I don’t want to start off this blog post saying “What a crazy semester… [insert my life is a rollercoaster analogy here]” but I’m going to. So deal with it.
Currently? I’m jittery off espresso (not surprising) and I’m in this constant state of “I’m totally on top of my classes” even though I haven’t been to them in three weeks (also not surprising). But more realistically and with as little sarcasm as possible, here are the facts:
- I have 15 days before my fall semester ends and I’m back in the wastelands of the U.P.. (Wastelands can be used both as a physical description and as a social one.)
- I’ve downgraded from thinking “9am classes are too early!” to thinking “10am classes are too early!” to thinking “11am classes are too early!”
- I’ve been going to the gym. Yes, your local sarcastic gay asshole friend on Facebook has been going to the gym. Did he just post another 440 word response to anti-vaccine memes on his newsfeed? (Guilty, I’ve actually done that.) No, he’s posting a link to”100 best protein shake recipes 100 calories or less.” How things have changed.
Other than those three bullet points, those three central parts of my life, life’s been both stagnant and reactive. I’ve joined clubs, I’ve dropped clubs. I’ve started listening to NPR podcasts, I’ve become a pretentious asshole filled with odds and ends of information because of NPR podcasts. I’ve declared my major, I’ve rethought my major. I’ve petted dogs, I’ve cried while petting dogs.
To cut the melodramatic repetition short, I’ll say this isn’t a post about how my life has changed for the better (Thank God). This isn’t a post about how TEDxUofM made me rethink my life, or how I want to have sex with Jad Abunrad’s voice somehow (Sorry, NPR reference). This is just a post. An update. I mean, it’s been five months, something’s had to have happened in my crazy beautiful life, right?
Five months have passed since my whiny post about how I’ve turned into a quirky hermit. Since then I’ve had my first boyfriend, first real break up, first skinny dip, first real date. I’ve lost friends, I’ve gained some, I’ve reconnected with some and I’ve lost touch. I’ve had three viral infections and enough awkward experiences to write a book about (future blog post idea?).
We had to write a meditation for one of our final papers in English last year, meaning we thought about an idea (e.g. happiness) and wrote about it. I’d like to think this is like that, a reflection on what the hell’s going on down here in Ann Arbor.
This post isn’t supposed to be filled with groundbreaking wit, it’s not satirical or relatable. Just me.
No major event’s happened. My dog hasn’t died (*knocks on wood*), some hilarious event that can fill aprox. 500 words hasn’t happened to me, I didn’t go through some life changing experience. The closest thing to life changing is I go to the gym now and I can look in the mirror and if I orient my body in such a way I can indifferently say “Wow, look at that slight improvement)”. I’ve just lived, I guess. (God, I sound like John Green. I hope owning up to it makes up for the fact.)
The thought of “The Future” is constantly on my mind, though. I mean, who doesn’t worry about the job they’ll have in ten years. Will I be married? Will I have kids? But by spending time worrying about these things that actually don’t really matter, I’m missing what I have now in these Gorgeous College Days filled with ramen noodles, Twin-XL beds, and Grindr. I’m thinking about when my dog’s going die rather than petting it. I’m thinking about if I’ll be married rather than paying attention to the guy I’m on a date with. I’m clinging to ideas rather than things with substance and value. Constantly grasping for purpose when in reality it’s right in front of me. I have my classes, my friends, my family, my dogs, my hobbies. My. I have things. Why worry about what will replace them with they fade, move away, die when they’re right here?
Instead of stressing about Medical school or my orgo exam or my grades, why am I not getting up from this computer and knocking on my friend’s room to hang out? (Probably because this post will never be fake deep enough to outweigh the C+ in Orgo I’d get wasting my time typing it, but that’s besides the point.)
The semesters over in 15 days for me.
I’m already half way through Sophomore year and I (painfully) remember high school like I was there last week.
While that might be true, I don’t care anymore. Yeah, time flies. Yeah, we don’t live forever. But, you know what? We do live. And if that’s for another five minutes or another five years, I’m fine with it. As long as I’m doing what I want, what more can I ask for? Experience doesn’t have an extension button. And, no, I don’t mean I need to constantly be occupied with events and activities, I don’t need to squeeze life to death. That’s not living, that’s fearing you’re not. I said I want to live doing what I want to do, not what some teenage heartthrob book wants me to do. And, no, I don’t mean I’m not going to hug death enthusiastically with open arms right now, I have finals to pass.
This isn’t a declaration of my newfound maturity (I’m literally 7 years old). I know I’ll look at this in a few years and cringe. But I do think it’s something.
Whether it’s just a blog post or a meditation. I think I learned something while writing this in the past hour. Life isn’t about how many Facebook friends you have, or the most likes you’ve gotten on a picture. It isn’t about your LinkedIn connections, or how many people you’ve slept with. It isn’t about your income nor is it about how many frat parties you’ve been to. It isn’t about who you know in Greek. It isn’t about what clubs you’re in or what your major is.
These things matter to people and they are important, I’m not that cynical. Sometimes, yeah, Facebook is super important to someone, and so is Greek life, that’s fine. But there’s a difference between something making your life important because of what it is at face value or adding to the experience. I should be going on dates because I enjoy them and I like company, not find someone to marry. Because that’s not living. These are ingredient, not the whole recipe. Life is about all of these things and none of these things and a 20 year old guy in college can’t write down What Is The Meaning Of Life because honestly? There isn’t one. The Meaning of Life isn’t a multiple choice question, it’s a fill in the blank.
I didn’t need to let The Happiness Project or some other get-better book to tell me what I need to do to feel fulfilled. I didn’t need a teen movie, I didn’t need the latest Hunger games movie (actually, I take that back). I needed this. I needed to realize that, hey, life’s what you make it and it isn’t the actions you do in life that give you happiness, it’s the motives that power them. What matters is your own interests not what some Buzzfeed article list tells you to do.
What matters is you.
Until next time.
(Hopefully within the next five months.)