Prescription for Adventure

I’m in desperate need of adventure.

A while ago I had made plans with my boyfriend to visit a place he once lived in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania may not seem like a super special place, but it’s about one thousand miles away and new scenery is good scenery, if you ask me. To make a long story short, the plan was to stay with my boyfriend’s friend whose parents decided I could not stay with them because my boyfriend and I are dating.

Ordinarily I could understand this, maybe, but both my boyfriend and I are pretty responsible people and both of our families allow us to stay the night at each other’s houses because we live two hours away from each other.

Being booted off of the trip last minute really bummed me out. I was sold on going on a plane for the first time with little commitment (I’m scared to fly, so ideally I would like to commit myself to as little flying time as possible the first time), and being able to experience new places and people. All of that vanished.

It is sometimes very difficult to be from rural Maine…which is basically the entire state. There isn’t much to explore. There isn’t a lot of excitement. I feel like you make yourself familiar with the people and the things to do in the area and you just rotate around with who to talk to and where to go.

I would love to be in Pennsylvania with my boyfriend and his friend that I was excited to meet right now. I have been trying to distract myself from the fact that I am not there by keeping myself busy, but I’m running out of ideas.

I think I would even be okay with a friend taking me out for a surprise. I just am in desperate need for adventure.

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It saddens me quite a bit that folks around my age group tend to succumb to foolish stereotypes. I am not saying that I am not guilty of surrendering myself to the silliness that is (primarily) teenage-hood. In fact, I have had conversations with my family, where my sister asks what we think she is, which is normally a hippy, and where I have asked what my family thinks I am, which is normally a hipster.

Then I realize that I am far more complex than that. I may like to listen to my record player, play piano, and play ukulele. I may have an antique camera collection and own a typewriter, too. I may even dress like a hipster at times. But there is definitely more to me than that. My best subject is math, so does that make me a huge nerd? I like to write even though I’m awful at it, does that make me a nerd? I like being in nature (minus the bugs), does that make me a hippy? I want to dye my hair unnatural colors, does that make me emo? I like to roller skate and I go running sometimes, does that make me a ‘jock’?

I hope my point is being made.

I feel that so many people limit themselves simply because they need to have a label or allow other people to label them. It may not be conscious, but I feel it is something people do.

Most commonly, I find that girls in particular submit themselves to all of this nonsense. There are some girls who feel that their only asset is their body which I find rather unfortunate. Not that you shouldn’t love your body, you should! But, because some girls feel that they are only good for their body, they limit themselves. I feel that if you are advertising your body, people become less interested in who you are as a person. You aren’t giving your personality a chance and therefore are limiting yourself to more personal relationships you could be forming.

I can understand that I might be coming off as encouraging women not to embrace their sexuality and to expect all men to be pervs, but this is not my intention at all. As a woman with a curvy body, herself, I like to wear clothes that accentuate my womanly figure, simply because it makes me feel good about myself.

What I am trying to say is I wish more women (and men) would realize that they are complex creatures. You are more than your body, you are more than a previous stereotype that you have been labelled, you are more than your past, you are more than the things you have or don’t have. A collection of all of those things make up who you are which is a wonderful person, I’m sure. Never let one thing define you.

I have made the mistake of allowing my anxieties to define me. I am not anxiety. I have anxiety, but I am not anxiety. Anxiety has shaped me into who I am, but it is not who I am. It’s a small slice in the pie of Elrino.

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Life is undoubtedly full of disappointments. They will happen, they have happened. Disappointments are inevitable. Some, of course, are bigger than others. But they will be there and they are most certainly not fun.

For an eighteen-year-old I have been faced with my fair share of struggles and disappointments. I sway back and forth from trying to look on the positive side to the negative side. It is so terribly easy to be negative and so horribly difficult to be positive. On good days I tell myself that one of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion was that, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So if something really horrible happens, I have already had or will have something equal in power, but awesome, happen. 

Then, of course, there are bad days. Like today. 

When I kind of wish lives were something you could choose and trade in at a department store. Sometimes (a lot of the time) I don’t feel that this life suits me. It has caused me too much trouble and I am very done with it all. It feels like every time I take a step forward a brick wall is slammed in front of me, inches from my nose, and I have but a shank to chisel my way forward. Similar to a prison escape. I feel a prisoner to my body and to my life at times. 

I have learned that it is more difficult to be disappointed if you simply do not care. You have nothing to lose when you don’t care but you also have nothing to gain. 

