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Alone, But Not Lonely

contentment

About three weeks ago, I decided to make a change. I wanted to be alone. As a person who has spent the better part of five years unconsciously trying to avoid being alone, this was sort of a big deal for me. For most of that time I had been jumping from serious relationship to serious relationship…out of love, yes. But also out of fear. After many bouts of depression, I was petrified of being alone and facing my demons; I liked the safety and security of knowing I could always pick up the phone and run to someone who loved me. And while I will never deny the beauty and selflessness of that kind of reliance, I acknowledge now that it wasn’t always healthy for me.

Last January, my partner moved out-of-country. I was screwed, to put it frankly. My friendships were shot to hell; my courage was buried under self-loathing and pity. I withdrew from the world and everyone in it. And from that spiral of depression I hit rock bottom—quit school, quit my job, quit my life in that town and ran back home. Though I was ashamed of these decisions at the time, I don’t regret them. They were scary and awful…and exactly what I needed.

Everybody says to do the things that scare you. This has been my mantra for years. But during most of the time I took that as my excuse to dive into relationships headfirst without taking a breath. What I should have done was take some time: for myself, by myself. I realized all of this about three weeks ago, in the midst of yet another serious relationship.

So we decided to take a break. I needed to know I could still accomplish my dreams of traveling the world, and I needed to know I wasn’t in that relationship simply because it was comfortable. It wasn’t exactly an easy time for us either—medication had made my libido completely evaporate, and the passion between us went with it. I constantly felt guilty because of this, which made me start to distance myself from my partner.

And just like that, we were broken up yet again; I was on my own. And for the first time in a long time, I wasn’t struck by paralyzing fear. I felt okay…the world wasn’t ending; the sunlight had not been buried by clouds. I was free to do whatever I wanted, and I did just that. I spent time at home more, I tackled projects I said I’d do months ago, and I planned new activities to try. I slipped back into a feeling I hadn’t had in a long time: self-reliance. I was alone, yet perfectly content.

Only then did I realize how stressed I had been. The combination of a full-time school schedule, a part-time work schedule, and squeezing relationship-time into all my free time had done a number on me…it wasn’t until I sat in my room one night and let it dawn on me that I had nothing to do…not one thing…that I felt delirious with joy. No more living half my week at my partner’s place, no more driving, packing, planning, and no more feeling guilty for being tired and drained when we finally had a chance to enjoy our time together!

This time by myself has been so important to me… I have woken up, taken charge of my life, and decided what needs to change and what doesn’t. Sometimes that means burning bridges and disappointing the people you love, and other times it means building bridges and letting yourself love more. Like always, I had let my tendency to people-please get the best of me these past months…But now, I feel self-aware enough to say no sometimes, and make my own plans. After all, if I’m not taking care of myself then I can’t give the people in my life the love they deserve.

And they deserve so, so much…

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Why I Hate Dating and Dating Hates Me

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Here’s a new possible title for my autobiography: DATING: The Reason My Youth and Sexuality Were Squandered and I’m Writing A Book Instead of Getting Laid. Too long?

Readers, dating is not the most important thing in the world. I know, you know it, and even characters that hardly existed apart from their love lives like Carrie Bradshaw knew it. But sometimes, when all you’re asking from the world is to get laid by a beautiful queer woman, it can feel like the entire universe is uniting for the single purpose of making sure every queer woman on the planet stays as far away from you as possible….so, pretty important stuff.

In spite of knowing the ridiculousness of that overly dramatic statement, it might actually be true. So far I’m striking out left and right (yep, even when they swipe right) on Tinder and I’m starting to make lists of every shitty thing I’ve ever done so I can discover what I did to piss Karma off so badly. Last semester dating seemed so easy: a guy would message me, and I’d message back if I felt he might be fuck-worthy. And then if he played his cards right, it’d actually happen. But this semester I’m more interested in dating women rather than men, and I seem to suck at it.

It’s like being thirteen all over again. How do you flirt with them? How do you know if you’re being too forward or too shy? How do you get them to know you don’t want to date them for a 100 years, you just want to hang out a few times?

My experiences dating women have been very brief. There was my relationship with Jessie when he identified as a woman, there was a date to the Rocky Horror Picture Show with one girl from Tinder who I never texted back, a concert with Miranda where we had a hot make out session, and another date from Tinder a few weeks ago where the girl talked forever and we had zero chemistry. I’ve never really fallen into a dating mode with women—all of my experience was brief, or a legit relationship. So basically, I’m screwed.

