Have you ever been in that frame of mind where you really want to cry but for some reason can’t? Like where you are telling your body to let it all out but nothing can? Maybe it’s your roommate sleeping five feet away, maybe it’s physical, mental, and/or emotional exhaustion, or maybe your body just isn’t capable of producing tears. I think of How I Met Your Mother and how Barney has several different layers of drunkenness. I think this is a new layer of being overwhelmed for me: not only wanting to cry, but actually trying to get my body to do it because I can’t think of anything else to do. I’m not looking to cry because I’m really sad or depressed, simply overwhelmed and stressed, which is why I bring this post to you at 3:19 in the morning.
Let’s start with what is happening today because that’s the most immediate struggle I’m facing. First of all, I can’t sleep which doesn’t bode well for anything I have to do today. I slept through both my classes today (Tuesday) which isn’t the end of the world but I can’t let this become too much of a habit or else it will become the end of the world. I donated plasma again (finally) and after lots of nothing (mainly eating and a lame party and some talking and internet surfing) I finally made up my mind about something. I bought my new computer and I can go pick it up next Thursday. But back to Wednesday. I have three classes today but what’s mainly giving me grief is what I have to do between those classes. Tomorrow is the dumb book club that I’m required to participate in because of my scholarship. I could rant for a long time about how dumb some of these requirements are, but lets just keep it simple and say I don’t want to participate. I didn’t read the book and I won’t read the book. Instead, I’m going to look up summaries of the book and see what other people have said and what people say in the book club to inform my opinion. Throughout high school I’ve been practicing this skill and I now feel fairly confident in my ability to B.S. my way through almost anything. It’s really quite scary. I 100% completed maybe two or three books/plays in high school out of at least a dozen and I got full marks (or bare minimum passing marks) on the majority of them. I’ve written papers and participated in discussions of things I’ve never read by simply listening to what others have to say about it and reading summaries and randomly selecting quotes when I had to. Seeing as how this book club doesn’t get graded, I’m not super worried about it but I am annoyed that I have to spend my time on something I have no interest in when I have other things that need to get done today. The other major thing that is happening today is my government test. Today is the last day the test is open and I have to spend a few hours going over the study guide to prepare for the test. That on its own takes about two hours, and the test could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes, but the only foreseeable time I can take the test is after my final class, which gets out at 5:20. That cuts into my dinner hour which is incidentally also some social time and I don’t like that. It’s the nature of the beast though. My day is going to be really crammed with stuff, and none of it fun stuff, made less fun by my increasingly shortened sleep time.
Now lets talk finances which is unbelievably stressful right now. I bought the computer I wanted which including tax cost about $460. I have the money for it, but I didn’t have the money for both it and my upcoming housing payment of $450. If I add up all the remaining money I have/will have by Nov. 1 (the day the money is due by) I come up approximately $100-$125 short, plus it drains me of all funds I have. Once that money is drained though I have plenty of opportunities to get more back. I am donating plasma again which is a nice boost in income, I recently got accepted for work study (which is a great source of income, but I don’t know how it pays out yet and I need a job to get it), and I have some money coming from my grandmother in a few days/weeks (hopefully). I’m not going bankrupt, I just have a short amount of time where I’ll have 0 money and that freaks me out a little bit. I’m a super stingy scrooge and I hate spending money. I’ve been debating this computer issue for a solid two weeks looking for the right one at the right price and weighing it against my housing payment. I’m 99.9% sure missing the housing payment by a few days won’t get me evicted since it’s only a $20 late fee, but the prospect of no money when just earlier I had over $600 supporting me makes me feel like the ground is falling away from my feet. For those of you who will inevitably think I made a bad decision by purchasing the computer before paying for housing, I think you’re partially right, but here’s my reasoning. I know I have more money coming from a wide variety of sources so I’m not doomed. Plus, I could really use a new computer and this was a steal that I didn’t want to let go. I’d already let one go buy because I missed the sale period deliberating over whether I should buy it and I was not going to let that happen again. I got a $680 laptop for $430, a $250 savings. The reason its so cheap is because it’s refurbished. I understand the risks that go along with that, but Best Buy offers their warranty and exchange/return policy to refurbished products and this was simply a super deal that outweighed the cons. Either way, I get my computer next week and I’ll only be having minor panic attacks about the money along the way.
