Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Finding me

You'd think after weeks away from this blog that I'd have something profound or fascinating to say. While I've done quite a bit of soul-searching lately, and had a lot of conversations with people I love who have helped me sort various things out..there's really not much to report.

At the moment I'm back in my room at university. It's messy here. I haven't fully unpacked my suitcase and all my throw pillows are in disarray on my bed. My Wall-E plush is covered by a blue blanket. When I took off my boots yesterday, I threw them into the corner and never put them away. I feel a little sorry for how my living space is in shambles.

But on the other hand, my life has been pretty stable. At least as of fairly recently.

I'm not going to claim it's all been sunshine and daisies. In fact, when I write blogs I tend to focus primarily on the sad or depressing occurrences of day to day life because writing or sharing turmoil is a good way of gaining catharsis (at least for me).

So I won't pretend it's all been great. My journey back to campus, in fact, was pretty rough. After being home for two weeks, I'd fallen into a routine. Evenings hanging out with my dad, days spent with my grandma, several trips to Disneyland, quite a few afternoons spent helping my sister and brother-in-law keep track of their rambunctious toddler (my niece) in the wake of the birth of our newest addition (my nephew) and countless hours spent simply relaxing and enjoying my own company.

It's something I've forgotten to do lately - just look to myself and realize that I'm the best friend I'll ever have. I don't often pick fights with myself, I'm usually up for whatever I want to do and, when I need to, I can pretty successfully knock sense into myself. Solitude can sometimes be the best medicine.

Whereas at college, being alone in my room often makes me sad, being at home I feel empowered by it. My room in California is a place of comfort and refuge; it's fun to let loose there and not worry about the world. When I was little being alone for long periods of time worried me - sometimes I thought if I was by myself long enough that the world outside would cease to exist. But these days, there are so many reminders of the outside world and often too few moments to focus on oneself.

So spring break was a time for me to stop blogging - to really stop doing much of anything. On the other hand, it was also one of the most valuable experiences of my young life and the first time in years that I've looked around and said that things are absolutely as they should be.

As I left it all behind - departing from Easter dinner and saying goodbye to my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew - I started crying. That somehow the short return home I'd been waiting anxiously for was over and soon I would be returning to school (a place where I'd been wrought with loneliness for the past couple of months) terrified me. Even the plane ride was awful - I got a migraine on the drive to the airport and was battered by flight attendants and other passengers every time an inch of my body leaned over into the aisle.

But then I got back to the Midwest. And my friends greeted me. And we had dinner. And I re-entered my (then) pristine room. And it was cold and comforting. And the sun shone each morning. And we played video games and we danced and we laughed just like we had before. And I felt the way I'm supposed to feel at college for the first time in quite a while. So in a way I returned to a past version of myself, but I consider it a completely new chapter of what has been a long life despite only living 20 years.

I've established a few goals for this new chapter. From buying a new guitar which I plan to devote time to learning and relaxing with (when I'm in California) to setting aside a couple of minutes each night to write in a private journal rather than a public blog space, I'm looking to branch out in ways that may take me out of external dramas and into internal peace.

There's so much trauma that can be provoked by other people. I feel as though much of the material of this blog has been in analyzing others and their effects on me, but as someone who admits to a degree of stubbornness, I forgot what a powerful presence I can have on myself when I stop worrying about what others are up to.

Right now I'm in a class where I'll be looking into the effects of society on political studies and resulting policies. I'm also going to be starting a class where I have to be creative and invent a world through which to tell a story (in other words, a screenwriting class). I'll be living in the minds of other people in that way, but in other ways I need to return back to being the person I was years and years ago - whose purpose was primarily focused on self-discovery and personal fulfillment.

The other stuff will come later, I think. The happy relationships, the long-sustained friendships, the valued acquaintances, the interpretations of society and world events. But first and foremost, I have to figure out me.

Without me, nothing else makes sense. And at the moment I'm well on my way to finding me again.

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