A flaw of mine (of the many) is that I care too much. A lot of whiny girls say it, I know, but I really do care too much. No, I’m not easily impressed, and because of that I have a stone facade, but I care incredibly deeply about really stupid shit. 

But I’m in a place right now where I do not want to care because I do not want to lose and be disappointed. 

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Not Okay

This past week has been emotionally unpleasant, to say the least. I have been going through a very difficult time. 

This past monday, I decided to attempt filling out college applications for the second time. The first time was a failure because I filled out the application wrong because of undue pressure to pick a major on the spot. I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life, so I’m far more comfortable entering college with an undecided major rather than saying “Yeah, I want to be a psychologist for the rest of my life even though I have never taken a proper psychology course!”

Any who, filling out the college applications was the start to my emotional distress. There was a page on the application dedicated to filling out volunteer hours, extracurriculars, work hours, etc. Most sections I had nothing to put down, which sent me into a panic attack. Clearly the empty slots were not fixable and no college would accept me because I appear to be a selfish human being who doesn’t do any community service, who has never been involved in clubs because I don’t care to learn, and who has never worked because I am affluent.
All of which are untrue, but, you know. It’s pretty easy to self deprecate.  

In my “No one will accept me into college, I’ll never go anywhere in life, why did I have to develop anxiety disorder?” frenzy, a spark of rationality (just a spark, there was no fire) ignited in my brain and I realized I can gain some volunteer hours. I signed up to volunteer at a local Nursery School on tuesdays and thursdays. 

I have zero experience with children. 

This week has also been filled with excited seniors chattering about their upcoming graduations. Guess who isn’t graduating? This girl. Guess who would be graduating if they weren’t a complete and utter failure? This girl. Seeing my peers achieve something that is so expected of people and not standing next to them and being part of that community was and is devastating. Seeing them be contributing members of society while I sit where I seem to have always sat, in the Useless Chair. It’s heart breaking. 

I am where I always have been, on the sidelines. 
I am where I always have been, on the outside, looking in. 

All of the talk about graduating, I will be brutally honest, made me wish I was dead. I wanted to crawl back in the womb. I kept telling myself I didn’t ask to be alive and all of this was unfair. I got mad at my parents for giving birth to me. I’m seven years apart from my sister and I can’t help but think from time-to-time that maybe the time it took to conceive me was the universe’s way of saying “Yo, the next one is a defect. You don’t want to do this.”

I no longer wish I was dead, but I am still having a difficult time coping with the situation that I have, indeed, failed in an important aspect of my life. People like me are judged in society. I judge myself. I judge my peers. I am one of “those” people. 

I felt out of control. I felt detached. 

Yesterday my mother brought me out shopping which made me feel incredibly guilty. I felt as though the shopping trip was an attempt to cheer me up, and I was and am extremely grateful for the clothes that my mom purchased for me, but it did not change the fact that I still did not want to exist. 

It wasn’t until I had a conversation last night did I start to feel better. But I am still very much having a difficult time. I have yet to learn that it is okay to fail sometimes. 

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Believe Half of What You See and None of What You Hear

With the amount of time that your average teenager spends on the internet you would think they would know a thing or two of what is going on in the world. 

My generation is blessed to be surrounded by such advance technology. Most of todays youth owns a laptop, a phone, or a tablet. They are neat-o devices! My iPhone is wonderful for checking Facebook on the go and for making it look like I have friends to text. My MacBook Pro is great for seeing Facebook on a bigger screen when I am lying in bed and for writing these blog posts. 

I am joking a little. I use my devices for all sorts of things. On my phone I do check Facebook rather frequently, but I also follow local news pages so I can get the latest reports. I scan reddit and tumblr occasionally on my phone, have weather apps that I check frequently, and have a kindle app that I haven’t really been known to use, but have intentions of using it someday (when I have money to buy electronic books). On my laptop I can access more websites with increased comfort. I scan Facebook religiously when I’m on my laptop, I always like to keep WordPress open, Google is frequently opened with some bizarre question, Pandora, Youtube, etc. The point is, even though I am connected almost throughout the day, I have so much information at my fingertips! Facebook allows me to be informed on local news, reddit allows me to access interesting random things, tumblr allows me random knowledge (although it often needs to be double checked because people don’t get their facts straight), weather apps allow me to know how to plan ahead, my kindle app makes it so reading material is always available (ideally), WordPress always being open allows my freedom of expression and opening my mind, Google allows me to ask questions of any genre whenever I feel like it, Pandora exposes me to new artists and gives brief summaries on them, and Youtube has been an easy quick-learn resource for piano for me throughout the years.

I try to use the internet not simply for games (although I do play games throughout the day, I won’t deny. Candy Crush, Smash Hit, and Cookie Clicker are my guilty pleasures), but for knowledge too. I do not have an excuse for my ignorance when I am plugged in to so much information almost all day. I can reach so much more potential just because I have a phone in my pocket and easy access to a laptop.

There are obviously so many things in this world that I do not know, but I am afraid of what I don’t know, which encourages me to learn more. 

It amazes me at how many other teens who are connected to the internet a fair amount are ignorant of their surroundings. How can you swipe past an interesting article? How can you not want to know about what’s happening in the world? Is reading that painful? Has it really come to this? People have become so lazy in their lifestyles (I am guilty), that they are only finding motivation to play internet games. They hear gossip and establish it as true information, without researching it themselves. If I quoted someone and said, “‘The Earth laughs in flowers’ – Stephen King” I would pray that you would look up that quote to double check that I said it correctly. Stephen King said no such thing, it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said that. You should not trust all of the things you hear, but because of laziness, a lot of us do. 

It takes seconds to type something into Google if you are a speedy texter or typer. It doesn’t take very long to read a simple article. Even if you are a slow reader, it will become easier in time, I promise! 

People need to become more self-reliant for the information they acquire. People need to cut back on their laziness. 

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Change is sometimes a difficult thing that everyone is destined to deal with at least one point in their lives. It’s something I’m having an incredibly difficult time dealing with right now. Both past to current changes and current to future changes that are inevitable. It’s all saddening. 

As always, I review the tragic seven years of my life. I know I talk about it so much on my blog, but it is a memory that can not be forgotten. My experience with anxiety and how people have treated me because of my disorders has shaped me into the person I am today. It is only right of me to remember the things that have shaped me. It was also one of the most significant things that have happened in my life, thus far, so I couldn’t really forget it even if I wanted to .

But, I remember the person I used to be before I gave up my mind to complete chaos. I was always a nervous kid, but I was a soft, kind, genuine kiddo bean. I had really severe temper tantrums, but I also pegged myself as a very loving person. I have always felt everything so very deeply, and I suppose that was my ultimate downfall. I was so very imaginative, but most importantly, I was innocent. I don’t mean this necessarily in a sexual context (although, I had absolutely no clue about anything sexual at the age of ten, before I developed anxiety), but in most ways. I was aware of the problems of the world, but the only true problem I could wrap my mind around was war. I remember happiness flowing free through my body. 

I feel sad because I feel as though I am no longer that person. I’m not sure if I should give age or anxiety the credit for the change. The source of the change may not seem important, but it is to me. If I turned into the person I am today from the person I was before through anxiety, I will have more bitter feelings because I could’ve done better as a person (even though my anxiety isn’t anything in my realm of control). The feelings I have of being a complete and total failure are immense. But if age shaped me from person A to person B, it was bound to happen someday, no matter what I did or how hard I tried, and for that I would be less of a failure.

I feel like I have become a harder person. I am very bitter over my past if that isn’t abundant yet. I still try to be a kind, caring, genuine person, but I feel my anger seeps out far more than it used to. I am imaginative, but no longer express my imagination through turning the living room into a doll house village, obviously. I use my imagination for darker things like entertaining my fears and teasing my anxieties. I am no longer as innocent. Although I am still oblivious of certain things, I am painfully aware of other’s. I remove myself from people because I like time to myself. I don’t know what to say or do. It is hard to speak or concentrate on what other people are saying when you can hardly keep your head above the roaring river waters that is your thoughts. 

It scares me that changes will continue to happen, around and within. Simple things like seeing a store go out of business that I have visited my entire childhood saddens me. It’s an unpleasant reminder that things are always changing. Someday I will be on my own, and I will look back on now and I don’t want to have more regrets on top of the ones I have now. I do not want to look back and think that I wasted so many years. So many consecutive 12 months, so many series of 52 weeks. That I did so many things wrong. I don’t want to do the wrong things. I don’t want to lose people I love, be the reason death or loss of relationship. The thought of missing people I love scares me so much. 

I got in a car accident a couple months ago where it was truly a miracle that all of the people in the car walked away with minor cuts and bruises. We were very close to serious injuries or worse. The situation made me realize how things can change so quickly. How a fun night can turn into a sad long-time. 

And I feel like I’m doing everything so wrong right now. I feel everything so deeply. 

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