The Loneliness of Higher Education

Well, I’ve made it. It only took my 10 years, but this fall I finally got to proudly declare that this is in fact my final semester as a college student and that I would be graduating at the end of term.

However, as I posted that jovial post across my social media platforms I had a weird feeling in my stomach. An emptiness of sorts. Not because of my lack of my food that morning, though it probably had something to do with it. It was more the realization that I am going to be graduating once again another year behind my friends. Unfortunately last May a lot of my friends that I loved and had even started out my college career with turned their own tassels and took that step closer to adulthood and real life.

Now that I’m a college graduate the loneliness has really began to set in. Especially because I’m still living on my mom’s couch and because the current state of affairs is, for lack of a better word, insane. It also doesn’t help much that my mom lives 25 minutes away from anything resembling a city, but I don’t mind the drive and I won’t mind it if I get a job in the city in the near future. I just want to get to the point where I have a job and an apartment of my own because on top of it all I don’t have a lot of my own space at my mom’s house, which is fine because I’m just happy to have a roof over my head. But it’s hard to go from four and a half years of having my own space to being downgraded to a couch and a small closet.

At this point I’m just trying to keep my anxiety and depression in check so that I can actually attempt to get stuff done because as it stands right now I’ve been out of school for a little over a month and I haven’t made as much progress as I’d hoped I might. However, I’m trying like hell to pull myself out of my funk no matter how unmotivated my mom and brothers may think I am. To be fair though, it’s hard for me to be motivated there when I have very little to room to think.

I just hope that at some point in the near future I can find a job and get my life together better than it is right now. I hate living like this.

Talking About It

A few months before the election I posted on Facebook warning my friends and family that if He Who Must Not Be Named became our next president that I was going to start doing drugs. Today I picked up my first prescription of anti-anxiety and depression medicine.

A day or two ago I went to my school’s health clinic to get a pap smear while I could still relatively afford it. While there my doctor asked me about my mental state and as I’ve been closely keeping watch over this election for the past 18 months along with tremendously supporting Hillary Clinton the entire time I, and many others,  were obviously devastated on Tuesday night.

So, the next day I stayed in for most of the morning. Not unlike many others due to  total emotional and mental fatigue. Thankfully, during the time of my appointment my doctor also noticed that I seemed distraught and so she gave me several tests to get an idea of where my head was. She came back, added up the totals and after a little bit of discussion she diagnosed me with mild depression and anxiety.

Fortunately, I have already known this fact for roughly the past 7 years and since I’ve been in school I’ve been taking advantage of my school’s counseling services. However, for the past 4-5 years that I’ve been intermittently going to see my counselor he had never told me that I can be given a prescription through the doctor’s at my school. Thankfully, I have this information now and I’ll be getting a prescription for at least the next year of anxiety and depression meds. However, once that year long prescription is up I’m not sure what I’ll do.

However, my self-preservation skills are pretty sharp, so hopefully they’ll get me by for as long as we have to endure this.

Outsourcing my Heart

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 10.56.24 PMA couple of years ago I jokingly told one of my professors that I was going to have to start expanding my boundaries when it came to finding love because my prospects here in the states were starting to get really bleak.

Well, six months ago something happened. I traveled to Iceland as a part of my second study abroad trip, and one night while randomly browsing Tinder with my roommate just to see how different it was from what I’m used to (gun toters and dead fish wielders) because the Midwest is a weird place, I came upon a match. It wasn’t long after we matched that we started to talk and get to know each other, and we both seemed to click really well. The next and last day of our stay in Iceland, my group was scheduled to go to The Blue Lagoon. Suffice to stay I stayed in the hotel to leech their internet so that I could continue to talk to this intriguing stranger, and I don’t even regret it.

This December, during my winter break I did something that I would consider an achievement and traveled to a foreign country on my own: that country being back to Iceland for a week with him. Though it was a short week, it was also one of the best weeks of my life. I met a good portion of his family, ate some traditional Icelandic food, and got to relax for a while. 

Over the duration of this relationship I’ve been sent articles from various friends and family members about the trials and tribulations that come from being in long distance relationships. While he and I have felt most of the items listed in these articles, we have also seemed to overcome most of them, at least for now. Also, there’s this funny thing called technology which allows he and I to have a better relationship than those ten years ago did that were also in LDR’s. 

Later this summer/end of the semester I’m going to Norway to participate in a four week writing course with one of my professors here at school. While I’m there (the boy) will be coming down from Sweden to meet me and take me out for my birthday and even to meet his parents while I’m there. I gotta say, I’m pretty excited for it too.

Later this month he and I will have been together for seven months and have been talking to each other for almost a year. While to most people this isn’t much of an accomplishment, it is one of my greatest accomplishments since I have been single for the past three years up until meeting him and so far it has been the most rewarding relationships that I’ve ever had, even with 3,000+ miles of ocean and some land between us.

