Being Stuck in This World

I’m stuck. Stuck hard and fast to this world that I never asked to be a part of. I don’t want any of this, but I have no choice but to be in it or deal because there’s nowhere else to go. Nothing I can do.

I’m helpless.

I don’t want to live in a world where money matters more than anything. Where money matters more than happiness. I don’t want to have to look forward to a future of sacrificing my time, thought, and life for something that, really, I don’t give a fuck about but that I need in order to do anything, from see the world to merely survive.

I don’t want to live in a world where money matters more than people. I don’t want to live in a world with no hope for change, where people are so goddamn stuck in their ways that they don’t care if others are literally dying just because they aren’t considered profitable. They’re just mentally ill, addicted to drugs, living in poverty; it’s not like they really matter.

I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t stop anything from happening. The people around me keep getting hurt, and the bullies around me keep hurting people, and it never stops, because there is no way to fix it, no way to avoid it. There’s nothing I can do.

Honestly, I just don’t particularly want this life anymore. I wasn’t born to thrive in this world. I was born to break in it.

What Four Years At Post-Secondary Bought Me

Today, I went for a nice, long walk in the sun. There was a slight wind, but otherwise it was perfectly pleasant out. The world was bright, the grass was green, and along the way I passed by a sign that promised a “bright future” for those who attend post-secondary. I didn’t think I was angry at the time. I didn’t even realize that anything was really wrong with me until the sight of this sign made my lip turn up, and the next thing I knew I was silently screaming at those mocking words, “fuck you!

I tell you this only because I think it perfectly sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.

Because here’s the thing: I’ve been to post-secondary. I worked long and hard for four fucking years. I sacrificed my mental health, anguished through tears and headaches, and all of this was supposed to buy me happiness. It was supposed to make me smart and successful, but all it did was give me a passion for books and context in a world obsessed with showing me pictures of their snot-nosed brats who I honestly couldn’t care less about. It bought me a meaningless job doing nothing, just wasting my life away in exchange for money. Money that I need, because in this world, there is no life without money. In this world, money is the most important thing. In this world, money is more important than people and happiness. I learned that much in my four years in post-secondary.

In my first year at post-secondary, I hated the grey world of stone and concrete that I was forced to live in in order to get my degree. Now I miss it. I miss the trash and the graffiti and the controlled nature because at least that world was honest. That was a world of people and all their ugly, capitalist ideals – it was naked and true and unashamed. It wasn’t like this sunshiny hellhole with its fake grass and its identical houses and its claim to be closer to nature than that world despite the fact that it really isn’t. It’s still a world of people, it’s just a world of people that want to be better than what they are, so rather than changing anything, really, truly changing anything, they just bury their shame beneath plastic smiles and manicured lawns and immaculate gardens.

And I’m tired of them. I’m tired of doing nothing. I’m tired of being nothing. Four years at post-secondary was supposed to set me up to be better than that, but all it did was raise me to a greater height so that I hit the ground harder when it let me go.

What I Want

I want to be okay. That’s all. I want to be healthy, happy, unconcerned. I want to wake up in the morning and be excited to get out of bed.

I want friends. I want people who like me and understand me. Not a lot of them, maybe – just one or two would be nice. One or two who stay. One or two who don’t move away or find other people or just stop talking to me all of a sudden. I want to sit in a group of people and not feel like the outsider for once. I want to be with them and not feel like I have to keep trying for them to like me.

I want to fall in love. I want to meet someone who is attracted to me and who I am attracted to as well. I want a relationship that goes beyond an exchange of phone numbers and maybe an awkward kiss or handshake. I want someone who understands me.

I want a job that I enjoy. I want to spend the majority of my day doing something that makes the time go by, and yet I still make money nonetheless, at least enough money to survive. I want a stress-free place to stay in and depend on. I want the opportunity to feel free, like I can grow and change and become who I was meant to be. I want to be in the light and the earth, growing tall and new and green like a vine, rather than stunted and ugly like a weed.

I want a mind that remains calm in the storm. I want to face difficulty with a carefree smile and a shrug, rather than the question of whether or not this is it, the thing that breaks me for good. I want confidence in my ability to weather the hurricane, rather than the fear that I will be drowned in it. I want arms that are clear and soft and free of cuts or claw marks. I want hope and thrill and contentedness.

I want little, I think. I just want to be the way people say I should be – a happy, beautiful, well-adjusted young woman with my whole life ahead of me. That’s what I want. That’s all.

Why I Don’t Drink: Having Fun and Personal Choice

Typically, the fact that I don’t drink doesn’t intercept much on my life. I just go about my day, same as anyone, only difference being that I do it completely sober. Pretty much the only time that I start to feel awkward about not drinking is when there’s something to celebrate, and as I and most of my peers are winding down the school year and preparing to graduate now, I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to going over the same exchange lately.

Person: “Aren’t you getting a drink?”

Me: “No, I’ll just have a water.”

Person: (Looks at me like I suddenly sprouted a new head)

Me: “I don’t drink.”

Person: “Ahhhhhh.”

Sometimes they’ll leave it at that and move on. Sometimes I’ll get the typical “you’re already high on life” comment, and I’ll laugh and agree with that. And then sometimes there will be this lingering awkwardness that follows, and I’ll feel the need to explain myself.

Me: “I just don’t find it fun.”

