Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rushed and Confused

I rushed my last post, and when I do that, I don't think through everything I say. That happens even when I take my time on a post. Therefore, in this post, I want to clarify a few statements, but when I finish, I'll still want to clarify a few statements. I won't, though, for the sake of time and space.

I wasn't that whiny in my last post, even though I said I was. Some people might think I was, but they're probably the kind who think it's whiny to express any emotion, and I don't want to be one of them. They make me feel like I shouldn't feel anything, because feelings are crybaby-ish. I don't want to make anyone feel that way. It's not true. I only felt like I was being whiny when I talked about my parents (and when I posted that Fact of the Day). My parents probably wouldn't react THAT badly if I failed at engineering. They might look at me with that helpless, angry, disappointed look like "What are we going to do with her?" and I hate that, and they might make me get a job, but I doubt they'd kick me out or do anything very extreme. I didn't mean to imply that they would.

Is it, however, pathetic that I'm so terrified of being kicked out? That I'm terrified of being forced to get a job? That I'm terrified of getting "looked" at? Don't most kids brush off looks from their parents, jump at the opportunity to make money, and yearn to move out? (I WOULD appreciate money and moving out, actually, if all the bad stuff didn't come too.) I usually look down on the likes of them because I know nothing is ever as great as it seems and a job and moving out will be a lot harder than it sounds, so they seem very arrogant, presumptious, and Typical Teen. I hate being typical. Even so, it's probably that arrogance and presumption that gets them through it. I wouldn't be able to get through it. Not now anyway.

Right now, I'm two things: terrified and insecure.

I'm living my life as usual at the moment, but I'm thinking about college and the possibility of moving out in the fall. Just thinking about it terrifies me. I'm afraid of change, and this change would be enormous. I've been afraid of moving out of my house since I was 10. Back then, I was scared because I didn't want my secrets uncovered (the notes I hid for myself around my room), I didn't want my precious glass figurines to break when I had no way of packing them, I didn't want the hassle and confusion of packing and unpacking, and I didn't want to move into a room that might be too small for my stuff. I feel somewhat the same today, but I'm even more afraid because I'm in love with routine, familiarity, safety, and convenience. I really don't want to lose that. College would mean losing most of it. I don't want my physical surroundings to change, and I really don't want the number of people around me to change.

When I was younger, I attended sleepovers and summer camps, and it never bothered me, but I've changed. I'm scared of inconvenience. Now, I cannot share a room with anyone. It's too nerve-wracking. I need my privacy and space. I also cannot disrupt my routine, even in the summer when I'm not really doing anything. People really drain me. I live with three, and even they leave me exhausted. It's a lot of work to get along with everyone and put their needs before my own. Generally, I hate people anyway. Irritating cattle. College would mean being surrounded by a lot more people, most of them unfamiliar, which inconveniences me to no end.

At this time in my life, I wake up to the same walls every morning, I don't even go outside much, and I only see my three immediate family members consistently every day. It's familiar and convenient, just how I like it. Furthermore, I get confused and nervous when I'm trying to concentrate and they're moving all around me. It's too much to take in. I like the atmosphere quiet and still (there's a certain magic to this). Sure, I like to get out of the house sometimes, of course, and when I do, I can block out the movement and sounds of people around me. I get along fine, but it's just passing interaction for a few hours. It's not like I have to be in crowded places with deep personal interaction every day. I WILL have to be though, if I go to college. It will be new. I'm awkward in new situations, and I hate being awkward. People will see me being awkward, and I hate people seeing me being awkward. So far, with my internet classes, I've been able to look awkward and incompetent without anyone seeing me, which helped me feel less embarrassed. I hate feeling embarassed. I hate it more than almost any feeling. That's the clincher, really. College will present many opportunities for embarassment. All change presents unlimited opportunities for embarassment and looking incompetent.