So, yeah, I had to look outside of my own country to find love. But it’s not like it hasn’t been done before. Fate, Destiny or whatever you want to call it has a funny way of making things work out, especially for those that have started to think that they should probably start collecting cats and yarn balls. 

Roots and Wings

I graduate college next year. I graduate college next year, and honestly I think that I’m a little terrified. I mean, that’s usually the natural response to something like this. Or at least it has been for everyone that I’ve known that’s graduated already. But they eventually picked themselves up and have started to make something out of themselves.

I just hope that transfers to everyone that turns their tassels come graduation day.

The only difference between me and most of them is that while they are laying down roots I’m trying to figure out where my next travel destination will be. There’s so much more of this world that I have yet to and want to see and explore. So, unless I get a job out of college that lets me travel and work at the same time that I actually enjoy than I may be forced to start rooting myself. That would be cool if Missouri was where I wanted to stay all of my life. Which I don’t. I’ve lived here for going on 26 years, and while they’ve been some good years, they haven’t made me want to stay much longer.

A while ago during a late night Facebook conversation. a friend of mine pointed out to me that I was restless. Of course I am. I’ve seen five countries in the span of two weeks and what I saw was very little. Of course my natural inclination right now is to fly rather than fight.

Google.com

A few things that I’ve noticed while I travel is that that big black cloud of depression that likes to hang over me in my daily life seems to dissipate and the straight jacket of anxiety tends to loosen up its hold. So, obviously I’m doing something right. Right?

However…..

I have this nagging feeling deep inside that I want to lay down some roots or something. I think what it is is my desire to want to take care of something and in turn be taken care of.

While I’m quite fond of being the independent woman that I am (I think I am), I have also been single for going on four years now. I realize that that’s not a lot of time compared to some people. For example, my mom; she’s been single/divorced for almost eight years now and she seems to be doing pretty well. But there are days when I know that she would do anything to have someone by her side to help carry some of the weight of her stressful life. For that I don’t blame her either. If anything, I want her (and my brothers by proxy) to be happy.

I come from a family of tough, driven and stubborn women so it could be years before I reach whatever it is I really want out of life. So for now I’ll just have to work at chipping away at this shell that I’ve built up around myself by myself.

Vulnerability is a Four-Letter Word

Like. Love. Pain. Hurt. Loss.

Those are the words that best describe the flurry of emotions that I’ve been feeling more and more of for the past year and a half or so.

Unfortunately, they’ve been felt in much higher concentrations than normal over the last month or so more than anything, and all because of a boy.

But that’s how it always starts, isn’t it? A boy or girl careens into our lives without us realizing its even happening until we are wrapped in a blanket burrito on our floor with all of our emotions oozing out of our face. It’s never pretty and the only people that seem to have a better view are the people that just drug our emotions through the ringer.

Something happened to me my freshman year of college that completely obliterated my pre-college emotional stability and it took me roughly a year and a half to get through all of the bullshit that it came with.

Long story short; I started dating a guy that I really liked, and we essentially jumped into our relationship and it was good until it wasn’t anymore and I basically carried all of the weight of the relationship for a few months, plus everything else that I had going on. It was NOT a fun experience for me since I prefer to work as an equal in a relationship and it felt like he was taking more than he was giving. So I dumped him and he started to date my RA roughly two weeks after and I had to see them ALL of the time and it hurt.

That summer I fell into a deep and dark depression that I fought in vain to keep at bay so that my outward appearance made me seem okay. Unfortunately that front didn’t last very long because my roommates at the time found ways to coax my problems out of me. Granted, it was a little like pulling teeth to get me to talk, even though they had a good idea of what was going on with me, but goddamn did they work hard. Especially when I insisted on staying in bed all day or going straight to bed and shutting off my brain as soon as I got home from work. Then one day one of them came in while I was writing or reading or something and they forced me to spill, and I (finally) did. I bawled in my friends arms and finally got some semblance of a release that I deperately needed that summer. But something still didn’t feel right after I cried. I still felt the enormous weight of the depression and agony of seeing them together on a regular basis.

I realize now how petty that is to say, but I had invested a lot of time and energy into that relationship and I didn’t feel appreciated on top of everything else. So, my natural response is bitterness followed by a hefty dose of depression.

Unfortunately, depression has always been something that I’ve fought tooth and nail to try and pacify, but it has this awesome knack of always coming back, and usually with a burning vengeance. I think, no, I know that it has something to do how ridiculously sensitive to the world around me that I am. I’m a walking, talking sack of nerve endings and sometimes I put myself into situations almost accidentally that leave me with no other choice than to cauterize my emotional wounds.