And that’s true. Every time that I’ve taken a drink in the past, it was only because the people around me were drinking and I felt expected to join in, or that it would be rude to turn it down. After all, alcohol was just supposed to be fun, right? They were just trying to have fun, and I felt like saying no to alcohol was taking this abstract concept called ‘fun’, tearing it down, ripping it up, and stomping on it for all to see. If I didn’t drink, then I was a prude, or stuck-up, or a buzz kill, something along those lines, and nobody wants to be that. So I’d drink this beverage that I never really acquired a taste for (I’m the sort of person who would prefer my alcohol to taste as little of alcohol as possible, please and thank you), and I’d get drunk very quickly because I’m a lightweight, and then I’d very quickly come to regret it. I hated the feeling of being drunk, because I hated having no control over my actions like that, and I hated the feeling of waking up the next morning wondering why the fuck I said that, why the fuck I did that, how do people actually enjoy doing this regularly?

And I know, I know, the solution to that problem is simply to not get so drunk that you have no control. Moderate your drinking, make sure that you’re just reaching a place where you’re goofy and having fun and then take it no further. And all of that would be well and good if I simply had the interest, but I don’t. Like I said, I don’t like alcoholic beverages, and the amount of fun that I get out of being tipsy is not worth the price of the sort of drink that I actually would like.

But more important than any of that, deciding not to drink was a symbol for me. It was a mark that I was going to change my life and become a new person. And, yeah, that sounds dramatic, and I know what you’re thinking: nothing that I’ve said up to this point has at all indicated that I had a drinking problem, so how could that decision have been so life-altering? Well, here’s the thing: no, I didn’t have a drinking problem, but I did have a problem with doing things because other people expected me to. If I was in a group of people and they were all going to have a drink, then I was going to have a drink, not because I wanted to (because, really, I didn’t), but because I felt like they expected me to. And that issue permeated more than just drinking for me; I made my decisions based off of what other people wanted me to do, I was fully prepared to hand over complete control of my life to another person, and there came a point where I simply decided that I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted control of my life, I wanted to make decisions because that was what I wanted to do. And when I came to that conclusion, I figured that I would start with one small symbol, one tiny, insignificant thing to prove to myself that I was making a change in my life: I would only ever drink when I wanted to drink. And, as it turns out, I don’t want to drink all that often.

And sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I feel the weight of this societal expectation to drink. You see it in movies, in music, in media in general: this association between alcohol and good times. People who drink alcohol have fun, and sometimes I feel like I can’t have as much fun as other people because I’m not getting drunk all the time. Except I know that I’ve tried it before, and in my experience, alcohol never led up to lounging in a hot tub surrounded by attractive people. Typically, it led up to me crying about how I’m single, throwing up all over the place, and then waking up with a hangover. And not to mention, in the case of far too many of my friends, alcohol led up to a dependancy that completely altered the course of their lives and that some of them are still living with.

And of course, I’m not trying to say that anyone who drinks is wrong or stupid or even dependant; I’m not that dismissive of other perspectives. I would never tell someone that they shouldn’t drink, and if I’m out with a group of friends, I am totally happy sipping on my lemon water while commenting on how pretty their cocktails are or giving them pointers on how to properly pour from a pitcher of beer. All that I’m saying is that society gives us this image of alcohol as being a vehicle to good times, but that is only one perspective. There are millions of perspectives, each of them just as valid, and from my perspective, alcohol just isn’t important enough for me to make myself uncomfortable for the sake of other people.

I Need To

I need to write a post. If I write a post, I’ll feel better. I need to write need to write need to write need to-

No. There are other things I need to do. I need to study. But I already have studied. But if I don’t study I’m going to fail. But I’ve already studied and I think I have it under control. But I haven’t even done all the reading. But I’ve done most of the reading and the stuff I haven’t won’t even be on the test, I’m fine. But I need to study need to study need to study.

I need to write a post.

I need to fix my life. My life is a mess. My life is in shambles. I have things to do and I keep fucking up. I need to get a job. I need to keep applying. I need to keep looking and I need to keep trying and I need to find the best job. I need a job that will pay well because I need to be an adult. I need an apartment of my own. I need to move to the city because that’s where things happen. That’s where I’ll meet people. That’s where my career will take off if it ever does. And if I’m going to move to the city I need money and to get money I need a job, a good job, a job that pays. So I need to keep looking. I need to find a-

No. I need to study.

No. I need to write a post.

I need to write a post because I need to get my writing out there. I need people to read it and no one’s been reading it and I can’t let that happen because I need to get my name out there. I need a foundation, a start, so that my writing can get out there and my life won’t be a total waste. I need to write a post. I need to try harder. I need to I need to I need to-

And if I’m going to, I need life experience. I need to get out there and do stuff. I need to talk to people. I need to make friends. I need to date.

What about the girl from the party? She was nice.

She wasn’t right.

Why wasn’t she?

She was exactly like all of my friends, but she wasn’t interested in being friends. She wanted to go on a date, and she’s not like the sort of people I date. She wasn’t right, she wasn’t- what’s the word… ambitious. She wasn’t ambitious and that’s the thing I like. She needs to be ambitious because I’m ambitious. I’m going to study and I’m going to write and I’m going to move to the city and I’m going to write a post.

Are you sure you aren’t being too picky? Are you sure your standards aren’t too high? How many ambitious people will look at you, with your life in shambles, and actually want to be with you?

I can’t lower my standards, not again. Because when I lower my standards, I end up with people I don’t like and then I end up hating myself.

You hate yourself anyway. And if you don’t lower your standards, you won’t date and you won’t make friends and you won’t get experience and you won’t write and you won’t move to the city and your life will be a waste.

I need to write a post. I need to apply to jobs. I need to study. I need to I need to I need to