Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Some introspective stuff, so I start off strong

I do have a tendency to start these blogs and then let my posts get fewer and farther between, and also shorter and vaguer, until they're something like "Feb. 12/2007.  It's not really true, is it?  Exhausted" and I expect myself to remember what the hell I was on about.  It probably seemed like a big deal at the time.

Anyway, the gist and thrust of this blog is that I'll be heading to Argentina (for three months-- "three" was taken on blogspot and I had to make do with the numeral, which looks kinda tacky but whatchagonnado, if I was more creative I'd have had a better blog name from the getgo).  I'll be working at this gorgeous showjumping training facility outside of Buenos Aires called Rancho Pampa, and I'm equal parts nervy and thrilled.  I leave in a little under three weeks, but I figured I should get this blog habit going.  I'll start off with some self-involved whining.

Lately all I've been feeling is a series of emotional cliches. The funny thing is, I know this-- or at least, I recognize it-- but I can't seem to stop it. I've been roiling around in an angsty fog of malcontent and restlessness, and while I am welcoming the chance to combat it with my upcoming trip, I'm also terrified that I'll arrive and all the discomforts of being away from home will make my resolution dissolve and my heart long for the familiar and staid old things I left behind. And that my family and friends will console me but over my shoulder give each other small, knowing smiles, cause I was just doing the cliched young adult thing-- that is, feeling dissatisfied and setting out only to realize that all I ever wanted was at home, yadda yadda. But I guess I should just accept this risk as part of the cycle.

It's quite scary, really, the future. Because I sometimes feel, and have often in the past felt, that I'm merely observing the future from some point in the past, like a projection of what might possibly happen, and that if it should start to chafe or alarm I can spring back to that point and make another decision. But that's not the case, and I guess all these decisions I'm making are leading up to something. Probably more decisions to be made.

Is it equally cliched to feel simultaneously envious and panicky at the choices and paths of others? Because while I flounder around caught in between fearful dependence and a rebellious wanderlust, I'm watching my friends make mature adult decisions and get closer and closer to real, independent adulthood. They're buying houses and embarking on careers (not jobs) but more than that, it's all natural for them, and I can already see how some of them are the people they're going to be-- good people, strong people with a strong sense of self and confidence in their life-plan, or at least their life-path. And here I sit, with my $1000-a-month internship which should nicely transition into my $0-a-month working studentship, with the potential of a career and a house at least two years away-- if I'm lucky. So on that side of the coin I feel woefully stunted and childlike, all wayward and misunderstood and... I dunno... floating about grasping at straws. But on the flip side (to actually bring a metaphor to completion here) I feel epic relief that it's not me yet, that I still have time to just be a rider, to travel a bit maybe, to decide how I'm going to identify. To pursue my passion and learn what I want so badly to learn.  Because I can't keep on with this shuffling, staggering bit of juggling I've been attempting the past few years. I feel like a horseback rider and not much else. I'm happily delving into literature on MOSFETs and chemical vapour deposition, but am I ever going to smile broadly at someone, shake a hand and introduce myself as an electrical engineer (specializing in microfabrication and nanosystems research)? Maybe. I can't see myself with the confidence. But I can sure admire it in others.

Still. I don't want a house, not yet. I don't even want a career. I'm so scared of stagnation that I've made it preferable to be frantically treading water, expending energy and not getting anywhere. I never thought I'd be this kind of person. When my friends talk about the future I feel myself get all clammy and frantic, stretching my neck like I'm trying to break the surface of some inexorably encroaching wave of Adulthood.

Honestly, I think what I need is a Rest. And by a rest I mean I need to disassociate with all these stresses and do some repetitive physical labour that will let me collapse into bed at night without the opportunity for much thinking. Thinking doesn't seem to be quite the ticket for me right now.

And in an attempt to mollify my growing suspicion that this post was entirely and inherently selfish, here's an excellent website to explore: www.lettersofnote.com. It makes me somewhat sad that we don't really write letters anymore in the way that we used to. (I mean humanity of course, not me, I may never have written a real letter in my life)-- not because I think they encouraged better writing or any of that nonsense, but because it seems that they left a better legacy than e-mail or any of this other modern stuff. If someone penned me a beautiful and poignant email (and I've had some good ones from friends in the past that qualify) it'd touch my heart and affect my life and everything, but maybe no one else would be able to enjoy it. And if I suddenly died and my inbox was left littered with correspondences to and from people I loved, I'd want the general public to be able to read them (this is all based under the assumption that I become some kind of Noteworthy Person-- or, better yet, a close friend of mine does, and in their biography I'll have a small epistolary role as a sage advice-giver or calming shoulder of support during their inevitable struggles on the way to glory), But who would be able to access all these nuggets of wisdom? No-one knows my email password (to the best of my knowledge). Perhaps I should impart it to someone, in secret, in case this happens. To all of you who keep up a lively and pithy conversation over email with people in your lives-- tell someone trustworthy your password, so that we can compile those emails into a book when you inevitably become famous for athletics or politics or literature, or maybe science (but it'd have to be darn good science to warrant a really in-depth biography that'll pique the interest of the masses. I'm just saying.)

Anyway, reading this over is making me feel slightly ill, so I'll sign off now.  I expect my next post should be more along the lines of "which of these sweaters should I take? Pros/cons plz" which will be infinitely more useful to me

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