Archive for March, 2010

WinteReflections

“Now is the winter of our discontent.” – William Shakespeare [from Richard III]

As it has been a while since my last update on here, I thought that I would let you all in on what I have been dealing with these last few months. I started out this year feeling like it was my new beginning, that I would get a fresh start. Unfortunately, my best laid plans were quickly dashed upon the rocks which led to a very dark time in my life. Possibly even the darkest. When I learned the truth of what my job was asking me to do, it made me very frustrated. This is probably because for the last 5 years I’ve felt like a gypsy. I can’t seem to be able to stay in one location for longer than 6 months. Always jumping around from place to place is not the way I want to live. I’d much rather settle down and get on with my life.

This issue probably is best summed up by the term “Separation Anxiety.” Each time I have to live somewhere new for an extended amount of time, it always takes me a little while to get settled, to build up a set of friends and acquaintances that I can relate with and to. In the last year, I’ve had to separate myself from my college friends, and my family. True, this is more of a location issue because through the internet we are all connected, but being able to talk to people face-to-face is something that I crave. Of course, once I’ve settled in it’s once again time to move. I feel like as soon as I get used to a location I’m ripped away from it. As a result, I can’t commit to anything that would last for more than a month. This means that I can’t commit to trying to get back into acting. To get back into sports. To even start dating again. I hesitate to get deeply involved with anything because I know that I’ll just be torn away from it sooner rather than later.

I also understand now why capital punishment uses solitary confinement. When I had to come to Maryland, even for a month, I was essentially trapped in my hotel room. I couldn’t really go anywhere because of the winter weather that hit the East coast. I didn’t really know anyone in the area, with the exception of a cousin in DC and an acquaintance in Baltimore. So here I was. Completely alone in a strange new area. Not fun. Not fun at all. But then again, I seem to be sacrificing a lot of my personal and family life for my work. I’m not sure if I actually have a choice in the matter.

The lack of sleep doesn’t help either. It seems to me that I am forever cursed to live underneath individuals who do not share the sleeping schedules of sane (or at the very least, courteous) people. If it’s not loud music, then it’s beer pong. If it’s not beer pong, then it’s something worse. When I ended up getting the sleep that should have been for two days over a series of four, I was not a happy camper. The worst part of it was how I was being kept up. Let’s just say that pretty consistently from 2am to 4am, my upstairs neighbor would be having boisterous, bedspring creaking sex directly over my head. Not cool.

With the lack of sleep that I was getting, I was not starting to think straight. I’m still shocked at the ideas that I entertained, and I should probably share those thoughts with a therapist or counselor instead of the internet at large. Needless to say, I was depressed, and in the biggest funk that I’ve ever been in. It’s even more depressing that I came upon the realization of my condition when I was watching a television advertisement for anti-depressants and I realized that I matched up with all of the symptoms of depression. Part of the depression was due to Valentine’s Day. Knowing now what I was missing on that day (thanks upstairs neighbor), along with the realization that I have no one significant to spend any holidays with just brought me down even further. I would really like to forget my ex-girlfriend and move on with my life, considering that it’s now been more time since we were separated than when we were together.

However, that has not been the case. I keep thinking back on it and certain pieces of information keep floating to the surface: if it took me a quarter of my lifetime (assuming that I am even lucky enough to live to 100) to get my first girlfriend. To get any girl to notice me. Would it take me another quarter to get the second? I also now know the true meaning of the phrase “You’re too good for me” when a girl breaks up with you. I thought that I might be more confident afterwards, but now I’m just more cowardly because I don’t want to feel this same pain ever again, so I’m hesitant to start anything. When it comes down to it, through (almost) no fault of my own, I failed. This was the first real failure of my life. Sure, I had some deferred successes before, but never a true failure like this. Being so used to success has made me fall so much harder after failure.

What hurts almost as much is the inverse schadenfreude that I was brought into in the last few months. There was probably a straight week where every day someone I knew was either getting married or engaged. Instead of being happy for their achievements, I felt pity for my own bleak situation (hence, suffering at the happiness of others – inverse schadenfreude). I feel that at this point, the scripture that sums up my frustration is I Corinthians 7:9 (If [the unmarried] cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion) because I have minimal prospects and I can’t seem to trust God to come through for me with any. Even if I did have any prospects, I’m never around to actually work on them.

And yet, there is a bright side. A friend of mine wrote a letter to the editor about how the growth of a forest can only truly begin after a devastating fire. From the death, comes life. In order to truly bring about God’s change, I need to be completely broken. I have also come to my own thoughts on why the phrase “hitting rock bottom” exists. I feel that one can fall in life, but until they reach rock bottom, there is no foundation to stand back up on (ergo: rock). Now it is true that there are definite layers of rock bottom. Steps, if you will. I was probably only at the first step. Now, had an immediate family member died or had I lost my job (or some other traumatic event happened), there could have been a sinking to a lower rock bottom level. Fortunately, that was not the case.

I wonder if the severity of the winter weather also had something to do with my state of mind. For years, I was used to Colorado winters, with chilling temperatures and clear skies. I feel that the clouds that accompany most days are what really drove me mad. Now that the Daylight Savings Time switch has happened, I’ve already started to feel a little better. I’m sure it’s probably a combination of these various things, but the fact that they combined is what really did me in.

I got a deep down look into myself and I did not like what I saw. There are some definite issues that I am not nearly powerful enough to change, and that is why I need to rely on God’s power to change me for the better. One of the issues is of faith. I need to have faith that God will come through for me, but when I think of the size of the amount of faith that is needed to move a mountain, it makes me feel that much worse. Does that mean that my faith is even as large as an atom? Is it even smaller than that? Sure, it’s one thing to say that you have faith that everything will be all right. I’m just having trouble believing it. Probably because I have yet to see any proof. Such is the curse of being a visually minded Mechanical Engineer . . .