Things I like : my boots when it's raining, and the little quirks in human nature that result in things like the Alternatives and the I Saw U's in The Stranger. Things I don't like : obviously uncleaned-all-day labs when I'm closing, and feeling not useful/wanted. Things that upset me : the way my stomach is upset right now, and the fact that I know I won't go to bed now, even though if I did, I could actually get a respectable amount of sleep.
Sigh. I don't know what it is about Tuesdays.
Hours later, minus a games directory—but I've got a new hard drive. Go... not me. Not for the first time, I bless whomever helped put Richard on this earth... he's unfailingly patient in listening and teaching where I'm concerned, and there's no way I'll ever be able to repay him for that patience. Who else would have sat with me for hours, taught me how to use xcopy, helped me to figure out which jumpers to set which ways, forced me to do most of it myself, and asked only a rootbeer and some gratitude in return? I don't deserve a best friend like him, so here's a little "Thanks" to whomever is looking out for me, somewhere.
(eep) If I would only consider the cans of worms being opened before I actually speak sometimes. ARGH.
I find myself depressed.
I had a wonderful afternoon; I had a lovely evening. Lunch and hanging out with Zach was fun, visiting with Bryan and Mansi at the play was great, Brian and the play itself were wonderful. Dinner afterwards with my parents and Richard and Jeff made me hope that years from now, the pair of them will still be going to events with my family. But later... I was unintentionally rude tonight. Zach claimed that it was alright, but I feel bad, and project that out onto others such that I that feel that they did not want me there, and so feel rejected. There are few things in the world that upset me as much; while I'm trying to convince me that it's all in my head, I find myself not able to believe me.
But that's not really it. I think it goes back to what Max said early this morning about him not wanting to "settle" right now—I realized that I do. What am I supposed to do, when he whom I would have given anything to settle on is nearly five thousand miles away? I find myself spun this way and that, surrounded by faces, none of whom I want. What I want is so very far away... and doesn't want me, anyway. It hurts so much to write that down, because I know that it's true. I wonder when I'll get it through my head that that's just the way things are, and there's nothing I can do about it... In the meantime I am drawn this way, and then that way, passingly intrigued by those whom I cannot have or who do not want me, ungrateful or undesiring of those who do. A fine, laughable situation, to be beset on all sides by "admirers," but to go to bed each night with just his face in my mind... He's laughing sometimes. Crying sometimes. Sometimes he's smiling at me, and other times he's just looking into my eyes. The thought brings tears, to the amusement or disdain of all I know.
I feel such a hypocrite. I desperately reach out to those around me, when to succeed is to be reminded that it was all a farce, an elaborate misdirection on the part of my psyche. He wasn't perfect—I know that. I know that. So why can I settle for nothing else now? And yet I keep finding myself with metaphorical hand outstretched, upset when it is slapped away, angry when it is ignored, and changeable when it is accepted. I feel such a liar, to cast myself out into the world when my heart is still so wrapped up in an impossibility.
Simple pleasures : standing in a dim shower, hot water cascading over me, while a cool breeze comes in over the top of the curtain. The hyper-alert feeling of having been woken up after only a few hours of sleep, where it feels as if my senses have crawled out of my body to pick up input that I would normally miss. The memory of curling up with someone I care about to watch movies. The way that Christmas lights look when I don't have my glasses on. The knowledge that I can go back to sleep now and not have to get up at all in the morning.
Me : 4 pages.
Paper : 5 hours.
School : 0 classes on Friday.
Considering that I need 5 pages, and I really should go to school in the morning even though I know I won't, I think the paper is the big winner of the night. Richard offered to let me use his Quickcam when it gets up here from Florida. I'm ambivalent on the idea of a webcam. It seems as though it would be a passingly nifty thing, but as Zach pointed out to me the other day, it's also an exceedingly restricting one. Of course, I think to myself, it's not as if it would pick up anything that the people in the Steven's Court apartments across the street can't see anyway, and lord knows I don't seem to care if they look in my window.
