

I’m just a young person, searching for a purpose, a dream, and a chance to become the person I’ve always wanted to be. I need time to grow up, and then someday, whenever that may be, I’m going to use that progress to build a life with someone I love. And I’ll not only be the person they deserve, but the person I deserve, too.

Break-Your-Heart-Featured

Thanks For the Food, Not the Memories

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I can’t wait for the food, but I can wait for everything else. I hate being around my family, and I hate small talk, so I imagine hell being a giant Thanksgiving dinner where all they serve is salad and non-alcoholic drinks. Luckily, tomorrow I can skip the salad and spend most of the evening in a semi-drunk state where the racist and homophobic things my family says/does seems more amusing than awful.

tumblr_nxtw3nGSKl1u9ke5lo1_500

Last Thanksgiving Fred and I had two dinners with his family and two with mine. I thought that’s how the rest of my Thanksgivings would go for many years to come, but here I am a year later, planning to hang out in the bathroom for a fourth of the night, eating during another fourth, and sitting in the corner miserably drinking a beer/glass of wine for the rest of the night. Boy, there’s no time like the holidays.

I would just spend Thanksgiving with my girlfriend’s family, but the only thing more horrifying for my dad than seeing me this Thanksgiving is having me spend Thanksgiving with my girlfriend. So I ended up being guilted into coming home. It’s been significantly boring and depressing so far, but at least tonight I have plans with my old friend Val. I see a lot of laughing and bitching happening, and I’m excited. Most of the time I feel weird talking about my life to people (hence the need to talk about it online), but with Val it’s different. She always wants to know what’s going on and asks questions. It makes me feel good to know that my life is worth talking about, even if it’s just to her, and maybe two other friends.

In other news, I just came back from a road trip with some friends from high school. It was such a great time; I’m so glad I went. The only bad part of the trip is the dreams I kept having every night. It’s like my brain refused to quit ruminating on my feelings, even for just a few days. So I had anxiety dreams featuring my girlfriend, Charles, Isaac, and Fred. Someone send me back to therapy…

As much as I can’t wait for my classes to be over, I dread the end of this semester because it means I have to spend time with my family over Christmas break and say goodbye to my girlfriend on January 1st when she moves to Costa Rica. I’m not very optimistic about what 2016 will have in store for me, honestly.

I just want to move away and have my own life away from my family and memories of my relationship with Fred. I want my own apartment, the freedom to travel with my girlfriend, and time to have hobbies again. I want to start my own life, and get away from the life created by my family and old boyfriend. I’m not that person anymore, and I don’t belong in the same spaces I used to.

I need a change, readers. A big one. I need to get the hell out of here and move on with my life. I want to be happy again, and I want it to stick.

They Never Told Me/Drowning

NotDrowning

They never told me.

They never said anything about what to do when your mom cries to you, because your sexuality is tearing the family apart.

They never mentioned that the older I would get, the less I felt worthy to have friends, or that I would constantly feel like my friends didn’t actually like me.

No one talked to me about how sex could be used as a bargaining tool—I give you my body, you pretend like you care.

I don’t remember hearing anything about what to do when you’re 13 and your best friend gets molested, and you’re the only person in the world that knows.

And how to react when your supposed soulmate cheats on you, and your trust in love is broken.

No one told me that the urge to cut would stay when I went to college.

I must have missed the talk where you learn how to feel happy even though you are constantly tired and barely keeping your head above water in classes.

I guess someone forgot to teach me how to look in the mirror without seeing all the mistakes I’ve made.

Why didn’t someone warn me about how all of my childhood dreams would become ruined?

Who was supposed to send the instructions about being rejected by your family?

Because I’m drowning, and I can’t swim.

No one brought the life jacket.

When “Forever” Isn’t Forever

letting-go1

My roommate Caitlin and I got into a discussion earlier this week about losing friends. Well, not so much losing as it was wondering when it was time to let go. Was it when they didn’t call you back again? Was it when you tried to remember the last time you two hung out? Was it when you realized you didn’t want to tell them about your problems anyone? Or worse: was it when you realized they no longer care if you do tell them about your problems?

