I’ve been in a very strange place as of late.
I’m currently more than half way done with the fall semester of my sophomore year at college and I’d been thinking that things have been decent overall, all matters of privilege and opportunities considered. I’m on route to discovering what I want to do with my life, I have a good amount of extracurriculars, and my classes are going reasonably well. But this whole semester, the same question has sprouted up, time and time again: who am I?
I’ve always held the belief that in life, you don’t find yourself; you create yourself. But I’ve felt such a disconnect lately from the things I’ve always told myself that I wanted, and what I am currently passionate about. I’m left feeling unsure of who I am, who I want to become, and how I can go about becoming that person.
Earlier today, I had a moment of stunning clarity: I am very lonely. I’ve only been slightly cognizant of this fact the entire semester, but shook it off because the feeling came and went and I told myself to focus on the moments when it was gone. But now I realize that when I step back and examine what my life has been these past few months, I haven’t been living; I’ve merely been surviving day by day. I became so complacent in my routine that I hadn’t even realized how meaningless it sometimes was. It was the mundane tasks that I occupied myself with; go to this class. Then go grab a to-go box for lunch. Then go here. Then you have some free time to spend in your room on the computer. Stepping back, it all seems so tedious and unfulfilling. I barely see the friends I made last year. Things have been rocky with the friends I had from before. My brain feels like such a jumble sometimes and I can barely figure out where to even begin in order to sort it out.
I don’t think I have depression. But I think because I have been subconsciously refusing to acknowledge how lonely I’ve been, the negative emotion has been leaking out in more general ways. I’ve constantly felt unmotivated, unenergized, and dulled down. I’ve been focusing so much on the exterior package of how others perceive me, and I analyze every aspect of myself constantly to make sure there are no cracks in the image. I’m so controlled that sometimes I feel like my body is a puppet, and I am observing myself interact with others within my mind and approving the things I say as I say them. When people ask me questions, such as how I am doing, sometimes I feel that instead of being genuine, I say what I want to be true, or what I think others will want to hear. I think I may occasionally answer that way because I don’t even know how I’m doing; everything feels distant and dulled. It all blends together as the same. I’ve been lacking passion and excitement, and I am now considering that this all ties into how I have been having less human contact lately, or at least meaningful human contact. I feel tired very often; if I were asked to take a nap at any time of the day, I would probably be willing.
Usually I try to write my blog posts in a way that allows me to vent and then wrap it up by considering some options to solve the problem. I’m not sure I know how to do that, though. The obvious answer is to make more efforts to spend time with friends, and seek out meaningful interactions as opposed to unfulfilling, fleeting moments. But I’m worried that I don’t really know how to meaningfully interact with others, at least not right now; how can I share with others the core of who I am, if I am not even sure of that myself? How can I describe my passions, my aspirations, and my day-to-day affairs if they just feel like words that spill from my mouth by habit, rather than interest?
I might write a follow-up soon, now that I’ve become cognizant of all this and can start sorting through it internally. I guess for now, I’m going to seek out more outlets to make my life meaningful as opposed to following routines that have become comfortable but aren’t fulfilling.