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There are so many reasons why I should not be writing computer programs after 5pm on a Friday afternoon. But I suppose the primary one is because every time the code hits an error, I think to myself,
Oh, that will just take five more minutes of programming to fix. Why don't I stick around and rerun the script?
And then rerunning the program takes five or ten or twenty minutes, until it hits another error. With
five-minute coding fix. And before I know it, it's three hours later, well past sunset, and my code
I wonder if this week broke me. Working countless hours. Biking home after dark for days on end. Stressing and studying and skipping meals and under-sleeping. I wanted to be productive again today, but I just couldn't do it. Ten minutes in the office to make sure that the program I left running last night finished successfully, maybe an hour in the library to get some studying done - but then? Home, to catch up on all the Star Trek I didn't watch this week. I will be relaxed and refreshed come tomorrow. At least, I hope I will be.
How do I get myself back to that good place? Where I was months ago, finally feeling content with myself, with my life? Still aware of my insecurities and my fears, but coming to terms with my faults and fostering the motivation to move forward? I didn't have bad days very often, then; I was starting to feel somewhat well-adjusted to living here, and I was almosthappy more often than not.
But lately it's back into a crushing sort of depression. The wondering why I bother, the wishing I belonged more. The sudden urge to cry without definable reason.
I'm sorry. First of all, sorry that I've fallen so terribly behind with my 100words entries, although that's not the only apology I think I owe to myself, to the world, to the people in my life. But it's a place to start, I suppose. I'm sorry I've been so busy, so stressed, so preoccupied that I can't even find a few minutes each night to translate some of my thoughts into the written word. I'm sorry to my sanity, for that; I feel like I'm at the beginning of an out-of-control spiral, which I can't afford now.
I'm sorry I was so upset with you. I know life is busy, and I know where your priorities lie - in fact, that's one of the things we have in common, and one of the reasons why I liked you in the first place. I know it isn't fair for me to expect you to know what I'm thinking, to know that your unexplained absence was a painful reminder of a part I've tried so hard to put behind me. I'm sorry that I lashed out like I did, and I'm sorry that I'm so bad at handling these situations.
I'm sorry that I used such a fickle and impersonal method to express my anger. I know how easy it is to say the wrong thing without the context of a tone of voice, or a facial expression - and how easy it is to misinterpret words because of that fact. I'm sorry that I'm more bold at saying what I'm thinking when I can't see your reaction to my words, and I'm sorry that I felt the need to resort to that type of communication. I wish I were braver, but I'm just not. There is cowardice and fear yet.
I'm sorry that, when faced with the opportunity to express myself in person, I faltered and failed to find the right words. I'm sorry that I tend to shut down emotionally when faced with serious conversations, that I lose the ability to vocalize my thoughts even when they're clear as day inside my head. I'm afraid of how you'd react if those words were said out loud, afraid I'd never be able to stop myself if I were to start talking. I'm afraid you'd never want to see me again if you knew what was really going through my mind.
I'm sorry I didn't take care of you sooner. I'm sorry that I let that little light on the dashboard shine at me for months. I wish I knew what was really wrong with you, but I suppose I'll have to wait til I can get you in to see a mechanic to know for sure. I promise I'll try to find time for that soon. Once I stop spinning through the world. Once I find enough time to catch my breath. Please hold on for a little while longer; please don't throw a flat tire before I handle this.
I'm sorry that I can't turn my brain off sometimes. Sorry that I keep playing things back in my head, wondering how they could have gone differently. Imagining situations that might take place in the future, visualizing over and over again how they would go if this were an ideal world and if I were an ideal person and if I knew what anyone was going to say and how anyone would react to my perfectly thought-out and executed words. I'm sorry I drive me crazy with these scenarios, exemplifying the pain and worry that eat away at me.
I'm sorry I'm antisocial. I'm sorry I don't always know how to talk to people, and that I find it so much easier to sink back into my quiet little comfort zone where nobody else can get to me, where I feel safe from that big old world that only seems out to shatter me. I'm sorry that my particular tendencies make me hard to hang out with sometimes. I know you (and you, and you, and they) aren't the same people who hurt me in the past, and I accept that intellectually - but emotional acceptance? That's another battle entirely...