I hate this time of the quarter; when it seems as if it's so close to being over, but there's so much to be done, so many hoops left to leap through, before a true rest can be taken. It's strange to realize, halfway through the transition, that I'm in the middle of doing a major redefinition of self. I feel as if I've been wrapped in cellophane, and have finally figured out which ways are comfortable to push, and which bits are so twisted up that it's better to simply retreat. Trying to juggle my time between work, school, sleep, and still seeing my friends has started to teach me which things are truly important and which things can wait for other days. I feel terrible that I've had to give some activities up, because I feel that it hurts those who I've had to reduce time with, but the benefit to my stress-level has been more worth it than I could ever have dreamed. When I look at how I'd be feeling tonight were I still trying to handle everything I was handling three weeks ago, I don't think that "sane" would be one of the adjectives that I would be applying to myself. As is, "regretful," perhaps. "Worn out," perhaps. "Tense," perhaps. But also serenely ready: ready to go to bed.
It was one of those days today. I knew it would be, when I was woken up early this morning by a wall's-length of Christmas lights falling over my head. Some days, I think, the signs and portents should just be heeded, and I should just stay in bed. Had a quiz that I ferked a little on in Japanese lecture, lunch upset my stomach a bit, and Verz and I just barely escaped an open argument during office hours. Went to J-lit, discovered there was a test for the test-takers for the first hour, so went and worked for an hour in the CRC for no pay, just because it was raining too hard to go anywhere else. Felt fuzzy all through J-lit, got soaked on the way home, was out of it all afternoon, and started sliding down the depression ladder over the four and a half hours of work. Bout the only good thing about the day were the unending compliments on how nice I looked, but it made me wonder if I truly look so terrible normally that simply dressing a little more like a girl should prompt such amazement. And let's not forget the fact that the drawer in my desk got unhinged and fell onto my computer not once, but twice today. Anyway, the whole day just made me want to sigh and crawl back into bed. Now if I could only wean myself off this habit of needing to spend 1.5+ hours in front of my computer before I can go to sleep...
There is something simply magical about seeing myself spoken about in written media. Whether it's a letter to someone, glimpsed on my parents' desk, a school newspaper article, written about my team, or a website that talks about me, however briefly, there's no changing that initial rush of comprehension. It's the little squirrely feeling in my stomach, that crawls out through the rest of my body in an ecstatic surge of "that's me being talked about!" Every time it happens, I remember one of the Xanth books, where a character snuck into a castle after having distracted the guard with a story written with the guard's name as that of the protagonist. There seems to be something fundamentally wired into the human animal about lapping up recognition of self.
(giggle) Mark says that I'm "off defending Seattle from the infidel." Okay, enough C for the night. My program's gotten to the point at which when I experiment, I crash my computer. Joy. It's raining outside, resulting in quiet whishing floating by my window when cars pass by. I think there's really no more calming sound. I went shopping today... bought... nice clothes. Nicer than I had, at least. Lord, do I hate shopping—it gives me a huge headache, which I'm usually able to ignore, at least until I set foot in the store that's just one too many... at which point I become crankiness personified. I know that I need to buy clothes every now and then, to avoid running around in rags, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it.
It feels like it's actually Friday night. Suppose that's because I don't have to go to school on Monday. Gee, you think? It's funny, the things that resurface after years of dormancy : feelings, emotions, tensions. Just when you start to think that things have changed, life hints to you that you're wrong. It's amusing how much we humans think we change over time, when, in the end, certain basic attitudes just never do.
(hahahahahaha) From Slashdot : "The Swedish Interactive Institute has developed an interesting new game called Brainball. The rules are simple; a steel ball on the playing field is controlled by biosensors on the players' heads, and the player with the least brain activity wins." (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA) The only game where a carrot could beat a person...
