1. It's senior year, and I feel inclined to take a magnifying glass to my last four years of college, to carefully examine my lessons and my flaws so I can carry forth applicable wisdom into REAL LIFE ADULT WORLD. There's a lot of material there. I've really fucked a lot of things up.
2. I wait, WITH BAITED BREATH (what a weird phrase, I had to use it), to begin my honors project in WQ. Next quarter is when my year really kicks off, and I'm finally engaged in stuff that I care about! Two badass philosophy classes + English honors!-- but right now I'm stuck finishing up General Ed requirements. Save for one magical English class, my analytical skills are hardly engaged this quarter, and so I'm turning the knife inward and carving up my own character development rather than some fictional asshole's, as I should be.
3. When something is wrong, the wheels start turning, right? And the way this often works for me is, there's something "small," something concrete and specific, that is wrong. This small wrong thing speaks to a higher idea, something "big," that relates to my understanding of past events as well as informing what I want in my future. Of course, there are always small parts of your life that aren't fulfilling-- "life has a gap in it... you don't go crazy trying to fill it." But I'm coming to the understanding that when enough small things start to go wrong, eventually your brain is gonna take notice. It's time to attribute all those small things to bigger issue in your life, maybe. Or at least, it's important to look for a pattern-- not FORCE a pattern to be there, but look for one. Patterns in your small issues will communicate the big issue, the little voice in my head believes.
I've had a sense, for the last few months, that some of the small issues are piling up. Something is blocking their resolve-- something is blocking their resolution on a bigger level. The IDEA level. Little issues are like, when some dumb toddler ties your shoes together under the table. You just take a second to untie them, and then you get up from the table and you keep walking forward. Big issues are like, some FULL GROWN ADULT (how did you not see him, under there? Stuff must be so fucked up) has found a way to create a cement block AROUND BOTH YOUR SHOES, and now the cement has dried, and you are really fucking stuck. You consider amputating your feet, or just sort of leaving the cement where it is, and using the rest of your life savings to hire a servant to bring you food and your laptop eternally. After about an hour of entertaining this no-hassle, sedentary life, you decide there's only one thing to do. You have to get the cement off your feet.
I can't be sure, reader, but I'm beginning to get the sense there's cement on my feet. Someone's starting to get cement in there. It's not final, and it's not as bad as it could be, but it might be starting, so I have to keep my eye on my shoes. I need to clean up the mess that's already there and then get up from the table. But what, oh what, is the mess?
This is the first step. Locating the mess. And the mess is hidden deep in this other mess. And that mess, is called, Society.
If the human self is just a compilation of outside influences (nothing and everything is real! we're all connected! Those flowers, also me!), it can be a uniquely difficult experience, figuring out what resonates with us, which values we care about upholding. I used to think everyone had basically the same values, but I'm not sure that's true anymore-- if we all have the same values, ultimately, the way we express those values sure does come out in weirdo ways. Some people say I love you with a kiss, some people say I love you with a prayer in Church, some people say I love you by leaving a bag of flaming shit on your front porch. In any instance, this may be somebody's ultimate expression of love, but an outside party probably couldn't gauge the sincerity, because they too have a bunch of other crazy shit racing around their head, because they too are trying to figure out what they think would be their individual, ultimate expression of love.
The thing I'm trying to get at is, I know my core values: honesty, liberation, and kindness. But the way these values manifest for me has always been tricky, because I've had so many different influences since the moment I was born telling me how kindness should be expressed, what honesty is, how to ultimately free yourself, or even, if you should be free. It took me a long time to realize I was worthy of self-expression, because there are so many forces in the world telling me that if you like girls, if your gender identity is fluid, if you can experience attraction for multiple people at once, if you're just generally kind of unsettling to the Wonderbread of this world, you should suppress it. Because Wonderbread is right, and you're wrong.
Man, a lot of people think that non-bread stuff is wrong. But I know my stuff isn't wrong. And it's horrifying, to realize how many people are cruel and judgmental about natural human instinct. It's horrifying to see the countless, massive institutions that enforce these rules of social conduct. The hardest part of my life is attempting to follow my inner voice and feel good about it, because it seems like the farther I go in the direction of myself, whatever that is, the more people I lose-- and not just any people. The people who I loved and trusted from such an early age, the people I discovered my beliefs with, are not always coming along for the self-discovery ride the same way I am. I feel like my ideas are getting more radical with time and the public acceptance of those ideas is decreasing.
It morphs into a yelling match in my head. "Are you crazy? Are you just being a selfish fucking lunatic? Are you what happens when evil gets a soul and a body? Or are you a pioneer of free-thinking, at the forefront of a movement towards maturity and individual freedom, of superior appreciation and trust in human nature?" And I don't know. I don't think I'm all evil, but maybe I'm a little bit evil? I can't figure it out. So I sit, and wait, and think, and hope something useful is revealed to me.
In the meantime? All this waiting and thinking is making me a crazy banana king. The only thing that alleviates the tension even slighlty is to write about it (badly, incompletely) because at least then I'm doing SOMETHING with all this nervous energy. And I know all the thinking is happening because of a refusal to act-- the thing is, part of this refusal to act feels necessary to where I'm at right now in my life, aka, COLLEGIATE WORLD OF COLLEGE MAN, COLLEGENESS AND ALL HIS COLLEGE FRIENDS.
So, I'm in my senior year of college. I have a city I know and love, a bunch of friends, a steady relationship, determined values, a campus job, classes to get through, and a place to live. College has served as a foundation for all of these things to happen. As I graduate, I realize I can only carry all that I've found here for so long-- some of this stuff will stay and develop along with me, other stuff will naturally fade, remaining solely a part of the "college experience" forever, or maybe mutate into something else entirely. I guess the fear is no longer that I won't know what to do after I graduate-- it's that the picture is finally forming, and changes have to be made, but those changes aren't clear yet, but whatever those changes end up being I am SCARED AS FUCK IN ANTICIPATION OF MAKING THOSE CHANGES. I AM SCARED AS FUCK IN ANTICIPATION OF BECOMING WAY MORE BADASS AND CONFIDENT IN MYSELF AND HONEST AND FUCKING FEARLESS. BECAUSE CHANGE.
And because right now, in a lot of ways, I don't feel badass. I feel stuck in skool, I feel quiet and contemplative. I feel genuinely afraid. But it's just cause I'm getting my ducks in rows and columns, I try to remind myslef. This is how I operate-- I need lots of planning time to figure out what the next move is, to nail down just what it is I am about. Reader, I am building a duck grid. And soon, this duck grid will come crashing down, onto the head of the patriarchy.