Wednesday, January 26, 2011

a word to the apathetic

now seemed as good a time as ever to make another post. everytime i read something someone else has written it gives me an urge to write something, so here i am.
i feel kind of bad for my last post's lamentations. while they were utterly sound and descriptive of my feelings, i have now gained some much needed perspective -- funny how time and attention to schoolwork seems to do that.
i thought maybe i'd post something to my past and likely future self about the blues.

so to whoever is facing a bout of apathy (most likely future-me looking for answers):
  • after reading this, get off of the internet. open up a book, or go to sleep. don't chat with anyone online, don't pick up the phone and call anyone-- sleep, open a book up, read something or do some work.
  • if you've been agonizing about a decision for days, even months, think about it for twenty minutes and make a completely logical argument for each side taking out buts, and what-ifs and fantasy-like images. make the choice that makes logical sense for your life on the margin. after this process, pick the most practical one, or propose an alternate solution. DON'T put it off any longer.
case in point: i decided not to go to africa. i know i can go there later and do something more in line with my goals. if i want to learn french, i can still go away for a semester or a summer without setting back my studies right now. after maybe two years of agonizing, i just decided what i knew i would have to eventually come to terms with, and it's okay. it's better than going now, against my parent's wishes, and having to do an extra year of school.
  • make a new plan. inject some newness into your life. 
it's up to you what it is: if you're me, it shouldn't be some kind of resolution to do some activity once a week or something, any resolution you make will be too ambitious. just make one tiny little decision, choose to look at one thing differently.
  • resolve to not let your perceptions of how others' expect you to act interfere with doing what's right for you. 
even as an opinionated individual, i face this all the time. i will assume that someone secretly wants something from me or expects something of me, when there is no proof of this. i have a tendency to put others first, when i don't even know that i'm doing what they want. well no more! every day this week, i have been setting little tasks that i need to accomplish, and accomplishing them regardless of other people! muahahaha. i am so powerful!
  •  think about what your values are. now, think of what you do to support these values. what is the distance between who you are in principle and who you want to be? moreover, why do you possess the ideas you do? who/what instilled them into you? why do you think they're right? go read/listen/watch something that goes against your ideas and try to defend them honestly. you don't have to tell anyone, but justify them to yourself.
  • start accomplishing something you need/want to do ahead of time. you will thank yourself later.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

sleeping is all i want to do

so i've been languishing on my bed for the better part of three days. sure, i got up to go to these weird appointments known as "classes"-- all of which, this semester, are the definition of crowded. this must be what it's like to not take a language class, and exist as part of the shuffle... of chairs, people, backpacks zipping, rudely before the time allotted has been spent, bells ringing, or not, depending on the building and the time of the meetings.
i have no right to be apathetic. i have probably been more productive in this week than i have in all of my time of break. but the feist (this isn't a word? what?) for learning has been much dampened by deep, deep blankness of emotion, activity, teeth (i went to the dentist and gave them a damn good cleaning). i know that i have to be motivated. it's the beginning of the semester and now is the time to care. but i'm just sitting here, sick, and aching and being lame. i played a gig, and was completely out of it the whole time due to sick delirium.
this royally sucks. because normally, i'm so happy to be alive. i wake up excited for the day, for the people i haven't met, for what i haven't learned. i don't know where the blankness is coming from. this mental fatigue.
i think it's the fact that i have come to a point at which i can no longer put off decisions that need to be made in terms of things like study abroad, my major, and to a lesser extent, my band. and thus, it's like all i want to do is languish and dwell, instead of being forced to think about the colloids that should be solid in my life.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010. a retrospective.

So here I am. I'm in an empty house that has recently been vacated by a few of the better friends I have in the world. My sister and brother are away and there's some intense Nine Inch Nails shuffling on the Bose speakers in the background. The only thing that's novel about this moment is that it's a time that it never has been before-- which is the single most redundant thing I could ever say, I know. Also. It's a straight-up lie, because it's kind of weird that I'm listening to the Bose speakers late at night with my iPod, because I'm usually never alone this late in my house.

In any case, all mood-making language aside, it's a new year and I'm, for the moment, alone in my thoughts.

Queen's "Somebody to Love" has come up in the shuffle. The thing about this song is that I don't know if it will ever not affect me. My dad would say that what's so effective about it is Freddie Mercury's perfect mastery of pitch. Not note-naming-wise, but in the fact that he can just perfectly hit every note in a piercing, yet effortless manner. I'm not sure if it's just that. There's something about the resilience of the song, "I've just gotta get out of this prison cell, someday I'm gonna be free!" and the build-up that crescendos into a descant of voices layering over one another. I'm a sucker for that musical canon. There's just something about the melody starting so small and building into something that everyone can join in on that for me sounds like a metaphor for life. It takes one voice to raise an idea that can change the world. (Inception!)

I think 2010 was a good year, partly because it taught me a lot about what I love, but it was not about finding "somebody" as much as it was about finding out "what." To be clear, finding out more about what I love does not transfer to me being an expert in something or even knowing what I want to do later in life. But it magnetized my compass, and now I feel like I can head toward some kind of direction. I still have ways, ways, ways to go. I need to focus and I need to do more.

Significant things that happened in 2010:
1. The Rose Lights, and the gaining of momentum, and the productivity, and the friendships fanned.
2. I made right choices even though it was difficult for me.
3. I excelled and didn't excel in school. Regardless, I learned a lot.
4. My boy-crazy side resurfaced. Also, I found out I don't have a type.
5. People who I never really noticed became important to me.
6. I passed a couple of milestones.
7. I learned that for better or worse you can't un-learn something. You can only amend the way you think about things.
8. I became a radio DJ with one Becca Gollman at my side.
9. I realized how much I love being a part of the Simpson Street Free Press and how much I believe in it.
10. I made friends with all of my co-workers.
11. I did a some unselfish things that will go unnoticed and a few that won't. I did a lot of selfish things that may or may not go unnoticed. I think it evened out.
12. I was busy. I forgot about important things like taking meds and eating and sleeping.
13. I became more okay with the way my voice sounds.
14. I kept my high school friends :)
15. I ate my words and felt incredibly stupid many, many times. I realized that I'm pretty flawed and thoughtless sometimes. There are some things that I just have less of a capacity for.
16. I realized that I can't do everything and I can't please everyone. I don't have enough time.

A few resolutions:
-Next semester, I'm going to have to cut back on social stuff more and spend more time alone for my own sanity's sake. I won't take more than 15 credits, even though that means I can't take a language. :(
-I will write more songs and sing in a way that I can be proud of.
-I will go to the library more and be less impulsive. I will study the same subject with people I know are better at it than me if need be.
-I won't be stupid about my friendships. I'll be honest about the way I feel instead of picking fights to show my affection all the time. I won't think that hard about things that don't deserve dwelling.
-I will "forgive them even if they are not sorry." In other words, I will try to be less hurt by what others do, and more constructive about dealing with issues in the interpersonal relationships that are important to me.
-I will make a motivational poster of what I want to make of myself and hang it where I can see it so that I don't lose sight of my goals.