Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Burdened With Self-Reflection

The first term of my second year in university has fluctuated quite a lot. The start was so promising, with my father believing things were going to be better, and so did I. I felt more able to handle the academic, the social and the personal together. Then, I found myself more submerged in work, panicky and exhausted. The only other things that took up more of my time were extra-curricular and any time that I was left alone was more to unwind than to be productive on a personal matter. It left my collection of books, movies and notes gathering more dust. Soon afterwards, I had hit some of the worst marks ever in my academic career which left the end of the term with no other option than to grin and bear with the work, occasionally try to do something to unwind and continue to leave the social that I thought would be improved to wither away even further. Though it's not like anyone said university would be easy.

On the one hand, I blame the university and the academic system. I've never been too fond of these structures. In middle and high school, I hated the superficiality and pettiness of others and the lack of true enthusiasm or relevance the material gave me. It wasn't like I was a slacker, I would get good grades. But usually I had to make it interesting for myself. Only a few teachers really provided the proper relationship, but it's unfortunately that one of them was actually for a material that would be of more importance in university. Now, the social aspect is more open and free-for-all, meaning that any social failures are more on me than on the system. Sure there's people I don't like or I don't fit in with like in the past, but there's more students and more places to go that I can escape it. As for the academic portion, there would still be those subjects that seem so irrelevant and professors that carried no proper connection, but the onus is more on me to connect the dots and the classes are far too large for that effect to take hold on everyone. University's harsh, and seems to focus less on having the students apply and learn properly so much as be stressed through the tests. It's a system that punishes you if you fall back even by a bit. Since I'm not a super-genius though, I feel like I'm in no position to say anything though. Despite my efforts, I made fuckups. I wasn't going through the ideal regiment and still suffering so my comments have no weight. Others have been able to do well in these courses and they may have had it worse than me. So no matter what, it's on me.

In the end, it serves a purpose. It leads me to a degree that then can lead to a job if I can show I've got experience too by working in the summer. At least in the coming years I can have experiences and a better hold of the system that will make the experience more pleasant. I may still not view the system itself as great, but there's very little alternatives I have and I don't have the power to change it for the better. Grumble all I want, I still can get something out of it.

It is the positivity of that last sentence that will keep me going forward in the coming years. And it is these thoughts that have made me continue my journey onwards. But it's reflecting on those thoughts that lets the spectre of depression come back once again to leave me in a tiresome routine that will never leave. It leaves me inside my mind and enduring self-reflection over and over. It's not that I hate looking inward. It's just that I've done it so much. Especially when I get in lower moments. Which also seems to happen a lot. Were it not for the state of mind that I tend to self-reflect in, I would feel better about all of the times I do it. And if that reflection could actually translate into my work more often, then it would serve some purpose. Hence why I write this. But this piece can only tackle a part of the whole pile.

What I find though is that I only seem to enjoy my company when I am distracted. If I am working on something or indulging in the wonders of the Internet or enjoying one of my books or movies, the fact that I am alone in that instance is but a minor detail. Leave anything further and I find that there is no force out there that wishes for my undoing more than my own self. It knows every flaw I have and will remind me of it constantly. It's possible for anyone to have themself be their own greatest enemy because of that, but those who don't tend to be people with more successful lives, better surroundings or higher levels of narcissism. Even then, they can still feel the nasty sting of self-destructive thoughts. Where all thoughts are aimed at placing blame on you for the errors in your life and comparing yourself to others to make your weaknesses all the more apparent. It is a cacophony of self-deprecation that makes any reminder of an achievement a laughingstock. It traps yourself in a sense of pointlessness that lets you loom over the rest of your life on auto-pilot, as if all that can be heard in your mind is "life sucks and then you die".

Amidst the period where I had found myself working more than doing anything else, I found that whenever I did anything else, it didn't so much leave me relaxed as just seem as a way to keep myself from exploding from the pressure that came from the workload. Sometimes it was because I had done too much, and at times I tried to manage both the work and the non-work simultaneously to keep me level. It worked, but my state of being didn't really have any significant changes. It only got worse when I started to fail midterms and my mind couldn't help but start bringing up how so many others did better than me and that there are people that have accomplished so much more at my age than I have. My mind expected so much more from the promise that the first year had offered, becoming the third parent that was much more disappointed with me than probably my real ones. The daily sights of friends hanging out or couples kissing only made the nagging grow louder. It made me wonder if I am fit to interact with others, if I am able to create these bonds. So much of who I am comes back to being alone that it seems as much of a part of my character as being Venezuelan did. Even then, I could argue that I am more alone than Venezuelan. My self-reflections so rarely tend to be in Spanish.

There are efforts I make to not be alone. I attend parties when I can, I did get involved in a sketch comedy group, and I speak to people online. I'm not as socially inept as I think I am either. I do show normal, social behavior. Nonetheless, I am divorced from the interactions. They feel empty. Is it because it doesn't satisfy something further within me? Is it because I don't feel truly a part of the interaction? Is it because I am down already? No matter what I come up with, it doesn't change that how I stand with others is perplexing. It's as if I look at others in any direction but at them. Either I'm inconsequential or others are. I feel as though conversations with others tries to break that self-reflective malaise that keeps me from enjoying the moment. And yet that self-reflective malaise dominates and poisons the experiences. As if I'm too wrapped up in my own world to be with others. I recognize all the times that I'm the asshole and I see why people wouldn't want to be near me. Hell, I don't like being near myself most of the times. So I can see why there is that distance. I can continue with the efforts but ultimately it seems that a part of me wishes more to not make those efforts and be more comfortable with myself. I think it's because I want to be more self-confident and that in turn is more appealing but that spectre seems to take this idea more as self-reliance. That I need no others but myself. But that's simply not true. If anything, what that spectre wants is to put me on a fatalistic path of loneliness.

Each thought piles on more and more and I keep myself stuck with these thoughts because I'm stuck more with myself. And rather than being hospitable, my mind decides to berate me. I have no pleasure of being able to run away from my mind because that would lead to something truly awful. And I can't submit myself to that act, no matter how much it feels as though it might as well come down to it. I have to let that positivity take its hold to make the load lighter, to make myself better in the eyes of my mind. Or at least have my mind to be less of a cruel dick. Still, this is a cycle that continues but takes new forms each time I decide to talk about it. I have no doubt the future will lead me to have to deal with this spectre and this process of self-reflection, and while I do believe that the latter could produce something if I allow it to, it is the former that worries me. It is the past faults that feed it and the lack of progress in other fields that keep it strong. There's other things that can keep it alive but they're beyond my control, hence why I just focus on those. I just keep hoping that this burden can be of some use in some way rather than cause my collapse. But it would be a lot better if I could just not have to deal with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment