Spring Freshman Year
I don’t like my eating house. I don’t like girls. I don’t like boys. I hate Davidson. I hate the nature of relationships and the role of women and men. I hate the segregation of races and the lack of real diversity. I hate the separation of the alcoholics and the nerds. I hate trying to find a balance. I hate that my Dad isn’t proud of me and that I am not living up to expectations. I hate that I do not think that anyone is perfect and I feel like anyone that I am friends with is something that I am settling for. I hate that I am pissed off and not grateful for life. I hate that my grandmother has Alzheimer’s. And I hate the prospect of getting old. I hate that I am not eloquent and that I can’t write poetry. I hate that the buildings here do not have kitchens and that we live on such a small campus. I hate that I hate so much. I hate that I can’t sit through church without letting my mind wander and the fact that I do not really believe. I hate that I am so judgmental and hormonal. I hate that I cry so much. I hate that I don’t like anyone. I hate that I don’t have the guts to be an upstanding person.
All the girls in my eating house are such sluts, and I hate that I just used that word. They all have these “boyfriends” who I know that they aren’t going to marry—yet they have sex anyways. I hate that I don’t understand and that I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I hate that I feel like an alcoholic and that I am writing this instead of writing my humanities paper. I hate living with people who are unreasonable, and I wish that I knew what I was doing wrong so that I could avoid being such a bad roommate. Am I even a bad roommate? I have no idea. I don’t even care enough because I am such a self-centered person even though I think that I am not. I pretend to be so much better than everyone else, but really I am just the same as everyone. I can’t believe that I am stuck in the position forever. I don’t even know what I am doing! I am just a passive observer in this life.
I want to stop cursing. I want to stop drinking. I want to do better in school. I want to spend my time with people who are more worthwhile. I want to be honest. I want to be kind and tolerant. I want to emulate Jesus and be ready for death when it comes. I want my parents to be proud of me and I don’t want them to feel like they failed in raising me.
I don’t want to be fake. I don’t want to be like the girls that I am getting to know. I don’t want to be like that! I can already feel myself changing. I can tell. I do not want to do this.
I want to go home.
Spring Freshman Year
You know what? I am likable. I am a great asset. I would make a great friend and girlfriend. I am sexy, intelligent, spunky, unique, loving, curious, thoughtful, and creative. I am organized, responsible, driven, interesting, and capable. I have done many things and will do many things. Anyone would be lucky to have my love.
I just need to remind myself of my potential, and to be grateful for everything that I have and am. My life is going to be great, and I just need to appreciate it and live every moment to the fullest.
Spring Freshman Year
There are a lot of things that I have accomplished at Davidson that I should be proud of, but mostly I feel like I am really not doing as much as I should. I feel like I could accomplish so much more and that I am not living up to my potential.
I am tired of not knowing who I am or where I belong—and not understanding what that phrase means. How can someone not know where she belongs? I belong to God. I belong to my parents. I belong to myself, my school, my friends, my society. Why does it have to be so confusing?
Maybe it is so difficult because I am afraid of losing those things that I have a connection to. What if my family dies? What if my friends do not actually understand me or love me? What if God is just an illusion (although I know that God is not)? What if there is no such thing as life or death? What if I am less important in my role in society than I think that I am?
And why am I always so angry? So undisciplined? Perhaps I can be proud of the fact that I am planning ahead for most of my schoolwork and that I have started to be more dedicated to exercise. But I am not really do as much as I can or should. I should and can be doing so much more. But yet, I continue to settle for this level of performance. I settle and get the grades that reflect my lack of commitment. Now, even though I am drinking less and much more in control of my outward emotions, I continue to get bad grades (even though I am in easier classes!).
I do not like my friends here that much, but I am too scared or trapped to make new ones. I hate living in this room—it makes me angry all the time!! The weather today made me happy. But what about tomorrow? Will the slight change in temperature alter my emotions? I mean really, why can’t I have a better grasp of my emotions? Why can’t I take the counselor’s suggestion and ignore unproductive thoughts? Why am I so needy and disillusioned?
