Happiness

To be quite honest, I am rather upset. It is nearly two in the morning and I was just woken up in my sleep by an anxiety attack after only an hour if being in my peaceful slumber that happens to be my only escape from my anxiety.

Wee.

I guess what I’m trying to say is “I’m anxious, grumpy, and tired and if this post seems particularly sleepy and lazy it’s because I am”.

I have been thinking a little bit about this whole “happiness” thing. How you obtain it and all if that jazz. In my class the other day, we had to evaluate a quote that went somewhere along the lines of, “you do not have to be rich and famous to be happy, only rich.” After discussing the quote with a few people I still can’t help but disagree, but my sleepiness has helped me find insight.

There’s a lot of people out there who say “money doesn’t buy happiness” and I almost wonder if it’s a poor mans reassurance. I’m sure there are wealthier people who are both happy and unhappy, so you would have to assume that their income has no part in the equation.

I mentioned earlier that traveling will probably not make people happy, and that happiness is a destination you have to create within yourself. Which is kind of a depressing thought for all of the blokes out there who are quite unhappy, such as myself. But traveling does make some people happy. So why can’t money make some people happy? And exactly how selfish is that?

Other than the obvious, money can buy reassurance which is a fabulous trait to have. If you’re Gatsby rich, you really don’t have to worry about financial burdens. You live were you want to live, you drive what you want to drive, you have what you have, you can provide for your loved ones as much as you want and everything seems pretty damn well off.

Maybe the reassurance factor is enough for some people to find happiness. Financial burdens do causes lot of stress and unhappiness, and maybe by eliminating that stress and happiness, people can find a joy within.

When people go on trips, maybe the destinations don’t show them happiness, But the revelations they have during the journey make them find happiness. Trips can be quite insightful.

And if money can help a certain individual achieve happiness, is that really selfish? When do you draw the line from “treating yourself” (which everyone should do) and “being selfish”?

So many questions.

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Eventful Weekend

This weekend has truly been a roller coaster. 

I went down to my boyfriend’s house on Thursday (which is a day early than normal). 

We had plans to go see the new Captain America movie and to go bowling with a bunch of his friends in his town. They’re mutual friends, kind of. I haven’t hung out with them enough to be BFF’s with them yet, but they are certainly fun people that I like to be around and am familiar with. 

My boyfriend’s mom drove us to the theatre. 

So we went and saw the Captain America movie in a nearby city at 6:40 in the evening. It was really fun. There ended up being ten of us, so we took up a whole row in the relatively small theatre. I had an anxiety attack through intense scenes in the movies (Erin, it’s a friggin’ action adventure movie, what were you thinking?!), but it was enjoyable! I don’t get out like that hardly often at all and it felt really good. I felt like a grown up. 

A mutual friend drove my boyfriend and me from the theatre to the bowling alley, which was around nine. 

We went to a bowling alley in another nearby city. They had “glow bowling” which was kind of neat. I chose to wear a skirt that day partly because I wanted to look good and I also thought it would improve mobility with bowling but it didn’t feel like it made any difference. It was my first time big ball bowling, too. I got a strike on my first try which was really surprising, and I ended up beating everyone. Not like that’s what matters, but I was quite impressed with myself. Brag, brag, brag. We got food at the bowling alley and hung around there for a while. Sitting amongst the drunks, and playing arcade games when we were done with our strings. 

I have discovered that Dance, Dance Revolution requires a lot of finesse that I do not have. 

We ended up leaving the bowling alley close to midnight. To be clear, we were not doing anything mischievous. A time of day does not dictate ones morals and values. We were simply a bunch of high schoolers out having a good time. When we went out to the car, the weather wasn’t how it was when we got to the bowling alley, though. It was freezing rain and we were half an hour away from home. 

The same mutual friend drove us. 

She had never driven us home before and was very unfamiliar with the area as she was trying tog et us home. She from another nearby town, I guess. I felt fine with her driving, and since she had only a two-door vehicle, and I was wearing a skirt, I sat up front with her and my boyfriend sat in the back. Which, actually works out, because I have no idea how to move the chairs out of the way to get in and out from the backseat on my own. 

