I am twenty-four. I have had six surgeries. I have broken three bones. I have had countless injuries ranging from sprain, strain to pull. Whenever I get too little sleep, I ache worse than anything. If it is going to rain or snow, I feel it in my joints. I feel like I was just pancaked by a semi-truck. That, and my head is throbbing. It is literally throbbing. The pulsating pain is behind my eyes, and it’s so acute it almost feels like fire on my skin and tension all down my neck. I have not been sleeping well. My world-famous insomnia has been my companion for about four weeks. It was getting a lot better, but the last three nights have been so horrible. Saturday to Sunday, I fell asleep Sunday morning at 7:00 AM and woke up at 9:54 AM. Sunday to Monday, I fell asleep Monday morning at 6:00 AM and woke up at 9:37 AM, then managed to fall back asleep around 11:00 AM and slept until 12:30 PM. Last night, I managed to actually fall asleep by 3:30ish AM and woke up a bit past 6:00 AM. About three hours each “night”. I just want to pass out and sleep a good solid eight hours. I think I would feel revived, more positive, generally “better” than anything I am feeling, physically or otherwise, now.
I have been in a particularly odd music mood. I get these “cravings” for a certain type of music. Similarly to how I become obsessed with a certain type of food, I become obsessive with a song or a band or a genre for months at a time. It’s easy to place certain memories via my music selection. They are oftentimes connected. For instance, I was looking through my CDs in the car and one did not have anything written on it. I tend to date my CDs, or give them a name like Jasper (I know, I am strange), or maybe mention one of the artists that is on it (I do that because for the most part, the obsessions I have start with one artist that then expands outward to genre or theme). Contemplating what it could be I put it in the player and realized that the songs were singer/songwriter and was most likely made in the Spring of 2008. Joshua Radin, Schuyler Fisk, Meiko, and more. Immediately I thought about the House Cafe Tour and of driving back and forth between Chicago and Iowa City. Also about where I was at that point in my life. Where Jonathan and I were. It hit me, so hard, and it actually took my breath away. It’s moments like that that make me wonder about Serendipity, about fate and consequence. The CD intrigued me because it was without any hint of what could be on it, and when I put it in, they were all songs that were touching some of the same emotions I have now. They were songs I listened to obsessively because they spoke to that scared, sad part of myself. They were also songs that inspired a hope. They created these warming glows within me and made realize that things can and will get better. In short, they were songs that spoke to me just as strongly now as they did then, and for similar reasons.
I feel like I have a tenuous hold on things. And that in and of itself is kind of sad, considering I also feel like I have a stronger hold than I had before. California has taken its toll on me. It has not been an easy transition. There have been plenty of ups and downs, plenty of wrongs and some surprising rights. I am not sure I could ever appreciate what “growing up” meant until this transition. It was easier in Iowa City. It was my safe haven. I blended and melded with the people there. It was a fine arts school, and the surrounding area catered to that type of mentality. It is nothing like that here. I live in a town that surrounds a tech school. The primary conversation topics are often of environmentalism and conservation, agriculture and other various forms of scientific research. The jargon is not purely politically green (as in the three R’s and electric cars, etc.) but carries the weight of the research behind these agendas. It makes me feel dumb some times. I was never one who bonded with scientific research or clearly understood the notions behind it. My life seems to center around it now, and it is scary. Plain and simple. To find a positive nook out here has also been difficult. The people we know are graduate students in conservation biology. They discuss Jane Goodall and I am more Jane Austen oriented. The one place where I have felt my niche grow stronger is with eccentric personalities. They are liberal and often times this sensibility comes out in their “free time”. A tenuous grasp, a weak hold, I think that is an accurate description.
I have never been good at making friends. My mom always says I am an open book. The emotions that I feel flit across my face. My anger is consuming and it burns out my eyes and can melt people’s faces. (P.S. I just had a Charlie Sheen flashback moment. He said something similar in an interview. But don’t worry, I am not on the drug called “Charlie Sheen,” obviously, because he told us all that it was unavailable for purchase. Man needs a straight jacket laced up and should be carted off to the local mental institute. Cocaine induced psychosis can sure take its toll on people.) When I rage, I turn into a different person. I used to control it better. I would be able to take a step back, calm down, acknowledge my emotions and then evaluate them. Some times I would be able to come back and apologize for the insecure child I became, I would be able to explain where it came from and the convoluted path it took. I have lost it. Complacency is by and far my worst enemy. You don’t just take one step forward and two steps back, you get shoved all the way to the beginning. Communication is an art, it is something that some people excel in, but for the most part, you (a universal “you”) have to work on it. The words that used to come so easy began shutting down. The self-awareness started to diminish. And everyone around me paid the consequences. Parents, sister, fiancé, friends, they all had to deal with my over exuberant desire to yell “FUCK YOU” at the top of my lungs and run. Oh California, how you have changed me. I will be twenty-five years old in May. I feel like I will be turning that age not from twenty-four, but from fourteen. But the nice thing is this: acknowledging it is making me feel “good” (quotations because good is such a generic term and I am unsure I have any other adjectives to add, but the general feeling is positive).