Monday, October 6, 2014

Double Life

I feel like I'm leading a double life.

On one hand, I am happier than I've ever been in my entire life. I am happier than I ever thought possible--much happier than I deserve.

It's the people:  my suitemates are perfect living companions:  we get along flawlessly, balancing late-night life discussions and sessions of politely ignoring each other while we do homework. We laugh loudly and often and share inappropriate details about our lives. It is truly awesome.

Cassidy is still my best friend. We understand each other, support each other, and share hilarious text messages that make me burst out laughing in moments of silence. Our relationship feels the same, except older. I think it's what growing up is supposed to be for best friends.

And Gem. Things with Gem are amazingly great. He gives direction to my aimless everyday inefficiencies and overwhelming mundane endeavors. I take the best naps with him. He has the best story ideas. He's the best kind of stubborn. He sent me a Batman ice cube tray in the mail the other day, for no reason. He takes me on dates because he likes to. He sends me spontaneous flirting texts in class and I cannot help smiling.

These people light up my life. Sometimes it almost makes me cry. God is so great. He has blessed me more than I thought possible.

I am so happy.

But on the other hand, I have never been this miserable for this long in my entire life.

This entire semester has been depression and struggle and frustration and helplessness. I have not had a single day where I woke up with a smile and thought I can do this. Every morning has been like a punch in the stomach, oppressive and nauseating.

It's a rule that semesters start off rough, you know? It's hard to shake the summer mindset. It's hard to say goodbye to friends and family back home. It's hard to watch the tan leach from your skin. I expected these routine difficulties. But I did not expect them to persist relentlessly into my third month of junior year.

I am DROWNING in homework, internship, tutoring, and copy-editor duties. Drowning isn't even the right word. Suffocating? Flattening? My Model United Nations class consists of "Here's a textbook. Read it, understand it, and be prepared for tests on it. Also, please become intimately familiar with all current events and events pertaining to the UN from the last fifty years."

There's a conference coming up in November, where I will represent Belgium on a UN committee COMPLETELY ALONE. I have no idea how to prepare for that.

In another poli-sci class, I am the only non-political science or criminal justice major. I have a midterm in that class tomorrow. I haven't had time to study for it.

In all my three English classes, which I love, I think I've completed about ten readings. There has been a lot of skimming and SparkNoting and bullshitting. I hate doing that. I love being an English major. If I didn't have all the tedious, impossible work for my political science minor, I might love my life.

But as things are, I honest-to-God do not know how I'm going to keep going. Am I going to start failing classes? Am I going to start getting sick all the time? Am I going to lose myself in this relentless struggle to juggle my life?

I feel so trapped. There aren't classes or jobs that I can drop. I have to keep doing everything, but it's only going to get worse, and I'm barely keeping my head above water as is.

I love school because I love learning. But at the same time, I do not want to do this anymore. I am so over being constantly graded. I am so over living a life that is functionally disconnected from Gem. I am so over the entanglements of busy work and...just academics.

I know that I don't want to quit school, but at the same time, these overwhelming feelings of depression and helplessness are not tapering off as the semester progresses the way they normally do.

I'm just frustrated. I know exactly what I want with my life, I just can't reach it yet, and I can't tell if I'm on the surest, most efficient path toward that goal. Am I somehow causing myself unnecessary pain and stress? Or is this just the way it has to be for now?

No answers, only questions.

The reality of impending adultness continues.


1 comment:

  1. I remember feeling this way sometimes when I was still in school. When it was the very worst is when I switched majors to something i actually enjoyed doing - and that cut a lot of stress out of my life. I know you like all these things you are doing individually, but as a collective they are overwhelming. If I was you I might consider dropping some classes - even if you feel like you can't - because it will lighten your course load and make you feel like a better human. It might prolong the length of time you are a student, but if all this stress is starting to make it not worth it to get up in the morning, then that might be the best way to go.

    my roommate when i was a junior/senior in college took a semester of classes where she had 26 credits. TWENTY FRICKEN SIX WHOLE CREDITS. just so she could graduate in four years. And you know what it did? It stole her whole life, she couldn't do anything social, she had to work on homework and read books all the time (oh yeah, she was an English Ed major. so.) and if she had it to do over again, she'd spread it out instead of cram jamming it all into 8 semesters.

    sometimes slowing down is necessary. sometimes the stress isn't worth it. i'd say some honest and healthy self evaluation is probably in order. a pros and cons list maybe. and also prayer.

    the answers will come - just give it time.

    love you girl. and you can SO do this.