We were driving on rural roads, getting home when we approached an S turn down a (steep) hill that leads to a bridge over a lake. Our friend was gaining speed when my boyfriend suggested she slowed down. But it was a little too late. The roads were slippery. We approached the S turn and lost control a bit. It was a far wider turn than it was supposed to be. I thought that the wide turn would be corrected but we slammed into a guard rail to the right of us. 

I thought everything was going to be okay when I saw the guard rail coming toward us. I thought we would be able to back up and just go home and laugh about it later. But the guard rail pushed us to the left with force. We glided to the other side of the road, rolled over a snowbank, and down the embankment. We rolled. I covered my head with both of my arms and the driver screamed. Thankfully we stopped so the car was standing upright, and only the headlights were in the lake water. 

I couldn’t open my door at first but I got it, climbed out, and everyone followed. 

I am incredibly thankful that everyone walked out with cuts and bruises. The windows had shattered, there was glass in my hair and in my hand, we were not far away from being submerged in the water. I can’t help but be very thankful that my boyfriend, my friend, and I am alive. 

It’s incredible to think that if we had rolled just once more our lives could be changed drastically. 

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The Great Gatsby

*SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT*

Last week I watched the Leonardo DiCaprio version of The Great Gatsby. I was genuinely surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the movie. I have not read the book cover to cover but I did read a good fifteen pages and in those fifteen pages I was completely and totally confused.
But the movie did not leave me lost. Everything made sense. Minus Nicks relationship with Daisy, of course. It seemed weirdly romantic to me. That’s beside the point.
I felt like, in ways, I could identify with Gatsby and Nick. I’m not a hugely successful Prohibitionist living in a mansion, experiencing a seemingly magnificent and well lived life. I am not an ex employee on Wall Street who is now institutionalized in a mental hospital, either.
To put things in perspective, imagine the world as it is, except there is no one on earth but you. Nothing freaky or apocalyptic is happening. Just you.

That’s how I feel.

As far as Nick, he said a few times how he felt “both within and without”. After analyzing those words a bit I felt as though I could relate. I feel “on the outside, looking in” a fair amount. Most likely due to my lack of schooling and severe anxiety. I see people who go to school, socialize with ease, and have common interests with other people. It doesn’t take much to make me feel like a single giraffe in a pack of hyenas. But, I do hang out with people (on the rare occasion) where I joke with my peers and have a good time. I enjoy myself and feel “within” or a part of something, but it’s nothing I experience often enough to actually be a part of something. It is not in my lifestyle as of now, so even though I may feel “within” I am still “without”. Whether this was the authors intended meaning, I do not know.
My anxious brain has been trying to convert bad obsessing with positive analyzing. This is the product.

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I Don’t Know

I recall watching a sitcom a while back. I can’t remember the shows name, but the lead female role said something along the lines of, “How am I supposed to know?! I’m a teenage girl!” Of course, the audience laughed. I laughed at the time I watched it. I was prepubescent and more oblivious of the world than I am now. 

But, seriously. Teenage girls aren’t the only people who don’t know what they want. I mean, I can’t say that because I’m not a teenage girl and I don’t know what I want…because I am a teenage girl and I don’t know what I want. It has just come to my attention that I am not the only one in that boat. In fact, there are adults in the boat with me. 

A life boat, if you will. 

Ha. Haha. 

I am finding that what I have read in text books really means nothing. At least, I feel that way towards school on March 25, 2014 at 11:16 PM. My opinion changes very quickly.

I think kids need to learn about themselves, who they are, what they want, and all of that jazz. I guess you are supposed to learn these things in school, through socializing and clubs and whatnot, but not everyone gets that opportunity. It is important to know who you are and what you want because you cannot choose a career without knowing those things. I think that’s a flaw within the public school system. We are taught information, and are thrusted into a sudden “Now, pick”. 

I think I can safely say that a majority of my peers don’t know what they want, even if they claim they do. Even if they are going into college with a declared major I believe they are feeling a sense of doubt and anxiety. A couple weeks ago I was forced into selling baked goods at a school function with a girl I had never met before. Since we were both seniors (apparently) the question was tossed around. “What do you want to do?” My safe answer is writing, mostly because that’s normally the first thing that pops into mind. It’s the only thing I do in my spare time that’s really intellectually stimulating. Sure. When I asked the girl the same question, she proudly told me (with a smile!) where she was going, and that she was going for culinary arts or something of that variety. Which made sense since we were selling whoopie pies and cookies. 