To be honest, I am afraid of strangers. I'm paranoid, and I think they're all government spies, kidnappers, or assassins. If not that, they're dangerous, cruel, and unpredictable. My own family still surprises me, sometimes with their kindness, sometimes with their cruelty. I've never been to college. I don't know if the horror stories are true. Will they tie me between mattresses and throw me out a window (Gilmore Girls)? I've met few people who would be so demented, but maybe college is where they congregate. Many, many people are incredibly tolerant and dismissive of cruelty, so it's possible they express that in action too. I could definitely see it. To spill an intimate confession, it's one of my worst nightmares that people will abuse me and no one will care. Every word of that sentence weighs me down.
What if the college people don't like me, embarass me, or aren't nice to me? What if they ARE? How do I refrain from being friends with nice people when I want them to leave me alone but also don't want them to think I'm a jerk?

My brain tells me I'll make it out of college relatively unscarred. However, Panic tells me otherwise, and it holds more influence than my brain.

Even if the college people aren't bad, I'll be living in a new neighborhood, quite possibly in the vicinity of known sex offenders...

Why can't everything be easy? Why can't I learn everything I need in one day in my safe, familiar bedroom in my safe, familiar neighborhood with my safe, familiar pets?

Basically, college means saying goodbye to EVERYTHING routine and familiar, everything luxurious and comforting, everything I'm in love with. It means saying hello to a lot of my fears. It will be a BIG change.

At times like this, I feel the pressure of trying to uphold the reputation of homeschoolers. But homeschooling didn't make me this way. My choices did. I had every opportunity to be a typical, arrogant teen obsessed with socializing, but I chose not to. I chose quiet and solitude. I would have chosen the same if I'd gone to public school. I wanted it. Other homeschoolers wanted the opposite, and they prove the stereotypes wrong, so I don't have to. I can be who I am and be a hermit.

I think I naturally fear everything but weird stuff that "normal" people are afraid of. Like death. Maybe, I'm a freak to fear everything but death and to prefer hermitism, but everyone is freakish in some way. (If they're not, they're freakish for not being freakish, and they're dull). I just need to accept that I'm scared. Being scared of being scared is just making it worse. Feeling freakish for being freakish is just making it worse. It's not making me braver.

Also, I've been doing a lot of college-related paperwork, and I'm rushing it because I have to get it all done as soon as possible. I've put it off till this point, and now I'm unprepared. I can't continue to be unprepared, but now I'm rushing, which makes me susceptible mistakes. I can't afford mistakes because this is my future I'm dealing with here. It's overwhelming, just the paperwork of getting INTO college. And I thought being accepted was the hard part. How am I supposed to get through college when just the starting paperwork is too much for me? Am I really that lazy and incompetent? I realize I am lazy, but here I am complaining about paperwork. Paperwork. To be fair to me, I also suffer from the pressure and fear that goes with it. How can I bear to move out? Won't I suck at engineering? Do I even know how to work hard anymore? Can I handle dealing with people who won't just ignore me? Can I avoid being hacked to death by a machete-murderer?

I fear change, but at the same time, I need change. I don't want my life to stay the same forever. It's already old, and it will only get older. It's not my dream. I have to move forward, but I'm terrified.

I feel so many emotions right now, I can't pin them all down.

I've been listening to Super Trouper by Superchick. It describes me well. (The only line I don't like is "True friends, they stab you in the face.")

I fit all the analogies, but especially, "If you were in a movie, you'd be Thug #5 'cause you don't try out for a starring role but your name belongs in lights." For a long time, I've considered myself too lowly even for the most humble tasks, and not because I'm humble. Unfortunately, I'm quite the opposite, which is part of the problem. I have low self-esteem. I admit it, okay?! (Why is it considered unattractive to admit having low self-esteem? It's very honest and human. I don't know how others can resist finding it appealing. I guess it's another of those opinions only I have.) I didn't think I could ever get a job, get into college, or anything. I just couldn't.

I've made myself believe that some people are simply more talented than others. It must be the truth because it's painful, I thought. Why should I happen to be one of the talented ones? If anything, I'd be one of the useless ones. Statistics. Probability insisted on it. (Even though no such statistics really exist.)