I feel like I should apologize for what I wrote last night, but I don't believe I will. That's how I feel, and while I do my best to be polite and forget professional differences when I'm actually working with certain people, this is my own place to let off steam. If I don't do it here, I blow out into one of those Jen-rages that very few people I currently know have ever been "privledged" enough to witness. Sigh. I didn't mean to imply, last night, that everyone I work with has a bad attitude. Most of my co-workers are a joy to work with, and nearly all of those who aren't, I still enjoy spending extra time with. It's just... I get so frustrated. It's 2 am, and I have a midterm and an oral presentation on the morrow. I should be asleep, but instead I sit in my chair, knees pulled up to my chin, and stare out at the skeleton of a tree that should guard my window with leaves in a few months.
AUGH. AUGH!!! If I ever ever stop liking to help people, I want someone to shoot me. Sure, clients can be ignorant, slow to learn, and drive me up the wall by asking me how to highlight text. But that doesn't change at all the fact that I love to help them. I love it. I'm proud of the fact that I like where I work. You guys HEAR THAT? I'm fucking PROUD. I'm sick and fucking tired of being made to feel stupid for that fact. I'm sick and fucking tired of co-workers who hate their job, who condescendingly tell me that I'll "grow out" of enjoying working there. I never want to get tired of what I'm doing. Sure, it's remedial, sure, it can be repetitive. But to all you fucking SNOBS who work with me : if we don't teach these people how to check their email, who will? You laugh and scoff and say "well, I taught myself." Does that really make you any of a better person??? Fine, then, be self-satisfied in your own goddamn fucking L33tn3$$. How can you possibly be working here with that attitude? How can anyone possibly look down on their fellow man that much? AUGH. I'm so angry I'm nearly crying again.
AUGH. I haven't been so angry that I cried in a long long time.
It was That day today. The commercialized one that no one I know likes... either we're more of a minority than I thought, or there is a very small number of people who are just buying in very very big to the whole thing. The balloons above the girl in CSE lecture was a bit much, I think. I coudn't see the damn overhead. Argh. Flowers and chocolates are one thing. They're unobtrusive on the rest of us (so long as the giver has an ounce of decorum)—balloons and stuffed animals, on the other hand, are just going too far. I still haven't done my homework, but I'm thinking I'm going to go to bed. Which, by the way, you can't really see here, but you could probably see from some of the rooms of Steven's Court across the way.
I think I'm only going to get four hours or so of sleep tonight. Stupid perfectionism will be the freaking death of me.
Strong memory of freshman year: sitting quietly in Lon's room, playing Age of Empires, on a cloudy-grey winter day. A faint sound : music being slowly turned up in Chuck and Chapman's room. Louder, and louder, suddenly recognizable : Soft Cell's Tainted Love. As walls begin to rattle, a head is stuck out the door into the cluster just in time to see Chapman burst out of his room, arms flung wide, head back, singing. And loudly. He dances through the cluster, through the main room, through the hall, waves at all the onlookers, trying his hardest to outdo the stereo that surely can be heard through the entire floor.
Rough, raspy, Scott Chapman voice... "Sometimes I feel I've got to / Run away I've got to / Get away / From the pain that you drive into the heart of me / The love we share / Seems to go nowhere / And I've lost my light / For I toss and turn I can't sleep at night / Once I ran to you (I ran) / Now I'll run from you / This tainted love you've given / I give you all a boy could give you / Take my tears and that's not nearly all / Tainted love / Tainted love / Now I know I've got to / Run away I've got to / Get away / You don't really want IT any more from me / To make things right / You need someone to hold you tight / And you'LL think love is to pray / But I'm sorry I don't pray that way / Once I ran to you (I ran) / Now I'll run from you / This tainted love you've given / I give you all a boy could give you / Take my tears and that's not nearly all / Tainted love / Tainted love / Don't touch me please / I cannot stand the way you tease / I love you though you hurt me so / Now I'm going to pack my things and go..." So funny, to think that I knew who he was before I got into college, soccer player from my high school, a year ahead, slightly goofy and always a little scary. Hard to get over the terror upperclassmen can inspire in the underclassmen in high school. To have run into him the other night... so strange. To have him come back and say hi to me earlier today... so strange. Who else will I still be talking happily to years from now, who I never would have predicted I would be talking to at all?
It always happens—whenever I figure out what I wanted to say here early in the day, if I don't write it down, it's gone like that! *poof* I've been asked no fewer than four times in the last several days if it bothers me, knowing that random people across the world could stumble across this part of my webpage, such a personal part of me. Each time asked, I've considered a bit, and replied, "no." Because it doesn't. I've striven for the last three years to be as honest a person about myself as possible; while I don't always succeed, I like to think that nothing on this page is anything that I wouldn't tell anyone who had enough balls to ask me about. Though for all I know, the majority of people I read this think I'm exaggerating up the ass (what a funny phrase that is...) about everything on here. I suppose I could let that hurt my feelings, but I figure that I can't do anything about it... I may as well have ONE thing not bother me.
Why am I driving myself so hard? I feel like I'm slowly but surely grinding myself down into dust—wearing away layers of self bit by bit, sanity eroding ever so slightly with every passing day. My patience with people has decreased to the point where even I've finally noticed it; I must have been a real bitch to be around the last couple months. I suppose I'm sorry for that. It's just that... I feel that, working so hard, I should be getting something back. I know that I'm not working on the behalf of anyone else, and so I really don't deserve anything... I just wish that the world would revolve around me a little more obviously sometimes. Which is one of those famously narcissistic Jen comments again. I just... I just... I wish that some of my friends would accomodate me a little more than they do. I look back at what I've done for people in the past and I see myself having bent over backwards to do what I thought was helping someone. I wonder if maybe they never noticed that I was trying to help; perhaps everyone is already trying their hardest for me and I'm just oblivious. I keep getting asked "what can I do?" by people. I wish that I could accurately and completely convey to anyone that asks me that question that that is the exact question I do not want to hear asked of me. I want people to take their own initiative, to be randomly nice. I wish more people did that in the world in general—it shouldn't be a special thing to perform small, unasked for kindnesses for others, yet it is. I... I... I'm so fucking selfish and pushy. Argh! I look back at what I've written and I see the most childish and petty babble. I've served myself a difficult dish; I should damn well finish what I put on my plate and stop complaining so much. I just miss being overtly and constantly cared about. That's the part I miss about having a boyfriend... the knowledge that at the end of every day, there was that one person who was guaranteed to rub my back, to smooth my hair, to make me tea, and to make me feel as if my day hadn't been in vain. I was asked a little bit ago, if events hadn't gone the way they had a few months ago, "would you be so driven to become the uber-student?" I wonder that a little myself, if I'm outletting energy towards school to avoid having it trickle down more negative paths (not that I'm that successful in that endeavor, really, considering how often I still get depressed). I know that I wouldn't be going for the Japanese Linguistics major if that hadn't happened; I know that for an absolute fact. Does that mean that it was a good thing? I mean, it's driven me to study something that I was interested in, but wouldn't have actually gone for. I was too intimidated... People are skateboarding in the hall outside, and I can smell alcohol. I ran into an old acquaintance today—he was visiting people on my floor and randomly saw me. We spoke for some time, and I was hit again by how much I missed the way things were, my freshman year. Hearing about Mac and Lon and Chuck... I never thought about majoring in Japanese, back then. I was thinking about the minor, but still thought Chemistry was all I was truly interested in. They're talking about how they just ordered pizza, at 2:53 am, and moving cars while half-drunk. How odd, generic dorm residents. Do they ever think about the same things I do? Surely they must—I wonder how they manage to deal with their thoughts, their fears and their depressions....
Now, that was a ramble. I'd babble more, but I have to get up in 6 or so hours to take my cat to the vet. Joy.