Look, I love Jessie. But Jessie gets to fuck women and that other guy I’m seeing gets to fuck other women and dammit I’m just sitting here twiddling my thumbs like, “Let me tell you the story of when I was actually found attractive and dateable…” I know I’m attractive. I know I’m a catch. I know I can be fantastic at sex. But sometimes you just want to be validated for christ’s sake! Where are the people who will actually fuck me?!? When did I suddenly grow a horn in the middle of my forehead?!?

I don’t mind waiting around for the day Jessie will actually decide to come back and be with me. I don’t mind putting in the work to talk to him and maintain some sort of relationship while he goes off and fucks other people. I don’t mind driving to see that one guy I hang out with and letting him fuck me while he’s goes off and does whatever he wants when I’m not around. I don’t mind being by myself all the time and knowing that I won’t have a legitimate relationship with someone for several more months. But what I mind is the idea of just sitting around reminiscing about the days before Fred cheated on me and Jessie moved to a whole separate country. I don’t want to be mopey and sad and constantly pity myself. I want to be young and enjoy the freedom to do whatever the hell I want with whoever the hell I want! SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM, WORLD?!?!

Why does everyone I love seem to want different things, and leave me in a place where I even have to ask these stupid questions?

 

(Final Note: This is a rant session. This is ridiculous and hormone-fueled and the result of a very stressful week. Just remember not to take it too seriously, ok? Please don’t judge me too harshly… *Sigh*)

Dating, Coping, Pota-toe, Potah-toe?

My (romantic) partner leaves for Costa Rica next Friday. The universe is telling me, “Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! I’m taking away your source of happiness and love!” Nothing like starting 2016 with utter heartbreak, huh? But life goes on.

As you could probably tell by my last post, I’ve been contemplating my depression and its relationship with my romantic partners. Naturally, when breakups happen I’m not exactly a ray of sunshine, but I think it’s more than that. For instance, this past semester I dated quite a bit (at least compared to the past 3 years of my life). The more I felt like shit, the more reckless I became, racking up messages off of Tinder and

Going through Tinder like…."No, no, no, no."

Going through Tinder like….”No, no, no, no.”

likes off of Okcupid. I did the little dating dance, where you like their profile, send some flirty messages, go on a date, and then never talk to them again. This didn’t exactly make me feel better, but it took my mind off of things. “I’m getting out,” I told myself. “I’m meeting new people and trying new things. Depressed people don’t do that.” The dating dance was sort of a denial dance as well.

It’s like when I was seeing this one guy Jeremy (I’m not even going to bother changing his name…that’s how little this guy really meant big picture-wise). Isaac had just kicked me to the curb, my then ex-girlfriend was dating someone else while also seeing me, and I was harboring a mess of sadness and angry about Fred. Jeremy was simple: we went out for a beer the first night together and by the end of it were making out hardcore on the hood of his car. I knew he wanted to fuck me, and as long as I was just interesting enough (but also boring enough not to encourage true feelings) he would help me waste my time. So we kept seeing each other, and it was fine. Then when my ex-girlfriend and I got back together I just quit texting him. And you know what? He never texted me back, either. It was over just like that…simple. And I felt completely fine about it.

Now, while this kind of behavior didn’t bother me in the moment, I realized how superficial it all was once I remembered the people who had actually mattered. Thoughts of Fred, Isaac, and my now current partner made me remember how much I was still missing. The lack of romance in my dating left me empty, and while empty was less risky it was also doing nothing to help my depression. Empty distractions did nothing to sooth the heartbreak I still felt, and even though I had physically moved on, my brain was still stuck.

I worry that I will fall back into this old pattern once my partner leaves for Costa Rica. It’s not like I want to date anyone else…I need toa07e33acae2a26d3f515b161ae2c9301 use this time to focus on building myself back up and getting my balls back, haha. But I’m terrible at dealing with loneliness, and when I get lonely the depression usually kicks in. So what then?