Whenever you go off to college everyone tells you that you’ll forget about your high school friends, and I find that to be untrue. Both me and my roommate have stayed relatively close to our high school friends back home, probably because we see them whenever we visit our long distance boyfriends. But, whatever the reasons may be, we still love them and find things to talk about and laugh about, and for some of them it feels as if no time has passed at all.

But then there are the other friends from high school. The ones that make you wonder if everyone was right–maybe we aren’t meant to be friends forever. Which is fine in some cases, because when you grow apart to someone you never knew very well it’s not that sad. But in other cases these were the people you planned your future with. “Someday we’ll go on a road trip, like a real spring break thing!” “I can’t wait until we show up at our high school reunion being all successful and still hot!” “You’re definitely going to be a bridesmaid in my wedding!” You know, stupid stuff you talked about while you were avoiding homework or complaining about living at home. They knew all of your secrets, and you knew all of theirs. You still have their mix CDs in your car and they still have the earrings you bought them for their 16th birthday. These are the friends you never thought you could grow apart from, until you did.

And I’m not saying that growing apart means you will never speak to them again or won’t be close again somewhere down the road, but it is that sad realization that maybe you don’t have a lot in common anymore. Maybe your lives have taken very different directions. Maybe, maybe you’ve been replaced by other friends. And it makes you quiet and remember all of the good times, but also makes you stop when you begin to pick up the phone to call them.

There’s nothing wrong with losing friends. People come and go, in and out of your life and that’s just a fact. The older you get the more “used to be” friends you have, and the list current friends shrinks. You go to college, you start a career, you have a family. Friends to sit with at lunch and have sleepovers on the weekends aren’t really necessary anymore, and you don’t have as much extra time to spare. But that doesn’t make it any less sad.

Sometimes you have to let people go, not because you want to, but they want to. True friends are not the ones you talk to everyday, but the ones you can always count on, no matter how many months or years it’s been since you last spoke. So even if you let them go, maybe you will find them again. We don’t always know what the right thing to do is until we do it, until we let go of the familiar and allow the world to bring us something new.

Adulthood, And Other Scary Thoughts

MjAxMy0xYTFlNmI2ZDA4MjA4NWQ0

The longer I’m in college, the more I realize what kind of adult I’m going to turn into, and what a scary thought that is. I have this picture of my adult self in my head, carrying around a real purse that wasn’t bought from Journey’s and showing up to work with her hair in a way that looks both faltering and serious. Adult me wears slacks and blazers and drives a practical car that’s not from the ’90s. She gets things done. And if I’m right in my predictions, she will border on “emotional mess” and “type A personality”. Scary, scary thoughts here.

I have this prediction because right now my life is one to-do list after another, one rant session to my roommate Caitlin after another, and it doesn’t really seem to be changing. In the back of my mind, I’m dreaming of things normal college students dream of, like backpacking through Europe and moving in with my boyfriend. But in the front of my mind I’m panicking about getting into graduate school two years from now and trying to plan out a time to get research experience next year and trying to stay on top of the reading for all of my classes and trying to find a place to live next year with my friends and TRYING. I’m trying so hard to get it all right, but I’m not perfect, I forget and fail and it freaks me out. And freaking out will make me wish I could talk to my long-distance boyfriend and then I will get all sad and miss him and find reasons to be angry that should never exist. If this is any indication of adulthood, I think I’ll go ahead and run away with the circus right about now.

But, even though I’m drowning in a sea of things I need to do and am not doing, there are always the good things. I feel pretty good about myself appearance-wise nowadays, and that makes me feel proud, especially because I haven’t done a thing to alter my body, just my attitude. And I’m still completely in love with my boyfriend, which makes the whole planning-our-lives-together thing a bit easier, haha. My friends are great too, both here and back home. I feel confident that if I ever become super super stressed I could rely on them for help. And my mom is great too, as always. And the Vagina Monologues is coming up again, which is such a wonderfully empowering experience. So my life isn’t really in the pits, just sort of teetering on the edge some days.

As I look around me at this world of college students I can’t help but feel as if everyone either has their shit together more than I do, or less than I do. Apart from my friends, I can’t seem to find anyone else on my level of freak out and maturity. Are they worried about not measuring up to the standards of grad school admissions offices too? Are they wishing they could just skip a few years so they can be with the person they love, have their future figured out, and be done with French classes?

The picture in my head of my adult self will probably just stay a picture forever…I’m probably going to end up a slightly wiser, and older version of myself without some dramatic change of character and calmness (but I’m still holding out hope for the calmness and maturity…). But maybe someday I will buy a pair of slacks. And maybe some sort of clown-college-graduate-school hybrid will take me into their program. And maybe I’ll end up with a hybrid as my car, too.

I guess as long as there’s still time to speculate about the future, than I haven’t really screwed up yet.

My Summer Update

It’s funny how some places make you feel old and others make you feel young. In a college town, I’m considered a little freshman. Back home, I’ve moved on from the tedious activities I found stimulating in high school, like hanging out with the people who still are a part of it. I know that sounds super asshole-ish of me to say, because this time last summer I had just graduated, but from the moment my parents dropped me off at campus high school became a distant dream. My hopes and worries became completely different from those of my old peers. And hanging around the high school became really…lame.

But anyway, today I have a graduation party to go to. Last Saturday I went to one which was nice enough, but made me really glad I decided to not have a graduation party last summer. People were crammed into this guy’s bedroom watching this one guy mess around with Minecraft, a video game I find as boring as its name. Since I came late, I opted to stay outside on the porch and nibble on the food. My friends came out and joined me, and we all stayed out there the entire time. I know it was pretty rude and anti-social of us, but it was nice out and the room was crammed full of some decent people sprinkled with truly insufferable asses. I never really got a chance to catch up with the guy who threw the party, a guy I knew since he was a little freshman, and never got to see his face as he read the card I gave him. I spent around an hour on the card, and even though there wasn’t any money or anything in it, I was pretty heartfelt in it. But there was this box out front for cards, so I had to slip it in there instead, like an anonymous complaint or something. I just hope this party is a bit less awkward. At least this time my boyfriend can go with me, so I will have him by my side to make the sight of my ex and his new girlfriend less annoying. Since we all belong to the same friend group, they show up to a lot of these events and act very cold and uncomfortable  towards me and my friends. That’s another thing about this small town that I’m not super thrilled about.

But things with my boyfriend are still super great, if not even super greatER. I don’t even know what to mention specifically…it’s everything. We understand each other so well and are constantly finding out new things about the other person. This summer has been a lot about experiencing new things together so far; we’ve gone to concerts, a carnival, thrift shopping, movies, reading new/old books together…. It’s just the most beautiful, amazing, exhilarating feeling to look at the person next to you, and find them looking back. That’s the simplest way I can put it.

In other news, I’ve started working at a daycare with a few of my friends. The Pros: I get weekends off, evenings off after 6 o’clock, and get to roll into work at 11:30 so I can sleep in. My co-workers are nice or at least decently polite, and I get to complain with my friends after work. The Cons: Poopy diapers, bosses only concerned with covering their asses, kids that don’t mind you (especially during nap time), getting hit in the face with toys, and recess during hot afternoons. I talk about the daycare a lot, and am surprised at how much I don’t mind working there despite the fact that I have never really liked kids. It’s exhausting work, but I am determined to get through it, week by week. Besides, some of the kids are actually growing to like me a bit (not sure why though… I’m usually a big hard ass with them) which is nice in its own weird way. I’ve talked about it with my boyfriend, and have decided that the biggest lesson the daycare has taught me is to not let our future kid turn out to be an asshole.