The question is begged as to why I am awake at 3:37 am. And I could discuss the issue, or I could go to bed. Hrm.
Okay, so it was the dumpster below my window being emptied into a big truck that woke me up this morning. I guess every room needs its fatal flaw. I think I can live with it. Why am I up at 3:15 am? I have a midterm on Friday in Diff Eq. I'm not going to do well. I'm attempting to come to terms with the fact that I'm going to get a very bad grade in this class. Perhaps if I start drumming that into my head now, I won't freak out when the grades come in. Yeah... that's... it.
Tired—sheer stubborness keeps me awake, and it won't for long. At this point, what reason do I even have to stay up? It's really just contrariness... "NO! I won't go to bed, even if I'm tired..." the cranky child trails off. I was going to make myself tea tonight, but getting home at 2 am just wasn't conducive. I miss that little ritual—I haven't felt at ease enough nor as if I had enough time to do that since, really, school started this quarter. Tomorrow, perhaps. I think I'm skipping Japanese in the morning, for no particular reason... we'll see. Waking up leisurely, drinking some tea... that could do wonders. It's such a comforting thought. Sigh. I miss... things.
I woke up by myself today. At 8:45 am, fifteen minutes before my alarm was nominally set to go off, and nearly an hour before I usually would have dragged myself out bed, groggily wishing that I could have hit "snooze" at least one more time. What can I say? This room kicks ass. I haven't been able to sleep this well at school since... summer at least. Spring, really. I mean, when was the last time that I woke up early on a school day and didn't feel like going back to sleep? I wish I knew what to write—it seems like being overwhelmingly happy interferes with my creative process. I think it's an acceptable trade-off, though.
Silhouette : Black, skeletal branches outlined against a radiant white background. Rain falling in the light, the tree leafed in glittering silver pearls of water drops. I was transfixed. I wanted to cry out to someone, anyone, to come look, to see that gorgeous tree, all shaded in silver and black and sunlight, with water pouring from the sky behind, but slowly, as if the air were thicker there, or time were slowed. But no one else walked the Quad, and so I am left to treasure that image in my mind, alone.
I had a good day today. It was stressful as all hell, but in the end, I've got posters and Christmas lights up, and my room is all mine for me to dance around naked in if I wanted to. But rather than that, I do believe that I'll go to bed, and indulge in a rare instance of a rational amount of sleep.
Ah, 22.214.171.124, I shall miss thee well. In many ways you were more my address than any physical one—certainly I never bothered to remember my actual address, nor did I ever really want to. I knew on some level that you would no longer belong to me when I left the Terry 3/4/5 subnet, but knowing that did nothing to mitigate the strangeness of checking my ip and seeing a stranger where your familiar form once stood. 126.96.36.199... it rings of McMahon and Steven's Court, of Lon and Josh and Quake servers. As if that weren't unnerving enough, I hadn't realized that Mercer had its own smell. It's not bad—it's just brick and old furniture—but it has its own associations. Not only am I in his old room, just mirror-reversed, but it smells the same, and the weather's been the same lately... so many memories, so happy, but with such sad associations.
I suppose it is somehow fitting that the last night I slept in this room should be one of the most restful that I've had in a long, long while. How do I reconcile things? I can't both live my life for me and for other people. When I live it for me, I feel guilty. When I live it for other people, I get stressed and burnt out by the end of things. I just can't give as much as I want to give, sometimes. But when I do nothing, I sit here and worry and worry and worry. I've never been able to strike a good balance—why must it be all or nothing? And how can I possibly live with myself when I do nothing? I'd almost rather fail all my classes than let people suffer, but is that the right thing to do? How much of an obligation do I have to myself, and to my right to be selfish? How can I help someone properly when I'm not "okay" myself? Isn't doing so and burning out just a roundabout way of getting attention for myself? It feels as if all I'm doing is making the other person feel bad for feeling bad, and trying to force them to think that my problems are worse than theirs. I wish I could tell what I'm doing; it's distressing to always be questioning my own motives. But for every time that I think I've found a reason for what I'm doing, a contradictory one pops into my head. Perhaps I just think too much—perhaps if I can't figure out which reasons are my true motives, I just shouldn't think about it. It ends up a moot point anyway, since I end up acting as my whim at the nanosecond of action dictates. But then I feel guilty afterwards, so much of the time... Like last night... it was selfish of me to leave the showing early. But I still did it, and it made me feel better in the short run, sure, but now I feel bad. Which feeling makes it worthwhile or not to have done that? As I run out of words to describe what's going on in my head, I rail once more at the futility of trying to express emotions and thoughts, one sort of electrical impulse, into words on a computer screen, another sort of electrical impulse entirely.
