And now it's somehow become the end of the year, with 2003 right around the corner-- when did that happen?
2003 is the year I turn 21. It's the year that, for the first time, I say goodbye to friends who'll be graduating and moving away and leaving empty places in my life behind them. It's the year of my last summer as a college student. It's the year I become a senior. It's the year I move into an apartment. It's the year I (hopefully) start writing my thesis. It's the year I start looking for jobs. And it's, well, next week.
The last six months or so seem to have gone awfully fast. They've been rather airy and unsubstantial emotionally, with the major exception of Paul's death and dealing with that. But beyond that, there's been no drama, no strong emotions, no major concerns, no bold endeavors to improve myself. July could've been yesterday, really. It may be one of the most unremarkable periods of my life, and that, in itself, is remarkable.
I've felt emotions during the last half-year, sure. But they haven't swept me away without my control, not even close. (Again, not counting Paul's death.) The processes of drifting away from and becoming closer to various friends, while important to me, has had less of an effect on me than any other time I can recall. I think I'm probably a bit too far in the opposite direction from where I used to be-- I have to consciously build up the energy and intent to work on friendships that are for whatever reason emotionally challenging, so if the other person isn't actively reaching out to me, I'll let things go for a while without putting in the effort to make things better.
And relationships? Knowing me, you'd think I'd be jealous of my friends getting engaged, of people in close relationships, that I'd be distraught to be single and searching desperately for someone at this point. That would be a fair prediction, extrapolating on most of my life. But while it would be a lie to say that I don't envy the happiness of loving couples I see around me, it would also be untrue to say that I'm yearning for a relationship of my own. I haven't got a crush on anyone that's anything more than vague speculation which I have little motivation to pursue. I don't feel like there's anything empty in me that needs to be filled. It's really this sense of, "Being part of a couple would be nice. I would probably be happier than I am now. But I'm doing fine now, and I don't need to be dating someone. So I'll keep my eye out should anything come up, but it's not worth putting active energy into pursuing right now."
The emotions I have had, the things that have touched me, have generally been The Big Issues, not personal issues-- the same old questions about the state of the world and how to make people's lives better. But while I've had plenty of thoughts, I must admit that the emotional calmness of my life, which sometimes borders on lethargy, has kept me from taking action (in the only way I know how, which is campus activism of the Peace Project sort) as much as I would've liked. Part of it has been the degree to which I've been occupied with a sizable amount of schoolwork, but honestly, a lot of it is motivation issues. It all depends on your state of mind-- sometimes, learning about the new horror of the day motivates you to jump to action. But all too often, you file it as Yet Another Reason Why the World Sucks And Giant Dramatic Things Are Needed to Fix It All, get depressed and overwhelmed, and move on to writing whatever paper needs to be written or cleaning your room (don't laugh!) or spending time with friends.
I don't know. I feel, well, fine. No more and no less than that. I haven't felt miserable since Paul's death shook up my emotions at the end of October, and not before that since the beginning of July. I haven't really felt ecstatic, joyfully happy, for the longest time either. I've had plenty of pleasant moments to make me smile, though, really fun days or evenings. And I've had grey hours or days where I've wondered, "What reason is there to be happy?" and not come up with much. I've had anger and determination and apathy and affection and laziness and fun and peace. It means I'm living a life full of Thoughts of the Day and daily ups and downs, with precious little drama worthy of Deep Thoughts. I don't know when that will change.
I'm sort of coasting along for awhile. I may wait for something to come along to inspire me to change how I'm living my life, or I may eventually decide I want to kickstart things on my own. But for now I'm still willing to rest and let things go as they will. Perhaps at some point I'll regret not being more engaged during this time, slipping so far from my normally emotionally invested and motivated self. Perhaps I'm missing out on living life to its fullest, with the risks that go along with it.
But, y'know, I'm doing fine. And, right now, that's good enough for me.
trying to tell you something 'bout my life
went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
27 December, 2002
Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002