Other than the daycare, hanging out with my boyfriend and friends, and doing activities like concerts and grad parties, my mission is to do something about my disaster of a room. I haven’t exactly unpacked, and my bed frame broke so my mattress is on the floor, and I’ve been going through my old toys and papers and things… it’s a wreck, and I want to just get my own place already so I won’t have to do all this constant packing and unpacking and moving my life from place to place. I don’t belong here, I don’t belong there… One thing I miss about high school is the permanence.

Anyway, that’s my life this summer so far. It’s a lot less depressing than my last post, and probably sounds incredibly boring. I’m okay with that.

Signs Of Life

Well, here I am. I am here, in this dorm, in this campus, in this city, this state, this world, this life. What’s it like? Like the first part of my life was a quiet pasture, and now I find myself wandering in the mountains (grand, steep, and slippery…). Suddenly LIFE has rushed into my space, a wave of wonder and independence live on my doorstep. There are people everywhere, there are events all the time, and how much or little of it you take is all up to you. Some parts of college I expected, but others never crossed my mind. Such as, how friendly people can be that first week. Nearly everyone will just introduce themselves to a stranger and be interested to know where they’re from, what their major is, and what dorm they’re in. With so many people swarming around, I’m surprised I felt like I had air to breathe. And getting a routine down, getting used to my new surroundings? A snap. Feeling at ease? That happens as soon as you make your first friend.

What about my first college friends? Well, I was standing in the dining hall, holding my plate, when these girls at a nearby table asked if I wanted to join them. I was sort of hovering near their table, hoping they would do this. Not that I didn’t have the guts to ask myself, but because the only time their mouths weren’t open talking was when they were waiting to see if I would sit down or not. I sat down, and people got up from the table just as more came along. So I met a lot of people, and ended up staying at the dining hall until close with three of them. And then we all walked around campus. And then, just like that, I had friends. Now that it’s been over a week, our friendship has faded a bit. They all live in a different dorm, and stick together like glue. And I guess glue just forgets to invite the outsider to lunch or whatever. But life goes on. Ironically, this girl I went to high school with is not only in my dorm, but is the cousin of my roommate.  Though we didn’t talk much in high school, we’ve actually become pretty close lately. She has a long-distance boyfriend back in our hometown, so we like to discuss how much we hate seeing couples around campus because our boyfriends aren’t here to hold our hands and make us seem obnoxious to other people in long-distance relationships. It’s been going well so far.

How did I feel when my parents left me? Relieved. Sad. Alone. Unsure. They cheerfully told me I’d have fun, gave a hug each, and hopped in the car to drive away while I sat in my car crying. I would have been ok if I had someone familiar and comforting like my boyfriend at my side, but realizing that he was also gone made me cry harder.

Speaking of him, long distance actually hasn’t been too bad. Don’t get me wrong–it sucks immensely. But we talk everyday, and staying busy helps a lot. There’s also little things that help, like counting down the days until I see him again (8!) and talking with my new friend from high school. I miss cuddling, hand-holding, hugging, even just seeing his face….but I know if I wait, those things will come back to me when I come back to him.

As for my mental health, I’m very proud of myself. I’ve been working out everyday, sometimes with a few girls from my floor, and try to do something social everyday too, even if it’s just grabbing dinner with someone. I’ve also been taking my medicine everyday, and only talk with my old high school gang or family every once-in-a-while so I don’t start to feel homesick. Also, I’ve started my new job at the on-campus copying center, which makes me feel good too.

So, no, nothing about college is perfect (especially the classes, but I’ll get to those another time), but I’m confident that I’ll be able to stand back up in moments of weakness and brush the dirt off my shoulders. That’s what being an adult is all about, isn’t it?

Real Talk On Drugs

A few nights ago, I drove my friend up to the hospital while she was high because her boyfriend had just overdosed on heroin.

