Friday, September 23, 2011


Okay, so I haven't posted in a few weeks. It feels longer, but I've been terribly busy. This week was the worst. I had my first chemistry exam, among other big school projects. I got 73 on the exam, and I've been weird and upset about it, but you know what trumps even that? And it is so lame, I swear. It's boys.

Go-lly, I hate saying that. Someone shoot me. I suck.

Right now, it's this guy who works in the cafeteria. I just got back from talking with him. I've been talking with him every week day for a week or two, and he's always seemed really great. He always made me feel important, every time I saw him. And I really need that. I shouldn't need that. I should be able to make myself feel important, and I CAN, given time and sleep, but it really helps to have someone else do some of the work for me. It can be a lot of work to feel important. And he's the kind of person who treats everyone like they're important but not like they're the same. Especially this last week when I was REALLY sleep-deprived and felt like crap a lot, he made me feel better by giving me his full attention, really TALKING to me, and just being happy to see me. You know you're important when someone's that happy to see you. And it wasn't weird. I mean, I was awkward around him a fair amount of the time, but awkward in a familiar way, like I get when I'm around really fantastic people who still treat me well even though I'm so awkward.

Yesterday, he sat with me during his break and told me about how he wants to get far away from this town to get away from the people who bullied him in school and now try to be buddies with him. I told him I want to travel too. He told me he's bored in this town, and I told him how I'm starting to be bored with my classes and that's bad. He told him how he's doing better than any of his brothers, and I knew he was that kind of person. Someone like me. Someone who is their own person. Most people honestly aren't. Only the people who suffer and still have the heart and brain power to look at themselves and make a choice about who they are, instead of just letting everthing affect them as it will and growing up to be as their parents raised them. People like that are nice to other people for reasons, because they believe it's right, because they like the people, etc. Not just because they were raised all nice. And I knew he was that kind of person.

Then today, he told me he doesn't really believe in God, and it didn't surprise me. It made me sad, but I reckoned he'd be that kind of person too. It so often seems that the best, brightest, kindest, most accepting people, the ones who act more Christian that Christians do, are the people who don't really believe in God. Ironically. So we talked over the cafeteria food island thingy, and I told him some of the stuff I said in the Agnostics, Atheiests, and Scientific Christianity post. He seemed just a bit stubborn about it, but it's understandable to be a bit stubborn.

And anwyay, I was tired and I knew I didn't look so good, and I was talking in my "loud voice," which I hate, to be heard over the noise, and I got nervous and blushed and shook a little, and part way through our conversation, he told me I had something on my face. All awkward enough, but not more so than I'm used to. And then I told him that some friends and I are going to see The Lion King tomorrow. He talked about how he loved The Lion King and wanted to see it also. I invited him to come with us tomorrow, but he said he was broke and suggested NEXT weekend, and I said yes. *Head-desk* First of all, I don't have the time to go see a movie two weekends in a row, and secondly, the way he smiled then, looked at me, and said, "Okay, sounds like fun." The way he did it. Geez, I'm pretty sure he sees it as a *whispers* date.

No! I didn't want this. I do really like him. But I didn't mean to ask him out. I really, really hope that's not actually what I did. But I may have. I could be wrong about what that look meant, but I'm often right about people. I was right about him a lot. I hope he doesn't see it as a date, but I expect he does because I hope for the best and expect the worst.

I don't see him that way. Okay, maybe a little, but overall, I already KNOW he's not perfect. He's a bit irritating and tries to fix my problems by contradicting me when I tell him about them. Not to mention he doesn't believe in God and I do. Golly, that's a foundation for a terrible relationship. Okay, maybe not TERRIBLE, but I won't settle for anything less than perfect. Anything less than perfect is terrible to me.

Just yesterday, I was feeling all proud of myself for liking him a lot but not wanting or expecting him to be, like, my boyfriend. That seemed very mature and helped me believe I was overcoming the lameness of me + boys in earlier weeks. I just wanted him to be my friend, my bud, my amigo. See, though?!!! Doesn't that sound like one of the oldest, moldiest cliches ever, "I just want to be friends."?? It's cliche on one person's side and painful on the other person's. This whole THING is cliche, me as a young girl, going off to college and having boy issues. And I HATE being cliche. It's so lame! So. LAME! That actually is what hurts me the most, feeling like a cliche girl. I know it's selfish of me to let that bug me more than the thought of how it might hurt the guy to hear that I don't want to date him, but I guess...I'm selfish. But don't let that make you think that I don't care how it might hurt him. It scares and hurts me enormously to think that things might have to be weird between us from now on and that I may have to hurt this guy who's been really nice to me.

Plus, I have to think about my mom and how it needles me that she may have been right. Before I left home, she told me, "If you have to fall in love, fall in love with someone who loves God." And I thought that was the stupidest thing ever. It sounds like she thinks I'm a stupid girl, which is another reason I hate feeling cliche. Cliche girls are stupid (cliche girls, not real girls), about many things, but especially boys. They fall in love for no reason, and it's not real love. I'm waiting for a soul mate, the one person in all the world who's meant just for me, and you don't find one by moving a couple hundred miles away. I was so not going to fall in love. I'm still not. I kind of refuse to. If I do, I guess I do. But I refuse to con myself into thinking I'm in love when I'm not. My mom made it sound like I have no control over myself, and I do. I used to think it would be easy to ignore boys, and girls like Taylor Swift were the dumbest, but that was during the past few years when I was pretty isolated and didn't come into contact with boys anyway. Of course, it was easy not to think about them, and I felt smart for it, but I guess I always remembered in a corner of my mind how I was when I was a kid. I was indeed a tad boy-crazy, and I hate that part of my past self, and that's probably why I also hate it in other people.

But anyway, I lost some confidence in my control over my feelings when I had that weird crush on that one boy, but I still know that I have control over whether I let myself believe I'm "in love" and what I do because of it. I didn't realize, though, that it's much harder to control the impulse to date someone because I believe I really like them and don't want to hurt them. I hate how complicated this all is.

And what's worse is I knew it would be complicated, sort of. When I first came here, I thought boys would see me as just a friend, as I would see them. However, then there was that Catholic boy. I spent a couple days just wishing to see him. I actually ached to see him, and then I did. We talked and I decided he was a bit conceited, and it hurt how he sometimes just ignored me. It took a while to sort through my feelings, but I think I wanted to see him so badly because he was a mystery, not because I had any real feelings for him. I don't know many people like him. He's a Sagittarius, which sounds crazy to some of you I'm sure, but I think people often are much like their star signs. I only know one other Sagittarius. Anyway, I just couldn't put my finger on what kind of person he was, so he seemed ethereal and untouchable, which I may have confused with me liking him. I know now he's a bit uppity (he thinks engineers are smarter than other people, whereas I think they're smart in different ways), and I like him but not that well. But it's still weird, because of the weirdness in the beginning and because he still only says hi to me some days and not others.

Even more confusing than him, though, I talked a few times to this guy I thought was gay. I wasn't certain. I just knew he talked like Adam Lambert. I do hate myself for stereotyping, but anyway, one day, I saw him down the sidewalk and said hi and that I wasn't stalking him and he said he wouldn't mind if I did. And then he offered to study with me and give me his phone number, and I'm pretty sure now he's not gay. And he's 29. Age doesn't matter if you're really in love, but I'm not, and it's creepy to have a 29-year-old hit on me. I'd had enough after that and decided to basically stop talking to boys, except my cafeteria friend because he was smart enough to let us just be friends. Or so I wished.

