Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the angsty meanderings of a twentysomething

Warning: this blog post is quite angst ridden and kind of disgusting, but I'm posting it anyway. You don't have to read it.

I spend a lot of my time feeling disappointed or upset with myself. I'm not necessarily who I would like to be, but at the same time I am very stubborn about being myself and not conforming to every arbitrary social norm out there. It's the same sort of thing that I hate and love about my mother. She won't conform to any social norm, reasonable or not. She is who she is, and this is good in theory, but I don't think she is very happy and she tends to make other people feel awkward and unhappy. Will I do the same? Will I lash out at every thing telling me I should be a certain way and be miserable for not fitting in and for finding myself always alone and frustrated? I mean, if I choose to not conform to people's expectations, I can't possibly expect people to conform to the way I do things.

Part of me thinks that conforming may be a reasonable sacrifice, and another part tells me over and over again that I have to stay true to myself no matter what and if I am always true to myself life will be hard but I will be happy.

I have a feeling life is always going to be hard and that the things I expect and hope for will not happen simply for the fact that I hope for them. I remember learning this lesson when I was a child. Whenever I had an idea that something good was supposed to happen I would stay up all night thinking about every single detail of the coming day and how wonderful it would be. Soon, I realized that nothing ever turned out how I imagined it and that if I wanted something good to happen that would mean for a fact that it would not happen. This continued to prove true over and over and over again as I grew up, and I stopped imagining the wonderful things I hoped would happen to me. Then my imagination turned to disasters. If I stayed up all night thinking about the horrors of my house burning down, it would surely not. Nothing expected actually happens, good or bad, and I could only count on unexpected happiness. The problem is that now I expect the unexpected wonderful thing to happen: does that automatically mean that it won't? I mean, I can't remember the last unexpected turn of fortune that occurred.

Oh, I'm getting old and realizing just how hard life is going to be. I'm going to continue to be rejected, from men and schools and jobs and scholarly journals. I used to believe that I was amazing, that any one who met me would realize how amazing I was and hire me or fall in love with me on the spot. All they had to do was talk to me and see my goodness. I don't really believe that anymore. There are a number of better qualified, smarter and more attractive people out there and now I feel like all I can hope for is to eek out a meager subsistence, just survive because I have a survival instinct built in.

I'm setting myself up for disappointment now. On Friday I will take the GRE and hope against hope that all my studying will actually pay off and that I won't screw it up. Then I'm applying for 6 grad schools, hoping again that one, just one will deign to let me attend their school. If they don't I'm going to beauty school and embracing all that beauty school represents.


  1. I think in your fourth paragraph you articulated a feeling that I have been struggling with for years to articulate. Nothing in life goes unexpected by me anymore, which leaves surprise and unexpected happiness (which is perhaps indulgent happiness) almost absent. And when the unexpected happens now, I can't even claim it as the unexpected, because I somehow expected it. It makes even randomness trite, which is a dire situation.

    Good luck with the GRE, by the way. Even if you do mess it up, you still have heaps going for you.

  2. first of all, i dont see anything wrong with going to beauty school. today was I was ironing some clothe and watching some tv, I saw a commercial of Paul Mitchell and thought to myself how much simpler things could be if I would have gone to beauty school. anyway, i think you are too smart to go to beauty school and it would be a waste for you if you did. I can assure you my dear miss jasie stokes that you will be accepted into grad school, and not just any grad school, but into the best grad school. I am hopeful that things will turn out okay for you, but I guess is normal that you are anxious about life right now. we are getting older, but I like to think that 25 is the new 18, so I guess the world is ours!