There are parts about my future that are really exciting. But I want them now. Right now I feel like my life is just scraping the bare minimum of what it really could be.
I count down the days until the summer, never living in the moment or appreciating my life the way that it is. I want out. I cannot stand having these emotions. I want to be with the people I love and who understand me. This place is like a little summer camp with people who are trying to do their best, but who constantly fail. That is the world. Everything is a failure. International relations are never organized in the best interest of the whole world. People are selfish. The world is broken and full of people who are confused and interested in personal gain.
Where is the part of the world that is invested in community?
Junior Year, Fall Semester Abroad
Why am I so unhappy? Why won’t I just snap out of it and see the plainness, simplicity, and manageability of life abroad. It is simple. I understand life here. I am in no hurry to move on to the next thing. Home will not solve the emotions of pointlessness and loss that I feel. I feel irritable and impatient, stressed and anxious. I realize that I am not social here and there are few people that I like or respect. Small tasks make me extremely stressed out. Meeting someone at a restaurant. Going to a new part of town. Traveling to a new country or city. I want a routine. I want simple. I want stability. That may sound boring, but right now the unknown is making me go crazy with panic attacks, feelings of loneliness and confusion. I just want to explode with rage sometimes. Others I want to cry. Sometimes I just want to get on a plane and go home because that it the only place that makes the slightest bit of sense to me. I want to have control over my life and my emotions. I have lost that control.
I hate being depressed. I have been severely depressed during at least 3 points in my life now. I feel like I am fighting a monster within my body. A very sad, negative energy just penetrates my thoughts and my heart and envelops me whenever I have a second to think. Whenever I stop doing something with a goal, it comes upon me. I know that I should realize how pointless these emotions are and have the disciple and commitment to being happy to stop them, but I give into it. I start feeling sorry for myself and constructing the only logical escape plan-withdrawal. I want to do nothing social. I want to go home. I want to freeze time and just do nothing. I have no motivation or dreams or ambition. I have little imagination for what I might be able to accomplish in my life.
Why are all of the most interesting people I know prone to depression? Literally all of my high school best friends are taking anti-depression medication. I need someone to talk to and someone to validate my emotions. Me sitting here in my room talking to myself might not be the healthiest solution to my dramatic thoughts. How can there be so much torment caused simply inside my head? All of my physical needs are met. I am going to survive and live-I have enough food and money and I have a roof over my head and resources to learn. But all I can think about is how impossible all of the most mundane things really are. I am so desperate for human interaction and attention. I am stressed out and irrational. I feel very displaced. I don’t like my job prospects. I do not want to work in a bank. I don’t think that I will ever be able to understand the financial market. It is like those dancers or musicians that started when they were really young and it is too late to catch up to them once you are older. I want to live a comfortable life style but I also want to do a job that isn’t boring and pointless in the grand picture. I want to interact with people. I want to teach people about what the world has the potential to be. I want to spend my days thinking about religion and philosophy and history. I want to read about the human experience and to understand what other people went through in their lives. I want to be a mother and I want a husband and I want someone to love me. I want someone that I love. I want to do simple things and manageable things that will impact people and will make me sane and happy and full of life and love.
But what about shooting for the stars? Will that ever happen to me? Do I have a responsibility to change the world on a more efficient and widespread scale? I think that I can change the world even in my small circle through my energy and interactions with other people. But I could really make a lot more people a lot better off if I had some sort of power. If I ran in politics, or worked for governments, how could I be sure that I wasn’t screwing up the world more than I am helping it? Even if I were president of the United States (which was my job aspiration when I was younger), would I even be able to make the right decisions? So much is a guessing game! And how could I dedicate my whole life to the country and the world? That is a huge sacrifice to make! But it is amazing and has the potential to do so much good. Well. I don’t think that I have what it takes anyways. I don’t like debating or interviews or phone calls. I have so much learning to catch up on. I never read the news. I hardly know what is going on in the world.