Well, I’ve started seeing a new therapist for one thing. After weeks of back and forth scheduling, I finally had my first appointment and it went alright. But seeing a shrink won’t fix everything. So, to fill my time otherwise, I’ve started painting and crafting. Right now it’s just Christmas gifts, but since it makes me feel super calm I’m going to do my best to keep at it. And then I’ve got a few goals for myself to reach, since I’m sort of anal like that. I want to make more friends to play board games with, and I want to work with my therapist on believing the friends I currently have don’t hate my guts. It’ll be a process.

I know I sound like a real bitch, with my “dating” habits and the fact that I’ve spent this blog post talking about myself rather than the amazing person I’ll be losing. But what else am I supposed to do, just tell you all I’ll cry myself to sleep and resort back to cutting myself? I’m not doing that shit again—I’ve got to keep my eyes on what I can make better in my life, despite my shitty habits. Because even though the universe is shitting on me this holiday season, I refuse to believe that’s all my life will become.

There’s gotta be more than just loss around the corner.

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Social Justice Loser

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There are things I like and despise about getting my women’s and gender studies minor. On the one hand, I like how women’s and gender studies opens my eyes to the problems in our society that I might not have ever fully comprehended. On the other hand, a lot of pompous, arrogant assholes take women’s and gender studies classes. I guess it’s a tradeoff.

See, after a few years of participating in The Vagina Monologues I was all, “Yes! Feminism, equality, fighting against social injustice is for me!” Everyone on cast was so friendly and welcoming, and lots of them seemed to be into the same things I were. They were almost intimidatingly cool. I wanted to be just like them. But, the more involved I became, the more issues I encountered. Any of the queer cool people who had a past with my girlfriend became someone to secretly despise (and since everyone gets passed around or hit on repeatedly in the queer community, it was a growing list). The hippie types were big into the drug scene…the academic types were too scholarly to have a normal conversation…the eccentric types a little too eccentric…some of them seemed angry and scary, some of them seemed critical and opinionated, some of them sorted into cliques, some of them seemed to know everyone… They were all so different. From the outside it seemed like I’d fit in, but as time passed and I became more integrated in the Women’s and Gender Studies world, I felt like maybe I didn’t belong there after all. I got angry sometimes, but let it go quickly. I had opinions, but I kept them to myself. I wasn’t engrossed in scholarly work like the others, I wouldn’t do any drug harder than pot, I wasn’t into anime or was a vegetarian or knew sign language. Hell, I wasn’t even that gay. But I stuck with the classes anyway.

How are the classes? They’re okay I guess. I never do the readings but I go to all the classes. One of my professors is super interesting, but her lecture is so big that it’s hard to talk to her. My other class is taught by an opinionated TA who scares me a bit. I hate writing the papers. I hate speaking up in class; I always feel like I’m about to say the wrong thing. Everyone in those classes is so politically correct that it becomes hard to know what’s the right language to use anymore. And as a white, cisgendered, middleclassish person I often feel like everything is my fault…no matter how hard I try to understand, I’ll always be part of the ‘bad guys’ it seems.

I even wrote a poem about being white, but I’m too afraid to show it to anyone. Even though I’m critical of my own race in the poem, I’m still nervous that it will come off the wrong way… I’m beginning to think that no matter where I go or what I do, I’ll always feel like an outsider.

Even though I feel stable emotionally, I still think I should go to therapy to address some of these insecurities I have. I always think my friends don’t want me around or think I’m too weird for them, and it’s a thought that won’t go away. I always worry that I’m being shitty to my girlfriend, because I don’t want to make the same mistakes I made over the summer. I get sad that I’m being a bad daughter to my parents because I won’t pretend to be straight. They don’t want me around, I tell myself about my brother and dad. You aren’t like them, I think in my women’s and gender studies classes.

I remember coming to college believing that I’d thrive and entrench myself in the material I learned. In reality, I feel so distanced from everything I do and just go through the steps to make the necessary grades. My passion is buried under stress and failed expectations. (That last sentence could sum up all of college in a nutshell, I bet.)

Alone in a Crowd

My life is lived behind a piece of glass. I look out, and no one (except a rare few) looks in. I wish I could step out of the glass, to break down the wall, but I’m afraid that if people see the real me all the time, that they’ll have the same opinion I have of myself.

And God, that is something I could not bare.

I’m not trying to rag on Women’s an Gender Studies people (although some of them are truly full of themselves and think they know everything about everything). I know just because people are different than me doesn’t mean they are bad people. But I wish I could be different with them. I just want to feel like I’m an okay person—that I’m even capable of liking and hanging out with. Isn’t that sad? It’s like I’m back in fourth grade and wishing I could sit with the popular girls at lunch.