I'm sorry that I'm not smart enough for this. I'm sorry that I don't have a strong enough background in physics and mathematics, and I'm sorry that I just don't grasp all these complex topics that you're throwing at us. I'm sorry that I hate asking for help, that I'm so fiercely independent that I'll fight and toil and brute force my way through assignments - even when it takes me hours and hours longer than it ought to, hours and hours longer than I can really afford. I'm sorry that I probably didn't really belong here in the first place.
I'm sorry I've been flaky lately. I'm sorry that I've been skipping practices and bailing on social events and otherwise being distant and unavailable. It's because life gets in the way a lot of the time: between midterms and research and homework and my occasionally-fragile mental state, I just can't find three hours twice a week to get out and be a real team player. I'd like to say that I'll try harder in the future, but I don't know whether that's a promise I'd be able to keep. So for now, we'll have to see how things go.
I'm sorry I'm so hard to deal with sometimes, that I'm so terribly indecisive; it's mostly because I'm not picky and like to be accommodating to other people's wishes, but it wasn't until recently that I realized just how goddamned frustrating it is to tolerate. Thank you for putting up with it for so long; if you were to disappear on me because of it (or other reasons), I think I'd completely understand, but in the future, I plan on being better about that. So please don't hate me yet; I really am sorry and I will work on it.
I'm sorry that I'm playing catch-up while drinking. Life has been hectic, busy and emotionally draining and mentally distracting, so I think maybe I deserve to relax a little bit, alone with a glass of wine and my thoughts - but is it okay to express those thoughts on the internets? Nevertheless, I wonder if it's making me more honest, more open - lowering my inhibitions enough to throw down written words I might not have the courage to express otherwise. So maybe I'm sorry to my future self, who will reread these words tomorrow or next week or next year?
I feel like I've been doing a lot of apologizing for who I am. I justify it by saying that these are things that I need to improve on anyway, things that I genuinely dislike about myself - so it's okay to regret the way that I am. But at the same time, I feel like I shouldn't
to apologize for who I am, shouldn't have to apologize for the way that I feel and for the way that I live my life. No one should make me feel bad except myself.
But at least I'm caught up, for now.
I don't think we learned this stuff. I can't find a word that relates in all the pages of notes I've taken in class this semester, or in the textbook that we're required to have a copy of, or in the several supplemental books I have checked out from the library. Are you sure this is even the right equation to be using? Because the numbers don't quite work out. And I don't see a way to relate it or the given data to the second part of the problem.
During times like this, I just want to give up.
Take a deep breath. Look straight ahead. Focus. There
a light at the end of the tunnel, if only you squint hard enough. See that glimmer? There
light on the horizon, if only you would turn away from the darkness. Two days. That's when I can pause for a little while. Relax for a little while, forget for a little while. Those whiles are so few and far between right now, but I've only got half a semester to go. I can handle that. I can push myself through to the other side. I can survive...triumph, even?
My professor told me I should write more in my homework. Explain my reasoning, my logic - obviously, he meant that because my math is so rarely correct, so at least if I verbalize a halfway coherent understanding of the task at hand, then maybe he won't feel so bad about giving me partial credit.
Well okay then, mister. You want explanations, I'll give them to you! Here's me admitting that I don't know how the hell you expect me to find this parameter. Here is me citing a paper that lists its measured value. Here's me learning to care less.
He was a whirlwind, a violent storm when all she needed was a gentle breeze. He was a tiger, where a tabby would suffice. He came and went as quickly as the wind, and was as fickle as an autumn day. The world erupted in waves as he passed, faded to ripples as he disappeared, vanished to nothing when he'd been gone long enough. She almost yearned for the times when he disappeared, grew accustomed to it. She found peace in the silence, and grace and poise, and she knew if she could just stop waiting-wishing, clarity would ensue.
It wasn't just a matter of time, she began to realize. It wasn't a matter of circumstances, and it wasn't a matter of patience, and it wasn't a matter of the heart. It was a matter of that universal quality of life, experienced by all who found themselves struck with the curious task of humanity - and it was that matter of shit happening. She had been there before and would be there again, and yet somehow it didn't matter; the only thing on her mind was the present (and terrible) state of affairs. Surely it would fade, eventually. And yet....