As a teenager in this modern age, I’ve seen my fair share of drugs. Not that I’m a junkie myself, or spend much time around junkies in general, but I’ve gone to high school. You hear things, you see things, you meet people. Drugs crop up on your radar no matter what kind of person you are, where you spend your Friday nights, and what kind of school you go to. And while my experiences with drugs were HARDLY the description D.A.R.E. officers or health teachers would scare us as kids with, they have been enough to ensure that I’m just not interested in that sort of lifestyle.

Now, let’s take a moment to talk about friendship. Friendship, real, true-blue friendship, means that you are willing to spend time with someone on a general basis, no matter what. Even if you are just hanging out at Walmart, or they are crying because they were just dumped, or you’re having a blast at the water park. The good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s what real friendship is about–sticking it out with someone and staying by their side no matter what life brings them.

Now let’s put the two together. As a teenager, you do a lot of your growing up with your friends and your friendship experiences all the nasty twists and turns and phases that people go through when they are stuck in high school. And because we are all human beings and have the wonderful ability to be absolutely stupid, we can make some funny decisions. Now, going through high school you have to really pick the right friends. Your friends determine how a good portion of your high school experience will be, and can land you anywhere from going to an Ivy League college to Hollywood to a pro athlete to jail, because every group of friends does different things when they are together. But, because people can change so drastically during this time, it’s hard to tell where your friends will lead you…

So I had a great group of friends in high school–just a fantastic group of people–but there was one, I’ll call her Ruth, that bounced between smoking and drinking every once-in-a-while. It was never anything constant, and I knew a lot of people experimented a bit in high school, so I didn’t judge her. After all, she was a great friend, and a good listener who helped me a lot whenever I’d get depressed. We always had a lot of fun, and I knew she was a good person. Then my junior year I decided to experiment myself. I had never drank before, apart from sips of beer or wine my parents would let me have from time to time, and so I decided to go for it. So sometimes during sleepovers we would bring along something we snuck from the liquor cabinet, and drink and giggle and spill our secrets until the wee hours of the morning. But then the summer came, and we wanted to party. Which we did, a bit, and met other people who liked to “have a good time” too. We were both going through some rough things that summer, and having fun like that was our escape from the loneliness and pain we felt by ourselves. Well, for a while it was all fun and games, but eventually you get bored again. So we took up smoking pot sometimes. Yes, it was a drug, but it wasn’t addictive or dangerous–you couldn’t overdose on pot. Well, the more time went on, the more frequent we smoked. But then Ruth took up a new habit of going through the medicine cabinet and snorting painkillers–primarily Oxycontin. I drew the line there. Nothing was going up my nose; I was already concerned about my own use of pot. I told her I didn’t think it was wise to go to anything beyond a little pot, but she liked it and continued to do it in secret. Well, you know how the story goes. You run out of your own supply, you need more, you meet shady people, cops show up, Mom finds out, and next thing you know you’re sitting in rehab. So while I began my senior year, Ruth began treatment.

It was then that I stopped smoking. The summer was over, and things needed to be serious again. Eventually Ruth returned going to school full time, and I was there for her during the evenings she wasn’t at treatment. Well, during treatment she met this guy, an older guy. Ruth had been doing really good, and while I was happy she was happy while they hung out, I was concerned about his own habits. He was a recovering heroin addict, and that fact was enough to try to convince her to date someone else. But she didn’t, and they became a couple. Eventually I met him, and found that he was a pretty nice guy. She would talk about him with stars in her eyes, telling me different he was from the other guys she’d been with, how much they had in common, and how happy he made her. Since they had been together for weeks and they both were clean, I finally gave it my blessing.

Well, nothing is forever. She loved him, and after she completed treatment he quit. Eventually he returned to his habits, and like I originally suspected, she picked them up right with him. So began the phone calls from a crying Ruth, so began the attempts to separate should he keep wanting to use. And then the other night I get one of the crying phone calls, only this time it was because he had overdosed and Ruth had called 911. So there I was, past midnight in the ER, watching Ruth’s boyfriend puke his guts out. There I sat, while he suggested leaving without the doctor’s approval because a) maybe they were waiting to arrest him and b) he was fine anyway. His eyes were barely open and his words were slurred as he said this. The worst part? Ruth, who had tears continuously streaming from her glassy eyes was actually considering what he was saying.