Maybe if my family would accept me I’d feel differently. Maybe if I had more friends I’d feel validated. Maybe if I made more of an effort with the friends I already have…But I digress. One step at a time, right?

Just Me and My Depression, “Living”

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this alone. I’m reaching out to life, to love, to happiness…but nothing seems to be reaching back.

Isaac thought about it and concluded that he couldn’t handle my depression. Guess that makes two of us. So now we are no longer seeing each other. I really liked him; it was a really big disappointment. When talking/crying about it with my mom she said it was okay that it didn’t work out. “It’s understandable that you aren’t ready to jump back into another relationship after what happened with [Fred]. I think anyone else who went through that would feel the same way.” She’s probably right…I wouldn’t be dealing with this if I was completely over being cheated on by Fred. But if I can’t turn to Fred and I can’t turn to Isaac, who can I turn to?

I know, I know….my friends and family. But here’s the thing. My friends and family won’t hold me at night and kiss my hair. They won’t take me in their strong arms and say, “Oh, my [insert name here]…” like Isaac did. They won’t fall asleep next to me each night like Fred did. They won’t rub my back and curl up next to me like my ex-girlfriend did. I can’t run to them every time…they’ll begin to feel drained, tired of not knowing what to say when I cry to them, “I don’t want to be like this anymore!” I won’t get to take care of them like I could with a significant other, I won’t get to hold their hand “just because”. I know I need to deal with this on my own…but I don’t know if I can.

I reached out to Fred, I’ve reached out to Charles. I feel desperation take control of me, as I feel more and more alone, and by reaching out to my exes it only eggs on my self-destruction. I have dreams about sleeping with strangers and letting them use my body so they will spend time with me and care. After they leave I always feel broken and alone.

I keep thinking about suicide. It seems so real…like it’s something I’m meant to do. Honestly I don’t think anyone besides me would be surprised if I killed myself. But I don’t want to die without seeing all the beautiful places in the world…I don’t know when that will happen, though.

I feel so cold, like I did before I went to outpatient when I was seventeen. I feel cold and alone and cynical that nothing will improve my situation. I know if I went to outpatient again that it would probably help, but the only thing I want more than to feel happy is for no one to treat me like a pitiful, depressed youth. I don’t want anyone to know how bad I feel, or anyone to help. I just want someone to let me cry over and over and over until I feel something besides pain.

I don’t know how I’m going to get out of this. But I don’t really think it would matter if I did…I don’t think I’m strong enough to get out of it, anyway.

It just keeps getting worse.

Sights of Loneliness

Yesterday I took a long walk and realized what a loser I am. I saw all of the faces, the broken bottles on the sidewalk, the empty storefronts, and knew everything I was staring at was a part of this picture. Except me. I’m not a part of anything. For the part year I have actively made zero effort to take part in the life around me. I go to a university of 35,000 students and I know a grand total of 3. This alone is not why I’m a loser, in fact, I’d be rather comfortable with this if it weren’t for another glaringly obvious fact: I am empty. I belong nowhere, and I am exploring nothing. The reason I walk the same route to class, sit in the same seats and feel the same frustration day after day is because I have chosen this lacking existence.

And that’s why I’m a loser.

Loneliness is a feeling I am so comfortable with that I can hardly call it a problem. Perhaps it’s simply a part of my nature, or that my shyness has beaten down my sense of enjoyment around others over the years. Either way I know that it is wrong. Society tells us that it is wrong to be lonely, that it means there is something wrong with you. Loneliness (and ok, maybe a bit of mood swings from depression) is why I’ve wonderedfavorite-perks-being-wallflower-quotes--large-msg-133883011736 if I’m crazy before. Loneliness is why I’ve done stupid things out of desperation. In fact, it is that desperation that has spurred many of my failed relationships. And it is the loneliness that I felt gradually seep into every moment that terminated those relationships. It’s a terrible feeling, to feel lonely as someone looks at you or talks to you or kisses you…but either way, if you are lonely in a relationship or not, you are screwed. Because it is wrong to be lonely, even though every single person has felt that way.

