Icosahelpme

My friend Cameron wrote about the girl she was in high school not too long ago, but I (as usual) was late to the game reading it, and only got to it just now. I really liked Cameron’s post. She talked about her edges being softened as she opened her heart to God. It made me feel good reading it.

There aren’t a lot of things that make me feel good, right now. There are moments, yeah, and days, even, where my edges don’t feel rough and my brain doesn’t feel like it’s going a thousand miles a minute. But I feel like I keep trying to climb my way out of a hole that I’m actually, accidentally, digging for myself, somehow.

So there’s that triangle of balance that’s not actually a triangle, right? Where the expectation is that you only have to balance Social Life, Grades, Sleep–but the reality is that you have to balance Family, Friends, Relationships, Grades, Money, Sleep, Health, General Ability to Feel like a Person. I wish life were as simple as a triangle.

It’s probably something more like an icosahedron.

I keep trying to find a thing that feels like it can create balance. Right now it feels like if one thing is wrong (and something always is) then I’m turned inside out, or sideways, or backwards, or upside down. Nothing feels small. One thing feels…colossal.

I remember this feeling from high school. This burned out, End of World feeling. I remember being stressed about my grades, my future, a boy, friends, family, my body, money. I remember thinking that One Day I was going to be not quite an adult yet, renting a house with like seven of my friends just off campus, going to class, kicking ass, and taking names.

I guess that’s why I need to quit daydreaming because One Day is Now, and it’s definitely Not That.

I’m not saying that Now is bad. I love my Boyfriend (so much, it’s kind of gross). I love my friends (they aren’t plentiful–but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality). I love my family (I’m going to be an aunt!). I love my classes (which sounds like a lie–but I really, genuinely do). But I still feel like I’m missing something.

It makes me wonder if Jesus is the answer, the way Cam talked about.

And I shit on my Boyfriend about his religion, a lot. So I’m sure when he reads this he’ll expect something harsh or rude or insincere.

Because frankly, religion makes me uncomfortable. The idea that an Omnipotent Being is Judging me is terrifying. Mostly because I’m already pretty busy judging myself. Likewise, I think the rules are dumb. I don’t think any God will love His children any less for not believing in him. What a narcissistic dick, amirite? But, further, I don’t think any God will love His children any less for loving someone of their sex, or for not identifying their Sex with their Gender, or for eating Meat on Fridays during Lent. I don’t think God gives two shits about whether or not you come up to me and talk to me about Him, I really don’t. Because you know what I think God cares about?

I think God cares about how you made me feel when you walked away. Or how you’ve made anyone feel ever.

I don’t think God cares about things we do that don’t actually hurt people. I think God’s got bigger fish to fry, if you will. Like perpetuating Love. Like perpetuating Happiness. Like perpetuating Change. I digress.

My God doesn’t really fit the mold of any religion I know. Every God I’ve heard of has these arbitrary rules. Every God has this Black and White way of looking at things: Did you follow all the rules? Heaven. Did you break any? Hell.

But if God made us, then doesn’t He know we’re not Black and White Creatures? Does one action really define a person?

I hope not. I am not a bad person, by any means. But that doesn’t mean I’ve always done good things, either.

But I don’t think stealing a rubber pencil from the library in elementary school means I can’t kick it with the Big Guy Upstairs. That’s just me, though.

-HH

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Finals

It’s Finals Week. My third Finals Week, to be exact.

This semester, academically, has been a struggle. I’m a Humanities major for a reason; I’m terrible at science. I decided to knock out my last two Gen Eds this semester, and I’m worried about the way my GPA will suffer because of it.

I never wanted to go to college. My entire life I wanted to write books, and I always thought that my books would be most good, authentic, influential, what have you, if I graduated high school and jumped into real life. Real life, after all, was what I wanted to write about.

But I have always been the Smart One, in my family. I come from working class, uneducated parents. I was denoted as Gifted when I was eight years old. I attended an Academic Academy my entire middle/high school career. In my family, I had the brains. And that’s really all I ever had–besides my voice, but that’s for another time.

So when Senior Year came around, and everyone was applying to schools and picking majors and Finding Their Way–well, that’s what I did.