Eventually he was released though, and I drove them home. I ended up getting home past 1am, crying myself from anger at the situation and the speeding ticket I was just issued, completely dreading my 8am to 4pm shift at McDonald’s later that morning.

And why did I do it? Friendship. Do I ever want to do that again? No. Hell no. Will they break up? I don’t know. Will he stay clean this time around (implying that he tries to)? Probably not, but I hope so anyway. Do I hate heroin? Yes. Am I mad at Ruth? No. But I’m sad for her. She’s so much smarter than this and needs to be kinder to herself. Did I ever think this would happen?

Did I ever think this would happen? No. Absolutely not. But for all of you readers out there, let me tell you: you never do.

The Adult Life, Part 2

Being young, sometimes life moves in slow motion. The first time you see someone smile can take what feels like five minutes instead of five seconds, as you watch and feel your inhibition melt off of you like wax on a candle. A song can last forever, drawing out memories faster than actual musical notes. But at the same time, life moves at hyper speed. Hours of talking/touching slip from your fingers, as quickly as a breeze. Relationships turn over like waves on the shore, each washing something new onto shore. And those are just examples about our love lives… Yet, according to everyone past their younger years (namely, old people), we are supposed to build our entire lives out of these moments that play fast and slow with our hearts.

Well great. Why is it that when you’re young and busy you have all of this huge pressure on your shoulders to do all this majestic crap? Why can’t we figure out what to do with the rest of our lives in our thirties when we are most likely married or parents or at least holding a stable job? You know, when we’ve got some stuff taken care of so we actually have time to figure out this shit instead of all at once?

But don’t listen to my whining; what do I know? I’m an 18 year old college freshman about to move out on my own in a whole new city/area, starting to plan my financial future and career, and am about to leave behind everyone I know–and I do mean everyone. Where I’m going I won’t have any family, friends, or even acquaintances around from these past 18 years of life. What do I know about life’s pressures?

UnknownLook, I know when you are older you are wiser, and blah blah blah, but why are young people not taken as seriously as the older generations? After all, we are the people who will be running the world when you are getting your third hip replacement and the highlight of your week is the grocery trip to Save A Lot. Why is it that instead of guidance, young adults are left to suffer the consequences of every single choice we make on our own? And by guidance I don’t mean lectures. Believe me, we’ve had lectures. I’m talking about discussion, actual problem-solving and intellectual debating over issues going on right in front of our noses. Why is it that college students (or even older high school students) do not get involved anymore in our communities and retreat into our worlds of social media and commercial persuasion? Because in the real issues we are not taken seriously. And now, in this controversial time in US government and politics, when the “real” adults are bickering over bills in congress like toddlers do with toys, the younger generation is called up to the plate to take a swing at settling the arguments. But we don’t, because the truth is, our society has changed so rapidly in the past few decades that our elders don’t know what it’s like to be our age. The need for them to understand us and our issues as we try to understand them  and theirs is more pressing than ever, and we need that courtesy and respect before we even begin to cooperate with each other to get anything resolved.

So, I’m calling on all “real” adults out there–next time you are talking with a rookie hear them out. Don’t dismiss them for how much time they spend on Facebook or text. Don’t compare their education to yours (because after all, I think it is blatantly obvious that education, of all things, has changed over the years). And don’t be stuck in your own opinions to the point where you can’t be open-minded. After all, things change. 

I know I’ve done a lot of ranting in this post…most of it subjective…but that does not make the facts any less true, which are that I am a young person desperate to be heard, acknowledged by the adult world as having legitimate responsibility, and over all taken seriously. I’m reaching out, however minor it may be; someone please reach back.

%d bloggers like this: