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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Very Dark and Very Quiet

I'm writing this because it's 10pm on a Thursday and a friend of mine just got some really awful, awful news. The world seems like a very quiet, very dark place right now.

I spent the last half hour or so just scrolling through my own Facebook profile. I stopped at spring 2014. I felt myself going through the familiar routine of longing for a time gone by. I mythologize my junior year as the pinnacle of my adolescent happiness--still somewhat isolated from my peers, but okay with it; content with my group of friends; happy with my body; doing well in school; succeeding in my extracurriculars. I also look back on it as the time B.G.C., or Before Grammy Camp, when my life was turned upside down in a way that I can't quite explain. To put it vaguely, my life was simpler before I met the people at that magic summer camp. My life is not better or worse now, just a great deal more complicated.

But the truth is, if I really force myself to remember my junior year, I know that it wasn't perfect. There were nights when I was incredibly stressed out by my demanding course load. There were weekends when I felt lonely because I wasn't out on dates or at parties with my classmates. And there were days where I was bored or insecure or mad at my family or unproductive with my writing because that is how the world works. No stretch of time is ever as perfect as we remember it to be.

More to the point, when I was a junior in high school, I looked back on years prior as simpler times, specifically middle school. And it's true, it was simpler. But the biggest truth is that the simplest time of my life was when I was an infant, and it's because I only knew like five people, all of whom were related to me. The more people there are in your life, the more complicated it becomes. This is the hardest lesson I've learned through growing up. The only way to keep things simple is to shut everyone out. But simple is lonely. Even for an introvert who would gladly spend all day holed up in a room with just a piano, a laptop, and a bag of snacks.

Even though I know my obsession with my junior year is dumb, I still find myself wishing I could go back to late 2013 and early 2014. I want to relive those days, when I still lived at home, when I was surrounded by people who I knew so well, albeit people who I didn't always click with. That's another thing about being a freshman in college: even the closest friendships feel so transient. The person I consider my closest friend is someone I met in September. We've only known each other for six months. The friendships I had when I graduated high school were founded on four to six years of meals and movies and sleepovers and study dates. Now what is it? Parties in which I took care of their drunken, stumbling bodies? A few chance deep conversations in their dorm rooms? Some especially productive jam sessions at the music school?

I guess what I'm saying now is that despite how truly incredible the people at my university are, I still feel very disconnected. I can count on one hand the number of times I've formed a real, long-lasting bond with someone on an immediate basis (it's probably only been once). For the most part, my friendships are a slow burn. I haven't completely opened up to anyone I've met at college. There are certain parts of myself that I don't trust with other people. I don't know how to change that. Maybe it's best that I don't.

This post doesn't have a thesis statement or even a point. But it's 10pm, and I am writing, because the world is very dark, and very quiet.

Talk soon. xo

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