Then at the beginning of this semester I met someone that I felt a strong connection to and I somehow let them demolish the heavily guarded walls around my heart with a high-grade flamethrower. We hung out a couple times, intimate things happened and then they dropped a  bomb on me that I wasn’t entirely expecting. Their news was that they don’t want a relationship this year, but I do, so of course my heart started to kind of break in that moment and it has been unfortunately breaking more and more ever since. Mainly because I keep letting them into my life and my room, and they keep doing things that a boyfriend would probably do, like caressing my face, and kissing my cheeks and forehead, and every time they did it I would let it happen because who doesn’t like to be held and have affection when they’ve gone nearly three years without any proper connection and the connection is so great??

Why would you say that you don’t want a relationship but when you get the person that you know has more than lukewarm feelings for you you proceed to drag their heart and emotions through the mud?

 So last weekend I walked up to him one day and announced that we had come to an impasse and I gave him something that signified a white flag. I felt strong. I had prepared what I was going to say to him and how I was going to say it to him in the strongest tone I could muster and I was going to look awesome doing it. Then he hugged me and I melted into him again.

Now I’m currently cauterizing my wounds and I’m pretty sure that if I do it much more that I’ll be completely numb to everything and shut down more and more every time something horrible happens to me emotionally..because that works, right?

Unfortunately, this fiasco happened to me right as I was starting to feel completely healed from the last time this kind of emotional trauma happened to me and I felt like a shattered mirror, seven years bad luck included.

I hope that the bounce back from this doesn’t take as long to recover from as the last experience did. I don’t think that I have the energy for it anymore since it happened the last time.

A person can only take so much.

30 by 30: Revisited

  1. Start a vlog
  2. Meet John Green, (Jo Rowling and Tina Fey) upon reflection these are pretty lofty and unattainable goals
  3. Write a book
  4. Graduate college with honors- I’m trying really hard, but I’m coming to terms that it might not happen and I’m okay with that. I think. However, I’m going to keep trying.  
  5. Live in another country
  6. See the ocean this is happening this summer too!
  7. Have a library of my own
  8. Fall in love
  9. Learn a new language, preferably French, and go somewhere where I can use it.
  10. Travel across Europe this is happening this summer!
  11. Own a cat
  12. Fix my relationship with some of my family members
  13. Move out of Missouri upon graduation- found out where I want it to be, Chicago. 🙂 
  14. Kiss a stranger
  15. Write a screenplay
  16. Become a publicist for a company in Chicago.
  17. Go to a location where a famous movie was shot.
  18. Work in a used bookstore
  19. Do yoga on a regular basis
  20. Make dinner and dessert for someone that I love on Valentine’s Day
  21. Go to VidCon
  22. read all of the books on my bookshelf
  23. Own an iPhone
  24. Roadtrip through the United States
  25. Have an amazing bookshelf like these
  26. See my mom and little brother’s happy
  27. Learn how to walk in heels
  28. Get better at math- I’m working on it. 
  29. Grow out my fingernails
  30. Be happy.

In two months time I’ll be turning 25 years old and about a year or so ago I wrote a list of things that I had hoped to do by 30. These are my accomplishments thus far. What a year it has been and I’m really looking forward to what the next five years have in store for me.

On Chivalry.

Chivalry isn’t dead, not really.

In fact it’s alive and well and here’s how I know.

Tonight at work I covered a shift for a friend and I came in feeling particularly drained thanks to this semester. All of a sudden I hear the distant noises of an acoustic guitar coming from one of the corridors and it was one of my (guy) friends just casually strumming his guitar. You know, how boys do and such.

All of a sudden he sits down next to the chair by my desk and starts to sing a tune that sounds oddly familiar to me but I can’t quite place it, until finally he starts to sing the chorus and I realized that it was Tom Petty’s  “Free Falling”. I don’t think that I’ve ever loved an acoustic cover of a song more than in that minute right then and there.Oh how  wrong I was, because after a short tuning after “Free Falling” he started to sing “Hurt” by Johnny Cash and I more or less melted right then and there since Johnny Cash and Tom Petty are coincidentally two of my favorite artists.

So yes, chivalry is actually alive and well, despite all of the overwhelming evidence against it in today’s ridiculous society. The secret to finding some is to know where to look. I know, I know, it’s a bit of a process. I wasn’t even expecting anything like that to happen to me tonight, but here we are.

However, when/if ever you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this rare bird make sure that you mentally photograph every tender moment of it. Remember everything in that moment. Everything from the color of the shirt you were wearing, what the presenter of whatever chivalrous moment you just experienced was wearing and how lucky you are to be in this moment, even if it is purely coincidental or even accidental.

Enjoy these serendipitous moments when they happen to you, because for that moment in time, no matter how long it lasts your life is a movie. Or at the very least a lot like one. Drink in the moments like these because to quote Sarah Louise Delany, “Life is short , and it is up to you to make it sweet”.

So, go forth my lovelies and be chivalrous and sweet and loving to everyone around you because everyone deserves moments like these in their life, even if for a minute.