And then, I think, "It wouldn't be so bad dating him." No, it wouldn't. He's way more interesting and unusual and real than any of the other guys around here, or most other places I know. I haven't had such honest conversations with anyone else here, and not in a long time. I guess I used to have conversations like this with my older brother, who my cafeteria friend reminds me of a lot. And he just seems so much more upfront than anyone else here. He talks about things that other people just don't talk about, important things that should be talked about, like God. I can talk to him and somehow come away feeling like that really happened. Not that I feel like I'm just imagining my conversations with other people, but it just feels more concrete when I have conversations with him. I think because he's honest and his own genuine person. But, "not so bad," is the stupid part. A lot of people settle for "not so bad" when they should realize that only Perfect is worth it. I never want to lose sight of that, and I almost do sometimes, which scares me. I'd regret a mistake like settling for "not so bad" for the rest of my life. Not to mention I don't really trust the guy yet. I know how long and how well some people can fake niceness, and though I don't really believe it, he could be tricking me.

Besides, the only reason I know my friend is because he and my other friend were good buds first, and I'm pretty sure she was kinda sweet on him. And I thought they'd be adorable together. I wanted them to get together because they get along so well. But she hasn't talked to him much lately, and I wonder if she decided she didn't like him so much. And I wouldn't expect her to get serious with him now that I know he doesn't believe in God, and she's a devout Catholic. But I used to think it would be so cool if those two could get together, and I could just have them both as friends.

He's awesome, and I love him in the sense that he's awesome, and I find him attractive because of how awesome he is, yes, but I'm not in love with him. I'm just not. But I'm freaking out about what to do about the Lion King.

I just thought of something. I'm supposed to go home the weekend after next. I can tell him that. But...I think I'm just gonna have to tell him what I've been thinking, because I do want to go to the movies with him. It will be fun, but I don't want it to be a date. I'll have to tell him that I don't want a boyfriend, and if he wasn't thinking "date," I'll look incredibly stupid, but if he was, I have to say something. Then, if he's hurt, the worst part about all this will be losing my friend who could make me feel important on all the worst days.

So. Freaking. Cliche.

Monday, September 5, 2011

College: My First Two Weeks Overall


I told you about the quiz, but that was an incident. It represents a couple of days in my life. If I were to tell you about college overall, it would sound different. Less intersting, actually, but I'm gonna tell you anyway. Suck it up. =)

Basically, through most of my first two weeks, I had no idea what I was feeling. I was terrified the first night, after a "personal safety talk" that reminded me of all the reasons I was scared to go to college. But after that, I'm not sure if I just didn't feel anything, or if I just didn't feel anything I'm used to feeling. It didn't feel like it usually feels when I don't feel anything. Maybe, it was just that I didn't know the names of the emotions I felt. Wow, I'm being confusing. But my current emotions became mild, at the least. And at the most, my usual emotions abandoned me. I didn't feel terrified, although I wanted to avoid the loudmouths outside my door and window. I didn't feel annoyed, or inconvenienced at having to share a bathroom with other girls, a bathroom with shower stalls that had only curtains for privacy where I would have preferred frosted glass doors. I didn't act silly. I didn't feel embarassed. Much. I did have an incident where I dropped a yogurt, and some people next to me cleaned it up and told me to, "Put your stuff down. It's easier." Which was also annoying because I hate when people tell me what to do, but they were partly right. Partly. It's not exactly easier, and who asked you anyway? Hmm?! I'm not a child, I don't need you to tell me it might be easier, that's obvious, I made the choice to HOLD my stuff, don't question my personal choices! Just because you cleaned up yogurt without being asked doesn't give you the right to patronize me!!!

Anyway, I think part of why I had no idea what I was feeling may have been because I was tired. My brain was filtering out a lot of material to keep me focused on what I needed to do to survive. Or something. Anyway, it was very strange and unnerving, and it lasts somewhat to this very day.

I could never sleep very well because college kids were shouting and making a ruckus outside my window and door every hour of the night, and it was hot, so I had to keep the window open. I didn't have a lot of water to drink because the tap water's terrible and never cold, and bottled water was expensive and hard to lug from the store, so it never felt like I had enough, and I'm used to drinking a lot of water. The food was usually not very good and didn't agree with me, and I had heartburn a lot because of the lack of water.

I didn't miss much from home. I hardly ever miss people. With people, it's out of sight, out of mind. I did miss my pets, though. I'd see a cat here and there, and I'd get cat-sick. I saw basil growing in a pot in the cafeteria and got plant-sick, missing my own basil plants, and tomato plants and flowers. But mostly my cats. All the objects I invested the most time and care into. But I still didn't miss them that badly. I didn't ache for them. However, I think the lack of cats also contributed to my lack of sleep. I sleep better on days I pet cats.

It's hard to say how my classes are really. They're not yet even in "full swing," as they say. I still have to have the first real session of one of my regular classes, one they didn't hold for the first two weeks for various reasons. Otherwise, the classes aren't challenging concept-wise. They're mostly review, but there's a lot of work involved, and I'm left wondering if I can do it all and if I can do it all well. The pressure is the hard part.

I met some nice people, girls and guys I get along with, but mostly girls. The first couple of days here, people actually seemed TOO nice, and I felt like I was in some Twilight Zone episode. Probably an overreaction once again caused by lack of sleep. But still, I was kinda right. It couldn't and didn't last. People are still nice, but less smiley at least, and it's less creepy. I know better how to react. I think they were just putting on their best faces for the days freshmen arrived. My electrical engineering professors still seem nice, and I think they truly are just laidback people, but I'm not actually taking classes from them yet, and the rest of the people are just less creepy when they don't try to be nicer than they really are.

I think one of the boys here likes me, and he doesn't even know me. I think he almost sorta nearly asked me out. He asked me to go rafting with a few other students, but the way he said it. "Are you doing anything this Saturday? . . . If you want, you might want to come. We're going rafting this Saturday. If you want." I hate rafting, so of course, I said no, but being asked was the most bizarre occurence that's ever happened to me. And it could just be my delusions. And it's sort of difficult because he seems awfully nice, and if he was indeed sort of asking me out, and if he does indeed like me, I'm flattered beyond words, because I've never been asked out before and he seems really nice, albeit in an awkward way. But that makes everything complicated because I'd hate to hurt his feelings but I'd probably wouldn't go out with him if he asked me. I'm waiting for my soulmate, which he couldn't be, because my soulmate wouldn't ask me out when he didn't even know me. I may be imagining that he almost sorta nearly asked me out. I hope so. That makes everything much less complicated.

For my own part, I have been weird recently concerning a boy, which is so very not like me. I don't know him. He's Catholic and majoring in some field of engineering. There. That's certainly no basis for any feeling, and I think I have a crush on him. That is so juvenile. I was so sure I'd outgrown having crushes that I didn't even know I was that sure. I just was. I just think about him far more often than I would most people, and obviously for no good reason. He's moderately good-looking, like most of the students. He's nice and friendly, and not in an awkward way. And he's possibly gay, just based on the way he talks and the rainbow bracelet he always seems to wear and the pink shirt he wore the first time I saw him. I hate myself for thinking that, because I believe people should have the freedom to behave in opposition with common gender roles WITHOUT being called gay, but that's another rant. I think part of why I like this boy is because he might be gay, and I've always sort of liked gay people, if I'm honest, because I partly believe that gays are all nice, respectful people, which I also hate myself for because that's also stereotyping. Golly, this is getting convoluted. I hope this crush can also be attributed to lack of sleep, and the first time I see this kid on a good night's rest, it will all be normal for me again. Otherwise, I may be forced to conclude that I've lost my mind. I'm actually terribly ashamed of this crush, but this is where I talk about what I'm ashamed of.