Fall Senior Year
I am realizing something about myself, and it feels good to know myself better. What are some things that I know about myself? I love food, jazz music, singing, and the outdoors. But what I just put my finger on today is that I am an idealist. I imagine things far ahead and want them to be a certain way—this could be perceived as optimism or being a dreamer. I love taking long baths with candles, taking the extra attention to details and listening to blues music—this could be perceived as being a romantic. I am stubborn, argumentative, and aggressive at times—this could be perceived as being a bitch. But I see the world in a wonderful, very specific way. I am interested in learning about the reality, but I am also very optimistic, and faithful that it has amazing potential and goodness inherit in it. I speak rationally and realistically about the world that I see, but I am willing to hope for different results in the future.
And how do I see this world so optimistically? As I learn about international relations, the more pessimistic I feel that I must be. Wars and crime often feel inevitable.
In my daily life I feel a constant tension between what I want to do and what I feel that I ought to do. What do I want to do? I want to eat good food, play music, read, talk, and enjoy the beautiful places on this earth. What do I feel I ought to do? Fight for the rights of women around the world, make people less wasteful, make businesses and governments less corrupt, to ease people’s suffering and sadness and hunger. I ought to learn as much as I possibly can so that I can maximize my time on earth and actually leave this world a better place.
Where are my dreams and aspirations for change? Why am I not inventing new technologies, researching cures for cancer, or pouring over textbooks? Why am I not teaching every child in sight how to show more compassion and how to see the world as a bigger place that your school, your family, and your town? How can we foster a community of global citizenship—where no matter where we are from, we believe in serving others.
And in a world of finite resources, how do we serve everyone? Should governments have the power to protect its citizens and its citizens alone? Is the exclusion of others justified by the benefits reaped by those included?
I just want to be a philosopher. I want to serve, think, and act. But if I were to become a philosopher, what would my words mean if I did not act. If I spoke about serve to others, but never held the hand of someone in need, then did I really live a life of service? Can service be delegated? When I organize a blood drive and get 50 people to donate blood, the whole act would be incomplete if I did not give blood myself. But why is that? A utilitarian would argue that the outcome benefits more people. But if we are principled, we have to lead the lives that we preach.
I want to know the answers to my questions about what would make the world a better place. Today I do not have the skills or expertise to know how to make that happen. Should I seek these skills in the classroom or in a cubicle? I do not envision a happy life for myself in a cubicle or in any office really. Or perhaps I am still just traumatized by the city and my normal response to change. How did I cope so well this summer? Was I on the precipice of disaster? Did my frequent visits from my sister keep me afloat?
I do not want to be boxed in or bound to one future. I do not want my fears to command my fate. But still, I am forced to acknowledge the reality that I do not deal well with change. So how shall I condition myself to constantly change? How can I discipline myself to stop watching TV and waste my life away? Just do it?
I wish there were a magical motivation engine that I could turn on that would increase my productivity and allow more freedom and more options. But is this not enough: the more that I am productive in my daily life, the more that I will accomplish in my life span, the more wisdom and knowledge that I will possess, and I will be able to achieve great and wonderful things for the future generations of this world.
I see the big picture. Sometimes that means I fail to listen or to appreciate the minutiae of daily life. I am exhausted of drama and gossip and I care very little about fashion, networking, and attending the type of parties that are so common at Davidson. I seek more. And the more that I force myself to be, the more my life will be. Every day I can wake up and make a decision to be the best version of myself—the most idealist, faithful, joyful, and eventually lovable!!
Shall I seek it in the companionship of others, or should I seek it within myself? And what do I seek, but love and enlightenment, truth and participation in a community of support.
It is an irony in my life: the more full I pack my daily schedule, the emptier my life. I no not even have the opportunity to notice that I never do my homework and I don’t have very close friends.