I woke up like Death wakes up from a night of slamming back Jagerbombs. I mean everything ached. My phone battery died over night so my morning routine of turning off my alarms and navigating through any notifications was thwarted and I just knew today was going to be bad.
Thinking back on it, it’s that type of thinking that sends us spiraling downward. I sat through lecture on graphing and integrating Cylindrical Shells, I snickered each time the professor didn’t know how to respond to the kid behind me who blurts out random stories and tries making jokes. He seems to have some kind of high functioning autism, perhaps Aspergers. Regardless, he’s incredibly smart and he tries his best to not seem awkward (although he undoubtedly does). He was in my Calc class the previous semester as well, and our former professor knew how to keep him laughing, knew how to keep him interested, and was always clever enough to come back with a creative answer and still keep the class on track. This professor . . . not so much. It’s sad really.
I blame it on the fact that he’s actually a physicist, not a mathematician. He takes everything so literal, and then makes corny ass jokes and expects us to laugh with him.
So I’m not as “up” or happy as I have been these last few weeks, and I’m not sure why. The emptiness just crept back into my life after vacationing in the Bahamas or something. See, even my jokes are going south.
All my energy went into a paper for my Native American Literature class, knowing I’d have to speak about it to a group. Instead, we were instructed to read it. It was in groups of four, my limit of people before I get truly uncomfortable and keep my eyes to floor and barely prove I’m alive or breathing. Now, I’m fully aware that I have a skill for writing. I understand how to integrate ideas, I understand word placement, smooth diction, creative syntax, proper punctuation (most of the time) especially in an educational environment or in fiction, and I understand that others struggle with it. But I have to say, their struggle is my gain . . . in self confidence, that is.
My thoughts aren’t scattered on paper. Once they’re plotted on the printer paper or penciled in, they can’t go anywhere. I have to take my time on things. I can’t sit in the third row of class like that random guy, blurt jokes about cheese, tell stories about being in the forest, and then just watch as the professor writes things on the board and never have to take notes. I have to go over the notes several times before I can envision a washer rotating around the y-axis. I mean, shit, they could have put a warning on the description of the class that you need a masters degree in 3D rendering or else your up shit creek with no paddle.
Are you kidding me? That cone is like three years of art school for me.
I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore. That shit got me fucked up. That’s what the hip people of today say, right? I don’t know, I’m an outsider. I’m the one sitting on the corner with her knees to her chest and her head on her knee caps with her eyes closed, lost in the vastness of her own mind. Oh, and she twitches occasionally. I twitch.
For anyone suffering under stress or mental health, I think the most important thing they could do for themselves is find an outlet. Running, hiking, reading, writing, singing, painting, screaming, whatever. I think it’s essential. When I was on medication I spent days crying because I couldn’t form a single creative thought in my mind. Everything was dulled. Fuck that shit. I’d rather be running through the streets naked with a squirrel skin on my head screaming “eht dne si raen!” than have the vivid imagination in my head be stolen from me like that ever again.
But writing, I have a voice. I have an opinion and it’s valid. I can’t stumble over words already smooth on a page. If I stumble in my speech, oh well, the words are there to guide me. And tonight when the professor stood by our group listening to my entire paper, the only one he took the time to listen to fully and compliment (yes, I’m tooting my own horn, fucking deal with it) it helped me see my voice does have a place in society. I don’t read my work out loud very often because the words feel foreign on my tongue. When I speak freestyle, my words are choppy, my face is read, my confidence dwindles, my thoughts scatter and I crumble, so hearing such coherent words come from my mouth is an odd experience. A good kind of odd. A kind of odd that says, yes, you have a tiny bit of intelligence there.
The group got a little intimidated and the one girl didn’t want to read her paper after mine, but I’m used to that response by now. I was reading 8th grade level in elementary, 12th grade level in 8th grade, and my writing accompanied in the success. It’s one of my talents. I actually have a talent.
For someone with social anxiety, writing was always my way of communication. It’s how I asked teachers questions, it’s how they asked me questions, it’s how they learned I wasn’t some mentally challenged mute with the I.Q of a left foot.
I’m too tired to think. This post probably has the attractiveness of a beached whale. I feel a wave of negative emotions washing over me tonight. I think I’m going to numb myself with some computer games. It’s more socially acceptable than punching someone in the face.
Although punching sounds nice.
At least flick someone’s cheek.
I know, too much violence, I really need to quit.