So confident. 

I would still like to believe she is afraid because of how afraid I am. 

I can’t even walk into Subway without feeling anxious. There are too many decisions and I feel as though I have to give the sandwich maker my decision quickly. 

“Sauce?” (The people at Subway are always so friendly and are full of charisma) 

“RANCH”

Moments later I will realize I had already asked for mayonnaise and mustard with my ranch. Do you see my problem? I don’t know what I want. 

Sometimes I think it’d just be better if I took a year off before college to do some soul searching. Travel, be a nomad, find myself, and what I want. Then I think of the stigmas associated with people who take a year off. The things I’ve heard. 

What do I want. 

 

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Torn

I keep teetering back and forth on certain ideas and it’s kind of making me feel like a crazy. I can’t decide what the truth is and it’s driving me insane.

Sometimes I think “I matter in this world! The Earth has a delicate system in which all factors are vital!” It’s kind of true. Everything is interconnected, whether you realize it or not. You exist within other people, and other people exist within you. You are made up of the people you’ve come across, the things you have seen, the things you have heard, the things you have felt. You are made up of the things you have been exposed to. Assuming you, the reader, aren’t a hermit, you have touched another life who has touched another life and so on.

But what does it matter? I am a single person of seven billion. I will not be remembered most likely. I will be another victim of oblivion. In Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar, the human life span amounts to hardly any time at all.

“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” – David Mitchell

Then I think about all of my peers, fearful of choosing a career that they feel they are strapped to for their last 70 years of life. Why must we choose a future when we have no control over what tomorrow’s events will be? I can plan to go to school to be a doctor all I want, but I have little control in the events that will take place during those eight years of school. I could encounter a financial crisis and be forced to drop out. I could discover that the whole “medicine” thing really isn’t me. Why don’t we just pay attention to now? We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

But I need to choose a career. I need to earn money. I want a family and a husband and a house sometime in the future and preferably before I’m forty. The “now” can be so depressing at times.

“Forever is composed of nows” – Emily Dickinson

And then I think about how I would like to be happy. Yes, I would like to feel like I belong, to feel happy, and to feel free. Surely a change in environment will cure me of those desires, right? Maybe San Francisco, or the Florida Keys, maybe even somewhere foreign like Paris or Rome. Or somewhere where the language is still familiar, like London. God, wouldn’t that be nice. Feeling happy and free and a part of something.

But Im not sure that happiness and freedom and feeling a sense of belonging aren’t destinations I can find on a map. I’m afraid they are places I have to construct within myself. And I am not an architect.

Then I think “Dammit Erin, you are one intellect”, mostly because I have such tedious thoughts streaming through my brain.

But there are times when I think of how stupid I am. For allowing my feelings to get the better of me. For not maintaining my place in advanced classes. For saying the stupid things I say, for doing the stupid things I do, and for making the dumbest jokes anyone has probably ever heard of.

Life is too difficult.

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Angsty Teen

I am pulling a massive “Angsty Teen” right now. 

 

Who am I? 

Why am I here? 

What is my purpose? 

Of course, these aren’t the exact thoughts streaming through my mind. It’s more like: 

“What the hell do you want?”

“Who do you think you are?”

“What the hell are you supposed to do on this Earth, you little Shit, you.”

My mind is a very sassy place. 

To be honest, I am quite depressed over the situation. Among other things. I want to achieve happiness and I almost wish someone had told me as a kid, “Yo, enjoy these years because happiness will be something you are going to have to work very hard for, for a majority of your life”. I did not sign up for this whole “life” thing and it really pisses me off sometimes. 

Come out of the womb they said. Life is great they said. 

I really just want to have a purpose and I feel like I am just hanging out here in this empty void of nothingness. I’m an anxious, miserable child, who is either at school or with her boyfriend. I go to classes two days a week and see my boyfriend on the weekends. I have lots of free time and no purpose for it. No friends to hang out with. Nothing to do. 

I just stay up late, doing this, watching TV, and browsing the internet because I don’t know what calm is and I can’t sleep at a reasonable time because of it. Yeah, I also like the time to myself. But I lead a very lonely life. 

I can’t articulate how lonely I feel. Even around people. 

I want to own something. “I’m Erin and I do music” has been my thing for so long. But music doesn’t feel as special anymore. It doesn’t strike as strong of a chord with me. It’s an entirely normal thing to like and do. I don’t even have a sophisticated taste in music. I’ll listen to whatever, I just don’t care. Ke$ha? I won’t complain. The Black Keys? Okay. The Arctic Monkeys? Sure. I’m not this pompous, connoisseur of music. I’m not going to exclusively listen to a certain genre(s) of music and be dedicated to bands or musicians. My music taste is a hodgepodge of things, which makes my interest in music far less interesting and special. I am an “everyone else”. Also, what purpose does music give me? I can’t remember. 

I’ve started picking up “I’m Erin and I write” but what purpose does that serve? I put words on paper. Or digital paper. I am no Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, John Green, or Ernest Hemingway. I am a teenage girl, lounging around, writing her pathetic, sad thoughts down, writing emo poetry, and tracking her life through journaling in hopes it will give me purpose. In hopes that it will cure me of my anxiety. In hopes it will give me a motivation to keep on keepin’ on. 

I’m just not feeling it. Nothing about me seems special at all. My existence doesn’t feel extraordinarily important. 

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Many Feelings

I have incredibly mixed emotions right now, so I’m just going to write and see what comes out. 

Basically, I’ve been pretty unhappy lately. I really can’t pinpoint the root of the unhappiness or why I’m feeling it, to be honest. It’s just there. I’m kind of just angry at the world.

I’m frustrated because one of my teachers is so (and I hate to say “stupid”…) stupid, that I could probably teach the class better than him. Incompetence is far more abundant than I thought. He also isn’t afraid of telling students they are wrong when they are right, which is  frustrating. I don’t know why that situation and that teacher bother me so much but it does and it’s terrible. He makes (and I use the term loosely) “learning” a bore and made me sign a contract today that said if I missed another class I would not receive a credit from the classes I’m in. The thing is, attendance has not been a problem with me. I missed two days last week because I have been trying out new hormonal medication which should even me out and ultimately make me feel better (yay!), but adjusting to it made me incredibly sick. I let my teachers know that I was going to be absent ahead of time and why, but the fact that I was out for a legitimate reason didn’t phase Stupid Teacher in the least bit. I still had to sign a contract promising to never feel nauseous or make attempts at improving my health at least until the semester is over. 

What a jerk face. 

It just feels like this teacher is putting more problems in my life than I already have. Life is a track and field event and I feel like you either get assigned something cushy like javelin, or something incredibly difficult like, hurdles around a curve. Up a mountain. 

There is no in between. 

I am doing hurdles up a curved mountain. 

So, I’m chronically unhappy with my life and angry at the world for having the body and life that has been given to me. Hooray for being anxiety ridden! Hooray for being the poster child for GAD! It’s difficult to be happy about it sometimes. All the time, actually. 

But today, I got a letter in the mail. A fabulous letter. I was accepted into a Young Writers Conference this upcoming Spring! It’s a weekend long but I’m excited to be around fellow writers and share a dorm room with a person who I know I have something in common with. I’m painstakingly nervous, don’t get me wrong, but excited. A panel of people looked at my submission and were like, “Damn, this girl can really poetry” and a writer was born!

I would like to think that is how it went, at least. 

If you are thinking “How the hell did she get in??” based on my writings on this beautiful blog, I know. The thing is, I don’t proof read anything I write in here. I know that if I do that, I will delete everything I have written and get nothing accomplished. This writing space is practice space. It allows me to discover new words, understand sentence structure, and “do grammar good” through time and experience,  which I feel is a wonderful way to learn. It also allows me to discover writing styles I’m comfortable with and who I am as a writer. 

Very writer. Much deep. Wow. 

But I’m excited!

And very sad!

But excited!

Dear Lord, someone help me. I need a therapist. 

 

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