About a year ago, I entered a short story in a contest, and I didn't even expect to win, but for a day, I felt big and important because "only prestigious, obscure, distant people -- 'the somebody elses' the world -- even enter the contests." By just finishing a short story and entering it, I felt like I was winning the lottery, an outcome that defied all odds. Normal people don't even finish their stories. I didn't win, of course, but that's just one illustration of how I think.

When I applied for fast food jobs, I never expected to get one, but it was another case of "Even Entering is Winning" for me. Amazingly enough, I did get a job. I saw even a fast food job as a highly elevated station. Fast food people work hard and earn their living. My dad, however, was very opposed to me working at McDonalds. He thought I was better than that, I guess, which is sort of nice but only made me feel worse. He said, "McDonalds is where all the losers work." I'd never seen it that way, but it did make me feel like a loser. Then, I felt like a loser to losers when I sucked at the job, failed, and quit. (Perhaps also because of my dad, I thought the job would be easy, which made me arrogant, which made my downfall worse. I did gain an even greater respect for fast food workers, though. I don't care what anyone says. They have a hard job. I always try to look them in the eye and smile now.)

As you can imagine, I look up to just about anyone with a job -- which is perfectly well and good, by the way. I'm not saying it's not. -- so engineers were way up there on my list of amazing people. I never would have considered being one. After the fast food job, though, I decided to think harder about what Dad said and maybe aim for the kinds of jobs he wanted me to aim for. He might be right. I did WANT to do amazing deeds. I applied to colleges and got in, which I half-expected wouldn't happen. (I only half-expected it, though, after defying odds and getting a job.) Good golly, all these conflicting expectations and outcomes.

Looking at my history, I entered a contest but didn't win and got a job but didn't last. Therefore, I've been accepted to college, but I might fail at that too. I can't even work a job all the other employees thought was easy. On the one hand, maybe that means I was meant for other jobs, greater jobs. On the other hand, maybe it means I'm useless, just as I thought, and I'll live with my parents forever, working an extremely hard fast food job and becoming suicidal pre-midlife. Maybe not, though.

Returning to the Superchick song, that line is literally true of me too. I wouldn't even dare to try out for Thug #5. That would mean a trip to Hollywood, for one thing, and I hate traveling. But if I did try out, I'd be elated just to try out for Thug #5. I'd feel once again like one of those prestigious, obscure people. I'd be in a movie! I wouldn't try out for a starring role, because I wouldn't like the pressure or attention and I'm no good at acting. Then again, how do I know that? I've never really tried acting. You see? I dip toward pessimism, but I'm forcing myself to think positive.

Super Trouper helps me do this. To me, the song sounds secretly sad, like it's hiding just how melancholy it is. It addresses the people who waste their lives and talent and may never get out of their rut, but it encourages them to think well of themselves, to believe they were meant for their dreams, and not to wait until the end to live them. I don't want to wait until the end to be what I wish I'd been, to live large, or to get out of this rut. I still don't know if I'm one of the talented ones, or if my name belongs in lights, but I hope so. Very much. (I also don't know what I really think about "talent" or who has it.)

Finally, since this is the first 2011 post, here's my plan. I'm always changing. Feelings fade, I forget them, and though I wanted to, I can't write about them without lengthy, possibly inaccurate remembrance. I've jotted down my feelings but haven't written about them fully. If I don't soon, I may never, and I'd like to. Especially now, I'm changing a lot every day. Therefore, I'll be posting as fast I can make myself. That makes this blog sound like a feelings journal, and I guess it is, but it won't be just that. I will post about issues other than myself. I have opinions on political figures, moral issues, movies such as Tangled, books such as Skulduggery Pleasant, and more.

I'm really sorry this post is a tad sloppy. I started it weeks ago and wrote so much I was scared to edit it for the longest time, and now, I just want to publish it already. I'll have to keep the word count down from now on.

Thanks to everyone who reads this blog. I feel better just thinking someone hears me.