But now lets throw into the mix just some dumb dramatic feeling stuff. This covers a wide array of subjects but I’ll start with this one: college. By that I mean if I picked the right one. Ever since deciding to come here back in December I’ve been wondering if I made the right decision. So many people have told me that I’m capable of great things and between my ACT score and decent GPA, I could go to pretty competitive universities. But I chose Weber which isn’t renowned for its education outside of a few areas. It’s mostly known for being a cheap school where lots of people go because it’s affordable. I just wonder if I settled. I tell myself that my decision was well made. If I hadn’t made this decision, I wouldn’t have met all the awesome people I’ve met here. But then that raises the question in my mind of what amazing people am I not meeting by being here and not somewhere else? Am I really making the best decision for me by choosing an average education instead of the best one available? Part of my decision to come here was because I have a real fascination with Mormon culture and lifestyle and just LDS people. I want to learn more about them and teach them about what I believe and who I am, so where better to go for that than to Utah? I feel awful for even thinking this and I don’t know how much I believe it, but I think I sometimes have a superiority complex. I could’ve gotten into better schools if I wanted, and part of me feels like the other people here couldn’t do better. I love a lot of these people and it makes me sick that these thoughts whisper in the back of my head saying I’m better than this school and the people who go here; I should’ve gone somewhere else. If one of you people who goes to Weber reads this, I’m deeply sorry for this thought and I hope I haven’t ever behaved this way to you, but if I have I apologize for that as well. I can never fully shake the feeling that I should’ve gone somewhere else though.
This sort of leads me into another major thing I’ve been thinking about: people. One of the major benefits of being here is the awesome group of people I’ve met made even more amazing by how diverse the group is. We have people from all over the country and even one from Pakistan. There are white people, black people, and brown people, and within those crude racial groups there’s even more diversity. There’s gender diversity, religious diversity, and simply personal diversity, but we all more or less get along. While I don’t really care what color a person’s skin is, the fact that so many other people do makes me notice it more and more, which makes me notice how interesting the circle is. Utah is somewhere around 80%-90% white depending on if certain Latino people identify as white and Latino, and Ogden has something like 66% white people. But our friend group is probably a solid 50-50 or close to that. The point I’m making is our little dorm group is uncharacteristically diverse which is pretty cool.
But I’m not really trying to talk about diversity. I want to talk more about the substance of a person. I don’t know how many people experience this, but I find myself really drawn to certain people I’ve never met. It doesn’t always have to do with appearance or gender, and I’m not talking romantically by the way, but there are just certain people I really want to say something to and befriend. For instance, there’s this guy who lives a couple doors down who moved in halfway through the semester that I’ve seen around the dorms a number of times, never said anything more than a, “Hey, how’s it going?” kind of thing. But what makes him interesting to me is the fact that he’s somewhat new and seems like a nice guy, plus I hardly see him around so he makes me curious. But I never know how to talk to someone out of the blue beyond the casual talk. I’m not the most outgoing person so striking up conversation is difficult for me to do. There’s another person who lives in my dorm and she seems like a loner. She looks like she’s in her 30s or maybe even 40s, but that’s awfully old to live in the dorms so I hesitate to say that. But either way I’ve never seen her talking to anyone else. Ever. I’ve only ever seen her in passing and when she goes outside to smoke. But because I’ve never seen her talking to anyone, I feel like she might be actually alone and I should reach out to her. I don’t want her to feel like an alien in her own building and I definitely don’t want to be part of the reason she feels that way. There are a bunch of other people who fit this bill for different reasons, but they all have the same problem: I can’t talk to them. I’m so bad at talking to people I don’t know. I think of imaginary situations and conversations in my head and resolve to talk to them the next time I see them, but I never can. How can I do that? How do I learn to be more outgoing? I feel like *Shie LeBeouf voice* “JUST DO IT!” is the best answer, but I don’t think I can just do it. I’m great when someone introduces me to people or introduces others to me, or even when they introduce themselves to me, but I can’t take that first step.
Still on the subject of people are a few other things. I was listening to my music as I tried to fall asleep this morning and the song “Something in the Water” came on. I’m full on in love with that song, but tonight it brought back memories. I remember sometime around a year ago when the song was just released. I was in my dad’s house laying in my bed with the light on in my moose sheets with my green throw blanket. It was early in the morning/late at night and I was on a Skype call with my friend. I listened to that song over and over and over just relishing it and basking in it. I could hardly form a complete sentence about it as I tried to describe what I was feeling to my friend. I made him listen to it and he listened to me babble on and on about it. That friend is the same friend I haven’t spoken to in a long time and the same friend who’s been showing up so recently in these posts. I know we share a lot of memories but that’s one that I’d forgotten about. He was there with me the exact time my favorite song was released and he shared that experience with me. That just made his silence even more painful to think about, but it also made my love for him even stronger. Of course I’m heartbroken that he isn’t talking to me much anymore, but it really removed a lot of that anger. It made me appreciate him and love him for being with me and sharing that with me.