I don’t regret it, not for a second. My mom would never admit this to me, but I always felt like if I didn’t go to college she would’ve taken it like a slap in face. She worked hard to provide for me so that I could dedicate all my time to my studies. And she may not be putting me through college now, but she’s part of the reason I made it this far. I owe it to her to be the first person in my family with a Bachelor’s–the second ever to graduate from college.

In the light of Finals Week, it’s hard to find that same justification.

I have disappointing grades and low motivation to improve them.

I probably need to see a doctor about my anxiety.

I probably need to recognize my unhealthy relationship with food.

There are a lot of things I probably need to do.

Instead I will go to my history final exam review. I will chug this mocha from Starbucks. I will read three Chapters of my Astronomy textbook, study the Quizlet for German, fill out the study guide for Women and Gender Studies. I will try to go to bed at a decent hour.

I will do it all again tomorrow, and breathe when the air doesn’t taste like stress anymore.

-HH

Death: A By-Product of Living

I got a lot of Dead People, is usually what I tell people.

Sometimes they let out a laugh of surprise. Sometimes they somber up. Sometimes they get super awkward super quick.

I don’t mean to be tactless about having Dead People. It’s just…I’m nineteen. I’ve got a dead stepmom, father, uncle, grandfather, aunt, and a few distant relatives. From the time that I was eleven until I was sixteen, someone died every year. That stopped until I was eighteen when my dad died. So, I’ve got a lot of Dead People.

I’m at a point where I can comfortably say that I understand Death as simply a by-product of Living. Which, I think, is probably a John Green quote or something.

What I’ve been trying to say is that I’m comfortable telling people that I’ve got Dead People. I’m comfortable answering questions, and I do so with 100% honesty. I treat it all as facts. Because they are.

The struggle isn’t telling people about my Dead People. The struggle is telling people about my Dead People before they were Dead.

Tonight I realized I had made some academic fumbles–which, I’m sure, I’ll write about sooner or later. To cope with the kind of overwhelming academic stress that makes me want to cry, I bake. But I can’t bake in a dorm room, so I called my Big, who lives off campus, and made a quick Walmart trip. And I baked homemade cookies in her apartment.

While I was there I met her roommates for the first time. The stress of school overwhelmed me so much that I couldn’t even be nervous about meeting new people. We all fit in together perfectly. I was comfortable and happy.

My Big and I talked Frat stuff, and boy stuff, and school stuff. And then, somehow, we talked Family Stuff.

That’s great that you don’t drink, one of her roommates’d said. And I smiled but didn’t say more, because I really didn’t want to have that conversation.

A little later, it came up again.

Why don’t you drink? If you don’t mind me asking.

And I didn’t look at Taylor, but I think she expected me to be as tactless about it as I normally am. I can tell you, but it will make you uncomfortable.

Why? Is it something stupid like “Drunk People are Dumb”?”

Just tell her, my Big said.

So I did. My dad was an alcoholic who drank himself to death.

And her face froze up, and I watched her not know what to say. I laughed to hide my annoyance (Told ya.) and went back to moving cookies from pan to plate.

My grandfather died from the same thing, like he literally drank himself to death too.

I wish I could live in the minds of people right before they respond to my statement. Because the “I understand you” is absolutely the worst. Closely followed by, “I’m sorry.”

Her family is like really screwed up, my Big said about me.

And, yeah, it is. But she kept going, Her stepmom died when she was fifteen.

And, yeah, she did. One part of me itched that someone else was spilling those facts. Another was happy that I didn’t have to say them, for once.

The only person who ever got it right was Steven. A blimp of a person in my life, who wasn’t significant for very long but had a lasting impact.

When I told him that I had a lot of dead people, he said, Me too.

And he was a soldier, so I believed him.

When I told him that my dad was dead, he apologized.

Don’t be sorry, you didn’t kill him.

And when I told him my stepmom was dead, he didn’t say anything.

Sometimes people want their grief to be analyzed. Sometimes people want to be told–It’s okay, they forgive you, they’re at peace.

But me? I just want to talk about it on my terms. I want you to let me. Then I want to move on.

-HH