Why is it wrong to be lonely? I don’t know, but we sure as hell spend a lot of money trying to avoid it. People get married, divorced, have affairs. People text, Skype, perfect their social profiles. People join clubs, teams, fraternities/sororities. We eat together, sleep together, heck, maybe the only thing we don’t do is use the bathroom in a group. People today are addicted to the company they keep because they are petrified of being lonely. But why? Are they trying to avoid themselves, or are they simply conditioned to think it is wrong to be alone?

On my walk I didn’t see anyone else alone except one guy who walked like he was dead-set on getting somewhere. He didn’t meet my eyes and vanished soon enough. The only people who were walking as slow as me, slow enough to notice the clouds and music down the block, were the people clustered in groups. They, on the other hand, met my eyes. Maybe this is just a habit I’ve noticed in myself, but people don’t usually look others in the eye as often if they are walking alone. They also walk faster because no  one is trying to talk to them. Are they trying not to notice how apparent it is that they are alone? Or are they trying not to notice the reaction other people have to the fact that they are alone? Maybe it is because they are the sole focus of attention if someone looks their way, maybe they are self-conscious of this… Or maybe I’m just being an idiot and they are just trying to get to wherever the hell they’re going.

I am a loser because I know what I need to feel active in life, but am ignoring it anyway. I’m afraid of being too happy here at school in the absence of my boyfriend. And to me, that is enough of a reason to be deemed loser-ish. Because the people who are lost and lonely and unsure what even makes them happy are often called the losers, and they are not. I am a loser for not trying. They are losers for feeling alone in the world. And even though these two qualities sometimes feel the same, they are not.

I see the cold, artificial coffee drinks in students’ hands, I see the cracks around the eyes of the homeless. I see the sunlight bouncing off leaves in a way headlights and street lamps could never replicate. I see the silence in the walls of old buildings downtown, and dirty, happy smudges on the windows of bars. The trash cans are overflowing with the leftovers of last night’s adventures, the clothes in the windows are begging to be bought with money no one has. People are smoking in the sidewalks and laughing into the hum of cars.

I’m still trying to figure out what all of it means.

Reality Blows/Reality’s Blows

Reality is catching up with me. My beautiful fantasy of a winter break is fading fast with every hour I feel alone or out-of-place at school, and I’m desperately  trying to hang onto all of the confidence and hope it gave me. I don’t have the constant entertainment of my friends or the stomach full of laughter, and instead find myself walking alone in the chilly weather, watching life instead of living it. The mornings I would wake up to see my boyfriend lying asleep so peacefully have stayed at home, and here at school I have to substitute such moments for texts, short phone calls, and the occasional Snapchat. Every day passes by so meaningless, and I struggle to find purpose in myself here.

Basically, things aren’t going as well as I’d hoped.

“I think we need to reevaluate again,” my roommate said to me. “Reevaluate what?” I asked, but I had a sinking feeling that I knew exactly where this conversation was headed. “You. I mean, have you met anyone new?” “Yeah…” I swallowed quickly, “Yes! Yes I have!” I struggled to think of someone I could name…but I couldn’t. Finally I said, “I’m fine, okay? I’m fine.” She raised her eyebrows, “Okaayyy….” She didn’t really believe me.0fd4714c4faead097ea6c3612bf3a659 I quickly gathered my things and rushed off to dinner, all the way across campus. I didn’t mind walking in the cold, but according to my roommate, that was crazy, which is how we got on the topic of the reevaluation business. We have have this conversation before…(I said I was hanging out with Caitlin) “Don’t you have any other friends?” (I said I wasn’t going out on Friday night) “I think you need to meet more people.” (I explained I was at a meeting) “You joined something? Wow…who knew?”. It was all out of good intentions, but insulting on a whole. One time I asked her, “You think I’m a loser, don’t you?” “No! No I don’t…” She trailed off and looked guilty. “Yes, yes you do,” I told her. She apologized, and I said it was fine, I didn’t care. But you never forget that stuff. When you are alone and feel bad about it, those memories crop up and you can’t even talk to someone about how hurt you are.

Anyway, I got there yesterday, calling my mom in tears. She really understands how hard it is for me, how hard I try to feel good about myself and how shy I am. She knows how much I love my boyfriend and hard it is for me to miss him AND be mostly friend-less. But in a way that made me more sad because that’s just one more person I love who is out of reach. She gave me good advice, though. To try to ignore my roommate, to be happy I am such good friends with Caitlin, to be more involved in organizations so being busy can take my mind off of missing my boyfriend, just lots of stuff like that. She said she was the same way when she was my age, which I’ve known for some time. I’ve always been shy and always will be, like her. Not that I blame her, of course. She has always been my role model.

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So I’m going to try to make the best of this week. On Friday I’ll go back home and visit my boyfriend, and tomorrow I have my feminist union meeting, and maybe I’ll try to have dinner with Caitlin sometime this week. I Skyped my boyfriend last night, so maybe I’ll Skype my friends sometime when I need a bit of cheering up, too.

One other thing. I’m going to take my medicine again. I haven’t told anyone, but I stopped taking it when last semester ended. It’s been about a month, and I think if I hadn’t moved into a new dorm this semester and was still in the same dorm as Caitlin I wouldn’t think about taking it again. I know it’s slightly dangerous for me to just stop taking it like that…I’ve done it before and had some serious mental breakdowns…but I want to reach a time where I can go maybe a year without the medication. Someday…

Over the weekend I did have some fun, by the way. A few girls from last semester’s French class and I went out to dinner at a pub downtown and then to a drag show! I was really excited, and even put a little makeup on before I went out, but then while I was walking to the pub: BAM!! I tripped on my shoelace and hit my head on the concrete sidewalk. It was dark, cold, and the only people around were two guys I could see up ahead. I felt a huge knot on my temple and from the shock of it all, started crying and tying up my shoes. Eventually those guys came up to me and asked if I was all right, but I waved them off. I didn’t want to, I wanted someone to pick me up and tell me it was going to be okay, but I was embarrassed at my tears and walked around lost and looking for that freaking pub. Anyway, I finally got there, still all shook up, and when I explained what happened I started crying all over again. Stupid, stupid, stupid…. They said very nice things and asked how my Christmas break was, but I was still mortified and my mind kept coming up blank when they asked about things. I couldn’t hear very well over the TVs and music, either, and so the first half of dinner I just wished I was back in my dorm watching Mad Men (my new obsession). But then it got better. We went to a different place for hot tea, and on the walk over I was able to open up a bit more. Walking and talking one-on-one is where I really feel comfortable, I’ve realized. Then there was the drag show—it was so funny! I won’t go too in-depth, but I will say it was comforting to be in an environment where people didn’t give a damn about sexuality or orientation, gender roles, and whether or not people were looking when they were dancing all up on the queens.

The bump on my head has gone, but there’s a scrape and tenderness, in case you were wondering. I guess to wrap up this post I’ll just say that I hope my loneliness fades as quickly as my recent head injury, haha. I’m going to do my best to remain optimistic, too. It’s all I can do.

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New Semester (Struggles).

I’m back at school, and what a different world it is this time! All my comforts from last semester are far, far away and I find myself living every moment waiting for disaster. It’s good that I went into this with a positive standpoint, because otherwise I’d be the living Holden Caulfield. (I’m still working on finishing my re-read of Catcher in the Rye; I have to read it in doses otherwise I become pretty grim.) Here, let me describe it all to you:

I walked into my new dorm for the first time through a rear entrance stair-well. I had no idea where the hell the front desk was, and figured it was best to just follow the doors with the keypads in front of them. I made my way to a set of three elevators and discovered that I was in the basement, so I went to the first floor and push past a set of heavy-duty, white double-doors. I walked into a big, open area with white walls and a wall of windows. In front of me I saw a large desk with a white board behind it. There were over a hundred mail boxes/cubbies on one wall, and as I walked further the room opened up to an area full of modern furniture, booths, and a flat-screen TV. I was definitely not in Kansas. See, my old dorm was made in the 60’s. It had low ceilings with dingy carpet in the hallways and an off-white tile that almost looked gray in the bad lighting. The front desk was inside a small room you saw through a window-hole. The lounge had uncomfortable, dated furniture with an ancient piano, a fire-place that hadn’t been used in years, and a trophy case too large for the pitiful awards stashed inside. It wasn’t intimidating, it was a crap-hole. And as soon as I stepped into my new dorm I realized I loved that crap-hole.