Surrounded by over fifty people, I was minding my own business when I reeled. Kyle had come into the room, obviously upset, and I could feel it radiating off of him. As if that single empathic impression had opened a floodgate, I was suddenly bombarded on all sides by feelings. There were four or five people in that room who were upset or angry or depressed, and I could feel them all. There's no way to describe it, because that sort of thing just isn't rational at all, and words are rational constructs. But their anger and depression and unhappiness was pressing in on me, smothering me, until I felt tears gathering on my cheeks and wanted to throw my arms up around my head, screaming for them to all stop it stop it stop it STOP IT. I feel bad that I left; I'd missed the last two weeks' showings. I just couldn't stay in there one moment longer; emotions are contagious, and mine got totally fucked up for the night just by being around all of them for an hour and a half. I wish I could accurate set down what it feels like to be feeling what someone else is feeling as if it were your own.
I'm moving out.
Out. Out. Out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out out OUT! Away from rotting garbage, away from mess spilling over into my space, away from clutter and snobby freshman-ness and strange smells and Sonics posters and incessant loud television noise and nasty notes left on my door and insensitivity and aggravating personal habits and just, in general, away from my roommate! I cannot accurately describe how HAPPY this makes me. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with Melissa. She's a nice girl. She is also someone who I'm almost completely incapable of living with. I haven't felt comfortable in my own room for months—my shoulders tense up the moment I walk in the door, and I have found myself going in early to work just to avoid going back "home." But by Sunday night, I should be out. Into a sweet little single in Mercer. My own space. No one to complain about me but me. Just to serve me right, I'll probably hate my floormates. But I can always close the door... and not have to wear headphones all the time to block out someone's TV. I spent hours today hyperactive and giggling, clapping my hands and dancing around, annoying Richard to no end. He laughed at me, and I realized that even he (yes, you) didn't have any idea what I was really feeling about leaving here. I'm so happy that I write this feeling tears well up in my eyes.
I think no one should ever have to take their own advice. Humanity as a whole is completely incapable with dealing with themselves on the same level that they deal with other people; we should all just admit to ourselves that expecting ourselves to do what is logical just isn't going to work. For that matter, expecting others to do what we tell them is logical is just as foolhardy a thing to do, I suppose. I still think everyone should listen to me. Except me, because even if I should listen to me, I usually don't.
I hate it when I confess to someone that I'm tired, or feeling overworked, and they tease me or belittle me. "You're such a slacker, though!" or "What's the matter, Jen, can't you do it?" or anything along those lines. I wish that someone would for once just agree with me that what I'm doing is difficult, and leave it at that. Not try to make any value judgements on my ability to deal with things, not try to say "Well, I took that class, and it was a piece of cake," nor even excitedly discuss how impressive it is that I'm doing what I'm doing—that only makes me feel bad for complaining. Rather I wish someone to just say "Yeah, that's hard," quietly, regardless of whether they think it's hard, and let it drop if they're not going to comfort me. The last thing I need these days is to be teased. I've never taken it well, and my already miniscule tolerance for it is at a record low lately. Though I suppose anything I get serves me right for complaining in the first place. You'd think I'd learn.