Faces pass us by every day. We brush shoulders with people we'll never even meet. Even in our daily lives, we only know people up to a point. A name, a face, an occupation, an interest or two. But the deepest hopes and thoughts and fears? Those are reserved for the best of friends, the significantest of others - and even then, how well do we really know the people in our lives?
How well do
really know the people around me, the people
choose to spend time with? I'm already aware of how little they know about me...
Maybe I can't do this. Maybe I can't handle it. Maybe I'm not strong enough. It feels like we're moving backwards, like
moving backwards - and I don't know how long I can hang on to hope and memories and feelings. I don't even know how to say any of this in person, but I think maybe I ought to, at least ought to find the words. And maybe the next time I see him, I'll find the nerve to say it out loud. Next week? Two weeks from now?
Fuck. What am I supposed to do about this?
I feel like I'm straddling the brink of youth and adulthood; the college world and the "real" world. I mean, I've been feeling that way for a while now, but today it was an especially poignant dichotomy. This afternoon I planted myself a little herb garden and bought some things to spruce up my back patio. I finished and filed my taxes. I felt very grown up.
And then I spent the evening doing homework, sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by other college kids doing homework. Sometimes I haven't the slightest idea where I really belong. Maybe that's okay?
I've been thinking a lot about time lately. The time I've wasted over the years, the hours and days I can't ever get back. The people I've chosen to waste that time with, or not (as is far too often the case). I've been thinking about how I spend my time lately. How sometimes there just doesn't seem to be enough of it, and yet in some instances there is simultaneously too much of it.
Take now, for instance, I'm done with most of my weekend work. I could clean my apartment, wash the dishes. But instead, I'm
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe I don't matter. Maybe in the bigger picture, none of this matters, none of
Who am I kidding? Of
none of this, none of us really matter in the bigger picture! It's a damn big universe out there, full of unknowns and unanswered questions and mysteries we haven't even begun to fathom. And there is something wonderful and magical and terrifying about that. And it makes me feel small and insignificant and invisible - because I
And I guess I need to be okay with that. I'm okay with that...aren't I?
I need to be better at living my life without expectations. At least, without expecting anything from anyone else. I would like to think that me putting myself out there a little bit would be enough to at least warrant some kind of response. Because I at least always offer
the dignity of a reply. I mean I wasn't even expecting a positive answer, just
to go by. But nothing? I guess that at least answers some of the questions in my head. No expectations, no hard feelings, no feelings whatsoever. Maybe that would be for the best.
There was something about the moonlight. Shimmering somewhere through a sheen of clouds, casting but hints of shadows on the sandy ground. Ripples disturbed by tromping feet, only to be restored by the gentle breeze, as though we had never even been there. The dune stands before us, looming, and our goal is clear. The top; no matter the effort it takes and no matter the risk, we triumph. Sifting sand through my fingers as I pull myself up the steepest slopes. Sand that originated hundreds of miles from here on the slopes of the coastal mountains; descended to...
Let me be lava. Let me be a violent eruption, scouring my way across the landscape, bringing with me destruction and yet hope for a new beginning. Let me re-make the world beneath me into something it's never been before.
Let me leave a mark on the earth that will stand the test of time, that will last far longer than my active presence. Let me be a force to be reckoned with.
You can be water. You can just go with the flow. You can be driven by forces outside of your control.
But let me be lava.
See the world from the highest point on the horizon, see the world laid out at your feet. See the steep slopes you struggled up to summit. Breathe in the fresh air. All is quiet now, peaceful, but once, hundreds of thousands of years ago, this place was an eruption, bits of magma spewed into the air and flowing freely outward across the landscape. Close your eyes and pretend to remember the world of the beforetime. Remember the cataclysmic sights and sounds. Remember the fire and ash.
...that even the most turbulent past doesn't preclude a quiescent future.
The vast dry barren playa lay at our feet, comprised of packed dirt cracked and broken. We tromped across it, all thirty of us, leaving footprints in our wake. We took a shovel to the ground, in the name of science - and left a hole, barely covered up again. We drove on, steering the giant vehicles across the landscape, leaving tracks behind.
I wondered how long it would take the land to recover from our actions, how long our footprints would persist. How long, I wondered, before no one could even tell that we'd been there? Not long, I hoped.
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