I’ll fast-forward to the part where I see my room for the first time. It’s on the fourth floor in a brightly lit hallway full of doors with keypads. It took my a good five minutes or so to open my damn door, because you had to not only enter a code but also swipe your ID…I felt like an old person, because the whole time I was cursing technology for making me look like such an idiot. So I walked in and found the light switch. Boy do I hate Florissant lighting.There was a bed under a cube of two windows, and on the bed was a stack of boxes. Next to the bed, facing toward the door and against the wall was a lofted bed with the smallest desk I’ve ever seen under it. Two wardrobes were next to the door and I saw my roommate’s suitcase. There was another tiny desk in the smaller nook of the L-shaped room, next to the bed by the window. There were also two bookshelves that could double as a shoe-rack and the door to the bathroom we shared with the next room. It was small, barren, and cold-looking. And guess who had the loft bed with the heavy boxes on top of it? Yours truly! “Do you like the way I set up the room?” was one of the first things my roommate asked. “Yeah!” I lied.

How did I meet my suite mate? I saw outside her door that she was the RA (great…) and her little ‘Where Am I?’ chart said she wasn’t there, so I did something I haven’t done since I was a little kid: I snooped. Through the bathroom, I opened the door to her room, hoping to not only get a sense of who she was, but also see how she had set up her room (this was before my roommate came in). Guess what? She was in there! The chart lied, and I looked like such a freak, just opening the door without knocking. Luckily, all she was doing was reading or studying or something, and not doing anything embarrassing. So I had to make up something on the fly. I wound up going with the I-just-wanted-to-introduce-myself route, which I am terrible at. 22aee622a382bc3db7408267e6e258f8Small-talk is not my forte, which leads me to my next debacle… So far, I have had zero interaction with anyone in my dorm. The only two instances were a couple of guys banging on my door during my nap yesterday, yelling my name (which was posted outside the door like everyone else’s). So eventually I climbed down from my bed (which is so much harder than it looks) and opened the door. The guys were just walking down the hall, and stopped a minute later to do the same thing to some other poor bastard. My second interaction was today when I walked out of my dorm to class. I was having a sneezing fit, (4 sneezes total) and these other guys were behind me, laughing. After my final sneeze I hear one of them fake a sneeze, mocking me. I just kept walking, embarrassed and furious. Other than the obnoxious blaring of my neighbor’s rap music (not even good rap, either) and a few “excuse me”‘s,  “thank you”‘s and “What floor?”‘s, there has been nothing.481c8f51f6a4c922e4f56f685faccbb6 If I hadn’t had experience with this sort of thing before, I’d be overwhelmed with feeling pathetic about my loner status. However, as it happens, I’m pretty comfortable with it as long as I stay positive. I’ve been trying to emphasize everything good in my mind, like when I’ve had a grilled cheese for lunch and when I helped some girl on campus with directions. I also had dinner and visited Caitlin at her dorm last night, so that was fun. She always encourages me and helps me so I’m not too hard on myself.

I’ve started work, where I am now, so that is a positive, too. I’ll be earning money and interacting with people, as well as getting homework done and not being alone. Classes don’t seem bad for now. French will take some work, just as I expected, but I remember more from first semester than I thought I would. Journalism and English are just matters of sticking it out and getting through one thing at a time, although I am pleasantly surprised at how they both focus on social issues more than my previous classes. Psychology is a toss-up so far, but it seems like a lot of my high school psychology class will overlap with it material-wise. I also got some great news today from home–I made the dean’s list in the School of Journalism! I’m hoping to do the same after this semester, but I have no expectations set. With stuff like that, I tend to keep my standards low in order not to stress out.

Anyway, things can only get better from here, right? The week is halfway over and I’m already planning on taking a trip home next weekend. And I’ve been doing a lot of walking. And I’ve been having a bit of relaxing time every day so far. And I’m staying positive….and praying it sticks.

The Invisible Road…to Nowhere

Do you ever feel like you’re invisible? Like everyone you keep reaching out to just takes advantage, takes what they want and throws you away? Do you ever feel like everyone who really cares about you is gone?