I think the last thing relating to people also ties into a really deep rooted issue with me. I swing back and forth on the pendulum regarding death and spirituality and religion and the afterlife and all that jazz. Sometimes I’m like, “Kill me now! I wanna go to heaven and I’m certain it’ll be there!” Other times I’m like, “I hope technology comes out soon that can keep me alive forever because I don’t want to find out what’ll happen to me afterwards.” I’ve gone everywhere in between there, but I’ve recently been more on the “stay alive” swing. I watched two music videos tonight of Shania Twain. One was of one of her songs from maybe the year 2000 when she was at the height of her popularity. She was moderately young, gorgeous, and on top of her game. I also watched a video of her live performance while in Vegas from 8 months ago. She’s 50 years old or so now and I still think she’s gorgeous and still very talented, but I was reminded of my desire to see her live. When I told that to some of my friends, they said she wasn’t worth it anymore. Maybe in the 2000s, but not in 2015. Beyond really hurting my feelings, this revived idea got me thinking about myself being born in the 90s. I’ve always really liked the 90s. The music, the television, the movies, even the fashion. The whole era is something I really like, but I wasn’t really a part of it. I’m a 90s babies sure and I caught the tail end of it, but most of what I experienced was the early 2000s through now. There’s a big difference between being four in the 90s and fourteen in the 90s. Same time, completely different experiences. Anyway, I realized I missed so much cool stuff while it was happening. Buffy, Full House, Clueless, Shania Twain, all of it. I got to thinking about how it would be cool if we could recreate the 90s in the year 2090 until I realized in order for that to happen I’ll have to live to be 93 and older. Then I got to thinking back to Shania Twain and her glory years and how she’s not really trying to recapture her youth, but I don’t think she’s going to become as big as she was. Her new album, whenever it drops, probably won’t sell the 20-40 million copies her other albums did. The Queen’s time is over. She’ll be a legend in country music and all music, but she can’t live up to her old self.
Essentially all of that got me to thinking about all of my friends and our “glory years.” It’s so easy to look at ourselves now and say we still have 70 years left, but I look at my grandmother who has no more than five probably, most likely no longer than a year or two, and marvel. At one point she was like me. She was young and beautiful and looking for love and all of that. Now she is 80 something and looks nothing the same, has bad Alzheimer’s, and has lost both her ex-husband and her husband now. I love Anya’s quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She says, “Well, I guess I was kinda new to being around humans before. And now I’ve seen a lot more, gotten to know people, seen what they’re capable of and I guess I just realize how amazingly… screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion. And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die. Which they-they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They’re incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet, here’s the thing. When it’s something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they’re lame morons for fighting. But they do. They never… They never quit. And so I guess I will keep fighting, too.” Beyond that being a fantastic speech about humanity and tremendous character growth, I really like the section in the middle. I see death as a water slide. You wait in line with your friends and one by one they all go down and it’s just you facing the inevitable drop into the pool. We all know we’re going to die, but we don’t know when. It’s inevitable, but I never really consider it. All I consider is life and continuing on as I always do. But then I think about how I know it will happen. I know all my friends and I will get old. We’ll be wrinkly and ugly and start forgetting things. And come one day, one of us is going to die never to return again. It breaks my heart thinking of life without them and if I happen to be the first to go, I’m sad at the pain my death will cause other people. I look at my life and how vibrant it is and all the adventures I have and the things I have to say and I just know that one day none of that will matter. I’ll just be a memory, a legend, a Shania Twain. And even further, we can all throw around evidence all day about the existence of God and heaven versus hell, but the reality is that nobody knows for 100% certain until they go down that water slide what waits on the other side. I’m terrified of that unknown. I’m not as scared about dying and ceasing to exist as I am about dying and finding there is a heaven and hell, I’m just on the wrong end. The idea of potentially being sent to hell for eternity is what really gets me scared. I’m really good at not existing. I’ve been doing it for thousands or billions of years compared to only eighteen and almost a half of existing. But that doesn’t make it less scary to me.
And you know, I keep seeing all these sentimental things popping up around Facebook or YouTube or someplace else that are too right. Songs remind me of it, memes remind me of it, and I remind myself of it from just self reflection. What I’m talking about is my parents. I always look at actions they took for me and actions they still take for me and I just get sad. They do so much for me and it’s only now that I’ve been away that I’ve been able to remove all that gook and have a good relationship with them. I always get angry at myself when I think about the day my brother was born because my dad tried to give me a toy and I said no. I turned away his love and I think most teenagers spend most of their time turning away their parents’ love. But I’ve really come to appreciate all that they do for me and I’ve especially discovered how much I really do love my parents despite all their flaws and the pain they’ve caused me because now I can see it from the outside. I do love my parents and I miss them like crazy.
Well that’s about enough. It’s 5:00 a.m. now and I haven’t slept at all. Guess I’m doing this whole thing on no sleep. I don’t think there’s much point in trying to sleep now. This is a pretty long post so thanks for sticking through it. I don’t know what to do. I’m really lost right now and in desperate need of a heart to heart with someone. I’m very overwhelmed by everything right now.