Feeling Comfortable With Myself

Last night I attended my neighbor’s Sweet Sixteen party. We used to be really really close, but because I no longer take the bus to or from school, we don’t see each other. Maybe the birthday girl hangs out with my little sister and felt obligated to invite both of us? Or maybe we forged that type of friendship that still resonates after you stop consistently communicating?

Anyway, it was the first fancy Sweet Sixteen party I had attended. Technically I’ve only been to two: my own party, which was held in my backyard, and though we wore dresses, it was pretty casual, and my semi-friends’ party, which was held at a house, no formal attire necessary. This party was at a reception building, required black and white formal clothes, and included fancy cake and the sixteen candle thing (which I had never heard of before).

When I got there, I expected to see a bunch of sophomores (that’s what birthday girl is), and to spend my evening following my sister, maybe interjecting myself into the conversation every now and then. Upon entering the glitzy ballroom, I immediately locked eyes with my good senior guy friend, and we were both like, “hey, what are you doing here?”. To my surprise, there were quite a few seniors there…though I do not talk to most of them, and they quickly filled up a table of their own so I stayed at my sister’s side.

I felt quite awkward, just sitting there with my sister. In my mind I kept thinking of reasons I was not mingling-excuses I could give to other people, though I was sure no one would ask, so they were really just excuses for myself. Sentiments like, “my sister is really shy and I don’t want to leave her alone”, etc.

Then another senior girl came in who I am good friends with, and I basically followed her around and talked to her (and whoever she had chosen to mingle with). She sat next to us when we ate, and when the music started she danced with us. However, she soon found other friends to dance with, which left my sister and I alone in the middle of a crowd of (mostly) strangers. In addition to my inherent awkwardness on the dance floor, I was now alone.

But you know what? I didn’t really care. Why couldn’t I just dance with my little sister at this party? Why should I feel awkward because I’m terrible at dancing, probably making a fool of myself, and a senior without other teenagers to talk to?

I suppose someone (my overbearing parents or aunts, for example) would have encouraged me to mingle with everyone and anyone at the party, because that’s what people do at parties, right? That’s the supposed reason for get-togethers? Plus, how would I expect to make new friends or have any fun if I do not converse with other people? This seems like a fairly important skill to acquire for college.

But you know what? Dancing with my little sister, along with dance interjections from my two seniors friends, was fun. I did not feel the need to awkwardly approach strangers/acquaintances to complete my evening. I was, except for my sister, alone, but I did not feel alone. I could just dance and sing (when I knew the lyrics) and be content in my own skin.

In my opinion, changes in mindset like these do not occur because of silly encouragements telling you to “be yourself” and “not care what other people think”. Maybe they help guide you on the path to self-enlightenment, but the ultimate transformation has to come from within. Someone else cannot tell you you are a wonderful person, or that it’s okay to be quiet/alone/an introvert, or you do not need a boyfriend to be self-assured and confident. You must discover these things for yourself.

And in the dimmed lights of that wooden dance floor, I realized I could be completely comfortable with myself, a skill I cannot wait to employ in college.

 

Of course, it’s also Mother’s Day, and as soon as my mom gets out of the shower I’ll be spending most of the day with her. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women out there who deal with us rowdy, impertinent children day after day. Your perseverance is truly one of your greatest attributes.

And good luck to all my fellow introverts/low self-esteemers in finding comfort within yourself.

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Doomed to Mediocrity

If most of the world is doomed to mediocrity, why am I having such a hard time accepting my fate?

“But wiggygirl3.wordpress.com, you’re not mediocre, you’re basically the most awesome person in the whole world!” Nope. Falsch. And I confirmed this is untrue by going through my best friend’s birthday present to me. She generated a list of 18 reasons why I am fantastic; only three of them were actually true.

Yesterday my ex boyfriend texted me to say “I’ll be moving in sooner than I expected” or something like that. When I asked why, he replied he was given the opportunity to engage in research at his University before he even steps into a college class in a program that is usually only for college juniors and seniors. He apparently sent an email about the technology or research programs at his college to the head of his department, who then recommended him to the dean of the school, who then placed him into this program.

And I’m just sitting here thinking how I cannot even motivate myself to do my simple German homework until 5am the day it’s due. I’m not dumb, but I’m not naturally-gifted-smart either. Review tests are catastrophic because, even though this year I was attempting to do so, I cannot retain any knowledge. I’m trying to learn for the knowledge, not the grade, but it’s not working. I cannot compare to people like him.

I used to think I could accomplish whatever I wanted through sheer determination. But with my motivation slipping away, I have nothing. There will be no Johns Hopkins Graduate school in the future. No becoming a molecular geneticist/researcher and achieving great things. I am mediocre. But I cannot let go of this ridiculous fantasies. Why can’t I just accept my fate?

Going Batty (In More Ways Than One)

This morning I woke up and there was a bat in the basement. No, not the baseball kind. This cute lil brown thing with fur, wings and the tiniest little fangs.

Thankfully, I was not the one who stumbled upon it in our basement because I would have freaked out. My dad was going downstairs for some toiletries and heard something squeaking. When he looked on the floor, he saw this thing, which he thought, in a slight panic, was a giant tarantula before taking a closer look. He yelled upstairs to my mother, commanding her to get a sheet, and he wrapped it up and brought the bat outside into broad daylight.

When I got outside, it was sitting in the same spot where my father had left it, a mulch-filled area by our deck where my mom attempts to grow flowers. We threw some apples its way, moistened a rag (in case it got thirsty?) and built a sheet fort for it to hide from the sun and predators.  I felt really bad for the lil thing. Now we aren’t quite sure where it is, but we’re guessing it took shelter in the dark area under our deck.

A literal bat is not the only thing crazy going on around here lately. My car (really my parent’s car that they are so wonderful as to let me borrow) wouldn’t shut off; the key would not turn in the hole. We took it to the dealer and I’ve got to wait a few weeks before new parts can come in. We received a free rental car, but because I’m only 18, I can’t legally drive it. This gives me a few options, which include:

  1. taking the bus (undesirable but not all that bad)
  2. allowing my grammy to drive us to and from school (she scares me a little when she drives, so I might have to take over the driving. Additionally, I don’t want to burden her)
  3. driving my dad’s truck so he can drive the rental car. This would seem like the best option, except this truck randomly shuts off in the middle of turns, which terrifies me. It’s a whole lot larger than my weeniemobile (that’s my name for the car I’ve been driving), so I would be uber nervous driving it. I’d probably end up leaving earlier from school and waiting for all the other cars to leave before I drive home because I’d be really anxious trying to get out of the tight senior parking lot.

I turned 18 this week, which is crazy in itself. I’ll be able to get my adult, no-strings-attached license on Monday, and then I won’t have to drive with the little red stickers on the car and I’ll be able to drive as many people as I want. I can sign up to vote. I’m an adult, but I don’t feel any different.

However, the thing driving me veritably insane is the looming decision of college. I’m choosing between two divergent schools, the University of Rochester and Gettysburg College. Rochester is in a sweet location, has awesome academics in sciences, particularly in Molecular Genetics, is a research university, and has fantastic diversity. Prior to my visit there last weekend, I was set on attending Rochester in the fall. However, Gettysburg’s close-knit atmosphere really spoke to me, whereas Rochester, much like the climate, seemed cold and stuffy, and just a little snooty.

Moreover, I’m terrified I will get really depressed and overwhelmed in Rochester and my family will be really, really far away. Conversely, I feel like by going to Gettysburg, I’ll always be asking myself the question of “What if”. I have the opportunity to attend this amazing school, perfectly fitted for my educational and career goals…so why am I not immediately grasping this chance? Thinking this over at all times during the day has depressed me more and caused my motivation levels to plummet. I’m hoping to make my decision this weekend, though I’m not rushing or anything. I just can see the reasons for going to each school, and can’t decide which is a better fit.

It’s sort of a head vs. heart decision. It’s also choosing between comfort and a less challenging path or deciding to grab opportunity, which leads me to my final question: Does it take more strength to push yourself beyond your limits, risking your own sanity, or to choose a path you like more notwithstanding it’s not the best option for your future?