Lately I’ve been trying to find someone–with whatever criteria suits me at the moment–to fill my time. A friend, a classmate, someone in my dorm, someone I meet at a party…I don’t care who they are, or how much they seem to care about me, as long as they are interesting and will spend time with me. Why did such a search begin? Well, I’m not too sure, but I think it began one day while I was with my roommate. She looked at me, very skeptical, and asked, “Do you ever hang out with anyone besides Caitlin?” “Yes, yes I do! I’ve gone to the gym with some of the girls down the hall, and I used to hang out with those people from the other dorm, and…” She gave me a look of pity. “Don’t feel sorry for me!” “I’m sorry!” she said, “I can’t help it!” “Look, I’m just one of those people who don’t need a lot of friends. Independent, you know? I just do my own thing and am ok with having just a few close friends.” “Uh huh…” She gave me a look, indicating that nothing I said had changed her mind. “Stop it!” “Okay, okay…” But the pity went on after we had changed the subject, after days and after weeks.

Loser. That’s what she didn’t say, and that’s what I felt like. Since then I’ve met more people, but I’ve also felt more shitty, because not all those people have treated me like a person. The thing I hate about college is that to most guys I am nothing but something to have sex with, and then ignore for all eternity. I miss when being with someone meant getting to know someone for who they are, and not just having sex in a drunken haze.

Since I know my self-esteem to be a hazard to my mental health, I’m trying not to think that the problem is that I am a crappy person, but that I have crappy taste in other people. No matter how genuine my intentions, it is the other person’s intentions that seem to matter. I feel powerless in social situations, a pawn in someone’s game of chess that will be sacrificed in the name of something better. When I want to become friends, I always agree to invitations to hang out, always am eager to talk again or help out. But it is the other person doing the inviting, doing the talking, needing help with a problem. I go along with things, I listen, I help others with their problems and don’t bother them with mine.

It’s a crappy situation, so you can see why sometimes I’d rather be mostly alone with a few friends…but it feels looked down upon, and it is. There’s only so much you can do by yourself before you feel lonely, and loneliness is a problem. For me, loneliness=depression. So there it is: all of this leads to preventing depression and being insecure.

You know, usually knowing the causes for my stupid action makes me feel better, but this time it sort of makes things worse. After all, how am I supposed fix this? Find someone who cares? Fat chance. Hope my depression doesn’t come back and do nothing? Better hope I don’t kill myself (or some other stupid thing), too. Stop being insecure? I’ve been trying to do that since I was 12, and clearly it’s working out great. :p Where does this lead me?

Nowhere. East Jesus nowhere, and headed there fast.

Bitter Love

When you watch a movie, do you ever see a scene that makes you whisper to yourself, “I want to do that someday–I want to have that moment.”? Sometimes stories from books or your own imagination inspire people to make certain things happen in life for real.

Like love, perhaps. People see other people in love and tell themselves they want that.

Take a sunny afternoon. You lie on a colorful blanket in the grass, shaded by a familiar tree. It is around eleven in the morning. You hear birds chirping happily all around you, insects humming with the excitement of a full day ahead of them. In the not-far distance, you see your childhood home, filled with your family quietly working away. Your skin is warm, your heart young.Beside you lies the person you are in love with, breathing softly with lazy sleep. Their eyelashes are long, brushing their cheeks with a tenderness that melts your temptation to wake them, to see those beautiful eyes… Their hair curls around their head, brushed with the occasional, flighty breeze. Finally, in utter adoration, you press your lips to their nearby hand, cradling them as they dream, a sweet and unsuspecting kiss.

Wouldn’t you want that? Even if it may not be the most absolute beautiful moment you can think of, it’s not half bad. So we say to fate, “Ok, sign me up for that.” But what we don’t know is that later in the week we will be unable to sleep that night, tormented by that same love for that same person. “Why didn’t they try to call me or text me or anything today? Probably busy with a project…but, don’t they miss me like I miss them so much right now?” And the night swallows you up in the absence of their pounding heart next to yours.

Love is so freaking bothersome sometimes. It takes a lot of trust in another individual, and often the rejection of temptation to compare what you have to what the rest of the world tells you to have. Once you let insecurity and greed filter in your heart, love becomes spoiled. So you must fight for your love…to keep it innocent, and as your heart originally intended it.

Most of the time we spend with these loved ones give us reasons to fight, but as a person who feels the sting of depression more than the average person, I worry that the time I spend with my boyfriend is something I do not cherish as much as I should–meaning, that I greed for more than “normal” because of my already struggle with insecurity, and the last thing I want to do is push him too hard.

It’s a complicated thing, love. Often just a fluffy, beautiful picture on the outside, the inside can transform from everlasting bliss to bitter loneliness (or worse, cruel indifference). How you let it grow decides everything.

No pressure or anything.

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