But this past weekend, I went home and got some real sleep, spent time with my mom, said hi to my pets and plants. They all still remember me! Well, except the plants. They're just terrible with faces. But I was scared my cats wouldn't remember me. The ones I've given away have acted distant to me, like they didn't know me, and I thought it could happen with the ones I left at home too. But it was like I never left to them. We just picked up where we left off. It was tremendous. I had a good time with my mom too. I know it probably didn't sound good, the way I talked about her in the last post, so I need to say that I love my mom. I truly do. I even like her and get along with her, when I'm not trying to talk to her about anything that's important to me. No, I don't mean to sound like that exactly, but she was the one who made me realize that the people you love aren't always your friends. You can't always trust them, if ever. And it's like you have no control over when you remember that fact. Much of the time, you get along swimmingly and you can't help but forget what you know, and it get hammered into your head again the next time they break your heart, only so you can forget it again and again. It's just complicated, my relationship with her. She was once my best friend, and I'll try never to forget that, and I'd die for her, but...I'll have to post more about it later.

Anyway, I got some sleep, and I'm hoping to be more reasonable now. But I know it won't last. I'll be sleep-deprived again by tomorrow morning.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Quiz

August 29, 2011

Well, I've been in college for over a week now. I have lots of classes. I've been working 8 hours or more (usually more) on schoolwork for each of the last 7 days. I felt like I was doing pretty good. I was working. Last time I was in school, I couldn't even bring myself to do that. I was too scared and discouraged and convinced I couldn't do well. Over the summer, I prayed that God would just let me WORK, and work hard. It seems He answered my prayer, and I'm grateful. But I always harbor this feeling that it will all end in a minute or two, my ability to work. That's scary. And today I think I almost came close. First of all, I'm very tired, and when you're very tired, it's often hard to tell how tired you are. You're no longer sleepy, just tired. Even on days I try to sleep in, it's usually too hot. And it's definitely affecting me. I've made some really weird typos and mistakes in the last few days.

Yesterday, specifically, I tried to take my first quiz of the year. It went far too slowly, and I ended up with a pretty bad score. Well, at least, I thought it was 75 all last night and today, but my teacher just told me it's actually about 90, which isn't so bad. Anyway, I was awfully discouraged and a host of emotions attacked me. It's just the first quiz, not that important, I know, but it was a pretty easy quiz, and if I can't even do well on that...It just seemed that my first quiz would set the tone for the rest of the year. I was hoping it would go well. The other students all did well, as far as I heard, and I couldn't?

I tried talking to people about it and got no real sympathy. I tried talking to this boy I knew from my online classes. I chat online with him now and then, but just a few days after I moved to the dorms, we actually talked about topics of importance. I told him the college kids outside my window were being loud, stupid cliches, and he didn't even have to ask what I meant. He knew, and he wasn't shocked or worried, but sympathetic to the right degree. Then, we talked about college kids, how I could hear them having sex in the next room, summer camps, how the kids at camp didn't like me, which I felt ok telling him because he didn't seem able to be shocked. I didn't have to tell him not to worry, but he sympathized nonetheless.

And instead of any ordinary reply like "That's too bad," he told me this rather personal story of how kids used to call him gay and he didn't know what it meant. This was something brand new, someone telling me something that PROVED they knew pain like I did. I don't think I've ever before met someone who could make me actually feel better about anything. I'm dead serious. I didn't even hesitate to then tell him about the snobs in the online school who ignored me and made me feel like I didn't exist. He still wasn't shocked. He listened and sympathized and didn't seem to think anything ill of me for complaining about our schoolmates. He was the first and only person (I know) that I've told. I could never really tell anyone else.

I went to bed that night, not in love in the sense you might think, but thinking maybe I'd found my True Friend. You don't know exactly what I'm talking about because I haven't published my post on Love yet, but I'll post that someday, and then, you'll know. Anyway, after that, we chatted every day for two or three days, and I told him how I feel stupid even though everyone's always telling me I'm smart, and from what he said, he does also. I did realize he couldn't be my True Friend when he said he wasn't into cats, but I'd pretty much expected him NOT to be my Friend, so it didn't bug me much, and I decided to just go with the hopeful, giddy feelings I'd been having. I often have such feelings (not usually about people, though; about books, movies, etc.), and I always know they'll fade away, and it hardly bothers me anymore, to be honest. I consciously knew that they wouldn't last, but I could plainly see that he could be a good friend, if not my True one. I knew that much was truth, and not giddiness. I was wrong.

When I told him about the quiz, he gave me a smiley face. =) Seriously, and that's it. I mean, I didn't say exactly how distraught I was, but I mentioned it, and that deserves a mention in return. An emoticon does not count as a mention. The same thing happened with my mom. I emailed her about the quiz, this whole long story, and she gave me a two line reply that said NOTHING about it. I seriously wondered if she was mad at me for doing badly. She's financing me, keeps saying how my education is an investment because I'll get a good-paying job afterward, keeps saying how I need to get good grades. After that terse reply, I actually believed that she didn't really like me, that she wouldn't like me when I wasn't doing well in life. I know now she probably wasn't mad at me and didn't stop liking me, but I'd believe that she was and did, and what exactly does that say?

The quiz made me realize that the boy wasn't my True Friend or a good friend, but a person in the class of people I put my mom in months ago. These people are not friends, but friendly. Not good, but okay. Not people to trust, but people to be kind to.

After the quiz, I started to feel again that I can't do this. College. I don't think I ever really believed I could. I felt hopeless and alone and sad, all of which was worse because I was tired. I'm STILL tired. I should be sleeping right now, but I'm writing, and hopefully this will make me feel better. Last night, I kept thinking about. . . everything. Earlier in the day, I'd noticed how you're never really in control of how well you do. I mean, you are. But you aren't. I've often felt completely confident I got a question right, and it turned out wrong, and I've heard stories of people who studied as hard as possible and still failed their tests. And sometimes, like on the SAT, I've felt I would completely fail but then I did very well. So, I was thinking about how God must control all that, not you or me.

On one hand, it's extremely comforting to know you don't have to worry, because you'll succeed when you're supposed to and fail when you're supposed to. On the other hand, it's disturbing that maybe I'm not in charge or responsible for how well I do. See, just that thought could keep me from working hard. You ARE supposed to work hard. God tells us to, but why? If He controls how well you do in life anyway. You're supposed to "Seek first the kingdom of heaven" and not worry, because everything else you need will be given to you. I suppose you seek the kingdom by working at what God has given you to do, and if He's landed you in an engineering college, I suppose that's what He's given you to work at. It still doesn't explain why you should work hard when He controls how well you do. I guess you're just supposed to show you're dedication. I don't really know.

But a lot of thoughts went through my head in the last 48 hours, many of them God-related, many more than usual. This could be a good development. I've wanted to feel closer to God. He was the only one to comfort me last night, with thoughts of why I need not worry. He usually IS the only only one to comfort me.

I was even a bit grateful for the emotional turmoil. See, I was scared when I envisioned the next 9 months of full-time studying, 9 months of sitting at a desk not actually DOING much. I was scared I would become static, stop changing as a human being. I don't want to be static. I want change, not just for what surrounds me, but for me. I want to become better. That happens when I meet trials. I'd forgotten I can still meet trials from studying all day. I can change, just from the emotions of quiz-taking.

I started thinking about it, and I know it's cliche, but I realized grades aren't important. I really am just going to college to learn. And I'm not failing at learning. I've learned quite a bit. I'm only taking classes because I need to know the path to becoming an engineer -- basically what books to read -- because they motivate me to do physical learning, and because they give me a sense of time. On days without classes, all the hours blur together and I don't get much done at the leisurely pace this causes. I may need to graduate to get much of what I want, but a C is good enough to graduate, so even if my quiz grade had been as bad as I thought, it would have been okay.

I need to have more faith that everything will be okay. I need to have faith in God.