March 27th, 2014

Good Things I’ve Done Today:

  • Showered
  • Finished reading King Lear for AP English
  • Finished the calculus homework for today’s class-and actually understood it
  • Played with my dog Demon outside for a half an hour
  • Drove myself to my therapist’s office
  • Confronted my ex over an issues that was driving me crazy (resolved fairly quickly)
  • Did not lie to my friends and told them why I was not in school today
  • Took my Primrose capsule, which I have been effectively neglecting

Not-so-good Things I’ve Done Today:

  • Lied and told my mom I was sick and wanted to stay home from school
  • Skipped school because last night I was really depressed and did not complete my homework; I decided last night not to go to school today even though I knew I should, considering I’ve missed (counting today) 3 days of school in two weeks. It may not seem like a lot, but German IV requires practice with communication, which I cannot do at home, and Calculus is certifiably kicking my butt right now. You’re crazy to miss a bunch of days of AP English, and trying to learn AP Chemistry using only a PowerPoint is pretty difficult.
  • Lied to my therapist about how much I’ve been communicating with my ex.

The past three days have been absolutely horrendous. I have experienced a decrease in my constitution, and feel it is worthless to try at all. It’s not just a lack of motivation in my classes; this sense of pointlessness has creeped into every aspect of my life, from talking to my friends to writing about my day and mood. I feel intense hopelessness and view the world as an atrocity within itself.

I’m anxious and downright impatient waiting for college admissions letters. I’ve noticed when people ask me what I plan to do with my degree-because now the question is not only this college/major or that one, it’s planning out post-college plans and an actual career-I have no response. Sometimes I really do not see where I fit in the world, especially in this depressive moods when nothing really excites me.

My pattern in mood seems to be as follows:

  • Three-Four days of depression
  • A day or two of happiness and motivation, at the end of which I experience intense anxiety.
  • Repeat

This is more of a journal entry than anything else…for some reason I included a lot of bullet lists. They’re just so easy to utilize to organize thoughts, yanno?

A Lenten Offering

Terrible Religious Joke of the Day: What does Jesus call his pet rock?

Peter.

Inspired by Dauntlessly Cautious’s post, I have decided to give up the dark side of Tumblr as well as the trigger songs that are my go-to when I decline into a depressive state.

I had previously contemplated offering this as my Lenten atonement instead of the stereotypical and quite insipid sacrifice of chocolate or junk food, but hesitated because of the difficulty of this task. It’s quite a scary idea, letting go of this crutch which supports and cripples me during my especially dark hours. However, these triggers, being such a large part of my life (a pitiful sentiment, I know), are an indulgence and therefore an excellent offering to propose.

Furthermore, these forty days and nights of being Tumblr-and-trigger-song-free should assist in relieving my depression. Or at least that’s the theory. I suppose this is a hyperbolic statement, or maybe not, but it will be similar to an addict coming off of their drug or drink. The first few days will be dreadful, but if I am able to propel myself through those first few days, I am hoping it will become easier and eventually the habit will disappear.

I should stop disappearing…

I have returned from another long break from blogging, which occurred due to

  • deadlines for financial aid stuff for college
  • lots of schoolwork-now I have four actual classes with actual homework and which actually require studying
  • my poetry explication for AP English, which is worth THREE TEST GRADES, was due on Monday, March 3rd. Two weeks before this was due, I actually started doing research for my poem and realized I could not find enough literary criticism to write a successful paper,  so I had to pick a new poem and restart my research
  • and, of course, gosh darned depression.

Lately I have been feeling lonelier than usual due to my break-up with my boyfriend, but “Gonna Get Over You” by Sara Bareilles, featured in my last or second to last post,  is still helping me a lot.

Just out of curiosity I looked up how long it takes for you to get over a relationship, and according to relationship experts, it usually takes about half as long as the relationship lasted to heal completely. For me, that means 8 months (we were together for about 16 months), which seems like a very long time. I suppose the emphasis there is on “completely”. Slowly but surely one gets over a relationship, though minute, lingering feelings could remain months after the break-up. However, by that time most of the pain should be gone.

This is the month the rest of my college acceptance/rejection letters should be coming in, though Johns Hopkins University will not contact me until March 28th (so far away!). I will be impatiently waiting and checking the mail every day as soon as I get home until I know where I have been accepted and can start making some really big decisions.

My poetry explication was a great distraction from my depression-try hard mode had been engaged-but now I need to start motivating myself once more. Hopefully part of that motivation will include frequent blog posts, which is a sentiment I always sing of but never really deliver on. Eh, no harm in trying again.

Pet Peeves

While I’m avoiding my English essay and Chemistry homework, I’ve decided to talk about a few things that make me want to punch people in the face.

Aren’t I a wonderful human being? I’m realizing I could probably think of a lot, but these are the main four (in no particular order) that really seem to not only crawl beneath my skin but create completely irrational anger within me.

1) When people do not know general geography.

Now, I’m not an expert in geography, and I don’t expect people to know where insignificant cities or countries are located; however, I do not understand why so many people act like they’ve never seen a map before. For example, while we were still in middle school, my best friend thought Spain was in Mexico.

My one friend just laughed when she said this, but I completely freaked out (it was somewhat uncalled for). I suppose I have to blame American schools systems (maybe not all of them, but many of the ones I am familiar with) for not spending more time studying geography. Granted, many things are more useful, important, and require high-level thinking rather than memorization, and who wants to memorize a map when they can look everything up on their phone?

Still, doesn’t anyone else think we should have some basic knowledge of where things are? I’d think that would be important. Wouldn’t it be offensive to someone from Spain to ask them what it’s like to live in Mexico? Either you offend them or they just think you’re an idiot.

2) People who do not respect the opinions of others.

I will admit that, on most subjects, I’ve grown to not be very opinionated, because I clearly see the pros and cons of each side. Besides, most things in life that people fight over are completely subjective, such as which music is best. However, I wish more people would be at least respectful when voicing their thoughts.

One sore subject between myself and another student whom I don’t see much of anymore is religion. He is an atheist and I’m Catholic, and when I told him this he decided that it was appropriate to bring it up EVERY single time I talked to him. I didn’t even try to fight it; I just smiled and nodded or tried to joke whenever he started ranting, but though I think I kept pretty cool on the surface, inside I was ready to smash my AP Biology book (which has to weigh at least 10 pounds) across his head.

Please just chill, okay? I don’t mind when people have different beliefs than me (in any subject, not just religion), and I know some people like to argue. But if the other person isn’t actually debating back, why do you feel the need to attack their beliefs?

3) Judging others.

This is a pretty common pet peeve, but everyone still does it. I know, I’ve done it before. However, I have a very specific version of this pet peeve. I abhor when people judge each other while in church.

(Time to be all Catholic on everyone…sort of).

When you are in church, you are essentially in God’s house. God does not want you to judge or hate others or stare maliciously at them while they file into your pew ten minutes late for Mass. You don’t know what’s going on in their life. Since I’ve been depressed, that old saying, that you should be kind to everyone because you don’t know what they are dealing with, has really sunk in. That person could have had to drag themselves out of bed, mustering some sort of motivation to get to Mass. They could have depression, social anxiety, or have just lost a loved one. You just don’t know.

4)  Perfect people.

Have you ever met someone who seems so ridiculously smart, athletic, talented, pretty, well-spoken and friendly that it cannot be real? Those people make me want to ram my head into a wall. Some people I can deal with, especially if they are unconditionally nice-then it’s okay for them to be perfect. But when I know that this girl or guy is mean and/or condescending, I can’t help but be irritated and angry.

Condescending. I love that word. I know some people like that, and I hate it. Especially when everyone else seems to love that person, and I can only ask myself why they do not see how absolutely condescending they are, like other people (usually me) are below them.

Considering what I just wrote for number 3, I am a complete hypocrite. I have been trying to control this burning anger at so-called “perfect people” because, in reality, neither they nor their lives are perfect.

Anyone else have pet peeves like mine? Maybe?