That is to say, I’m taking the day off. I’m skipping classes and responsibilities. Well, kinda. The time off will be spent doing homework, studying, and earning free time for the future. But the time off is on my terms which is a luxury most people don’t fully appreciate. There is a lot of peace in autonomy. Freedom, too.
What are we? We’re about mid semester. I have burly tests over the next three weeks. In all my classes I feel behind. I don’t compare myself to the rest of the students, just my comfort with the material. I’m one of those who wants to have it all mastered before feeling “comfortable”, so that’ll never happen. Also, in the larger scheme, a large percentage of what is taught will be forgotten. As new classes, new rules, new hoops, and new routines come and go, it’ll be what serves me in my day to day that is really worth retaining.
Sure, if I pan handled for the virtues in my actions like some 1800’s mountain man pans for gold, I’d always find gold in the riverbeds I traverse. We can all gas light ourselves into seeing the best or worst of any ole situation. I suppose the guiding light in any of those situations is our heart and wants. Basically, our emotions are what motivate and our conscience is how we navigate. My heart and wants, carefree autonomy.
High and pearly metaphors as I attempt to make sense of things.
A little more grounded, the logic goes thus: I have capitol and hoarding it is wasteful. For this particular scenario. My grades are fine in all my classes. I’m aiming for B’s and I’m holding A’s. I can afford to let a couple of those grades sink. I’m buying peace of mind and freedom at a price but I can afford. I think I’m in a good head space when I say I know what I’m buying, I know the cost, and I know I’d better appreciate it.
Oh, man. I have all the chores to do. But between this brisk autumn weather, being curled up in this thick blanket, and nipping on this hot beverage, I’m not wont to get started just yet.
Midterms are here. A test each week for the next three consecutive weeks leaves me drained just thinking about it. Am I comfortable with the material? More so than I have been. Test worthy? Probably not. And so, with whatever free time I eke out, my forced habits will be going over memorizing nuanced details I’m destined to forget shortly after the semester ends. Study, study, little buddy.
I’m pleasantly surprised my dusty old synapses are rewiring themselves to keep pace with the learning. Have no doubt, I’m stressed and barely keeping pace, even so, I’m still in it. As I sweat under the challenge of taking in and storing the factoids these classes teach, I do wonder what I’m giving up as old synaptic pathways are reforged into new ones. I hope to hope it’s not my sense of self or any of the memories I hold dear. Brain, if you need to redo pathways look at repurposing that memory of the time I embarrassed myself over that girl. That feels prime. Ooo, what if we forgot all the lyrics to Oops, I did it again? Wouldn’t it be nice to regentrify that ghetto part of my mind with some fancy new mathematical principles?
When I’m not practicing my running jumps for all these god damned hoops they have me leaping through, I am doing life chores. Registering the truck, rescuing Grandma from smart phone technologies, laundry, and so on, again a sense of depletion just thinking about it. And here I am and there I go, just, I don’t know, moving forward. I miss the days of fiercely protecting life balance and enjoying those moments where responsibilities could go fuck themselves. I could use more of those moments now.
That said, everything’s got a price. Care-free freedom takes work, man. At least, If I want to maintain a sense of pride, satisfaction, and sanity. Taken too far or too carelessly, that very freedom will carry one into the gutter eating their own faculties. Not as free as they proclaim to be as poverty’s shackles weigh them down and shutter options one dim light at a time. I’m that guy. I’ve wrestled with nihilism enough to know better. I’ve witness predecessors take that route and cringed at where they’ve ended up. No, this hurt now, it’s surely the lessor of the two pains.
So, at least I’m resolved to keep the path. That’s a nice little certainty to cultivate. But believe you me, soon as I get the chance, I will unfurl my naked body and soul in a gooey pool of hedonism . . . Right after I get this one thing done, first.
Got back my grade for the test. 0/100. Swell. There might be hope yet to regain a couple of points, strangely the computer says I haven’t turned it in. Strained and as stupid as my answers were, I assure you, I turned in something. So, who knows, maybe god will intervene and, from this closed door, open a window of opportunity to . . . something. Somewhere. Somehow . . . Please?
I’m surprised how emotionally even I am from the setback. Given my normal neuroticism and stress. I don’t know. I can tell you that yesterday while I was working on a hefty homework assignment for another class, my computer spazzed out. When that happened all work was lost. Sigh, I’ve started from zero plenty of times before, might as well do it once more. So, staying up late into the night, I turned in an incomplete “C” assignment. Better than a zero. In that situation, felt plenty annoyed and even overwhelmed, but I didn’t fall apart. I practiced deep breathing, weighed my options, and opted for the best path given time restraints, late grade penalties, and just plain ignorance. I did my best. Now I’m moving on.
As to the class I opened with, I’m a little confused on that one. I’m taking five classes so far and, while it has been a fucking strain, I am pulling in A’s. Well, ‘cept for this one. No worries, those’ll go down as the semester proceeds. Even so, to have high grades in the rest and for this one to be doing so poorly, I’m a little confused. Thus far, my best guess is that there’s a dissonance on the communication somewhere. What they put forward and gently ask for is vastly different that what’s expected? I’m guessing. When I look over the material, none of it is beyond me. A little more effort and it should come together fine. I’ve explored redemption scenarios, and even if this class is a bust, my best outcome comes from staying with it. Thus I shrug and plod ahead.
My instincts still want to blame myself for all that’s wrong with this situation, and everything else under the sun. My higher thinking knows better, knows that I’m a less significant part of the whole than I attribute to myself to be. I’m not sure where that thinking came from, that it’s all about me. And I do feel guilty about being selfish and self indulgent. “Why”? Why am I like this. Either inheritance from the family tree’s crazy reserve, or some sort of self preservation thing from childhood trauma. Believe me when I tell you, I’ve put in the work as far as evaluating, diagnosing, and defying the trait. It’s still there. Still nestled in my core. Still influencing all my decisions. I do my best. Still, moving on.
So where do things stand now? Well, if it’s not apparent yet, do my best, keep moving. What other alternatives are there, really? Give up, stagnate and rot? Stand still and settle for the least? Man, feels a lot like I’ve been doing both of those since 2015. It’s not a wonderful feeling and even a worse outlook when all you have to do is maintain the status quo.