My Excuse for Being Delinquent
Two days ago, two of my college friends arrived in town. One I took out for tea and a bookstore visit in the afternoon. The other I caught up with while she unpacked and set up her dorm room. It was a highly satisfying day, because I got to reconnect with people I really care about and who I know care about me. Our communication is a shared enjoyable experience. I can talk about whatever comes to mind when I'm with them, because we have a base of shared experiences and knowledge of each other, and we want to know what's going on in each others' lives. Here I'm trying too hard to put into words what a friendship is.
But two days later, I haven't spoken aloud to anyone outside my immediate family. This is the way it's been a lot of the summer, minus some conversation with coworkers. And I'm starting to feel that restlessness and longing I'd put aside for so long. Having tasted companionship again, my thirst for it has reawakened. It was still there during the summer, but I could suppress it and ignore it to some degree. Now, school with its daily requirement to interact with people can't come soon enough.
I have three "projects" in the works right now.
1 - Clean out my newly refurnished room so I can contain all my belongings in less storage space.
2 - Write the next chapter of my fan fiction story, The Return of Starbuck Part II.
3 - Establish a meal plan to allow me to eat macrobiotically during the school year for at least two meals a day.
All of these projects seem daunting for various related reasons.
1 - Cleaning out my room requires a lot of time in that room. Due to lack of my own car, lack of funds, lack of energy, and lack of adventurous friends nearby, most of my free time during the summer (and last school year) has been spent in the house in my room. I find more time stuck in the house difficult to swallow.
2 - I've been working on this story for years, and I'm just now getting to the part that I really wanted to write for so long. Now that I'm there, I'm nervous because the ideas in the section have lost some of their novelty which motivates me to write, and the story cannot succeed unless this part succeeds. Also, I'm (once again) questioning whether my story is actually any good. When I was younger, I was a very sentimental writer, but I realized how dangerous sentimentality can be to the quality of a story. So I've tried hard to eliminate all signs of what I euphemistically call "the warm-and-fuzzies" from my story. However, when writing from a male perspective as a female writer, you begin to question whether you're representing maleness accurately. I have an inside joke with myself that in any situation where I would cry, I just have to make my male character get mad and throw things. I've done everything I know to do to make all of my characters true to their personality and their gender, but I'm haunted by the fear that I've fallen embarrassingly short. Too embarrassingly to show my work to anybody. A little late for that regret, since I've already "published" my work so far for public access.
3 - All of this is an overwhelming paradigm shift for me. Granted, my paradigm has shifted quite a bit over the past year. But my family hates spending much time preparing meals - especially my mom. Our cupboards are full of crackers and pastries, and the potato is a regular vegetable side at dinner. When eating macrobiotically, I not only have to cook most of my meals for myself alone, but I also can't get rid of all the junk food in the house and replace it with good stuff, because the rest of the family will have a problem with that. I live in an area where there's about five fried chicken places within five minutes of my house, and obesity is rampant. I can find some food at the farmers' market and some at the Whole Foods a ways away, but then I bring it home and cook it and eat it while my family eats ice cream and slushies.
The problem with all of this is I don't really have people around to talk to about this stuff. I relieve stress by getting my concerns out of my head and getting feedback from another person. I do some of my best thinking while I'm talking with someone else, and some of the rest when I play out conversations in my head. But the people I see most of the time are my immediate family who I can't talk to about this stuff because they will either (1) criticize me, (2) think I'm going off the deep end, (3) tell me I'm doing it wrong and how to do it right, (4) think I'm stupid, or (5) not care in the least.
I get that I have to make my own life decisions, okay? I understand that I am responsible for myself, and I know that just because nobody's telling me I'm doing it right doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong. But the raw truth is, I'm tired of doing everything by myself. All of my pursuits have been so solitary my whole life. And when I consider holding my own hand, and pulling myself by my own bootstraps, and dragging myself through hurdles one more time, all by myself, it stonewalls any motivation my dreams might provide. Because it feels like the first twenty years of my life, every time I looked around, there was no one there for me when I needed it. And there doesn't seem to be much point to revamping my body and baring my soul and maintaining my surroundings when I can't share the experience with anybody.
I'm not made to exist as a single point in space. I love people. They might intimidate me, and I might be nervous and quirky, but I worked hard to overcome extreme shyness just so I could connect with people. Now, I'm a little better at small talk. The problem is, I don't easily connect with people on a deep level. Most people aren't interested in deep. Most people want to have fun in normal social activities. They're fine with casual relationships. Most people (especially my age) don't want to talk about the big things and the hard things. They don't care to trace how the factors in the past and present have come together to create very specific conditions in a particular situation. They don't want to question the way the Industrial Revolution has negatively influenced our culture's thinking to value quantity over quality. They don't want to talk about why some people are harder to love than others.
I spent the first several years of my life getting familiar with a lot of classics - classic books, classical music, classic movies and TV. Only in the last few years have I caught up with pop culture, and no one realizes the hours on the Internet it took for me to finally understand memes and have some idea of the TV shows and pop songs everyone references. But although I can impress my friends with relatable jokes at a moment's notice, there's a big part of me that lives elsewhere. A big part of me wonders when and how I will finish the saga of a Starbuck world, and how I'm going to turn my life around when I live at home and don't have a job lined up at the moment, and just how pathetic I really am as a person.
I'm sick of not being able to open my mouth and share my life with other people because no one is around who will appreciate it. I'm tired of having to always be the funny one because that's the only way I seem to relate to people. I'm worn out by all the concerns and questions that bounce around in my head endlessly because there is no one to ask.
I need to be and do a lot of things. But I don't really care. Every time I try to focus so I can make monumental changes, I can't see where I'm going. All I can see is the parched wasteland of my aloneness stretching out before me. Ask Maslow - it's hard to fulfill your higher needs when you're missing the basics. I'm thirsty, and I can't stop looking at a mirage.
|Posted 08-27-2017 at 11:11 PM by Vballspieler|