Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The End (?)

Life feels strange right now. Almost as if it is not real. I have moments where I reflect and realize how odd things are. I feel I'm at the end. Everything that kept me going is ending. As I faced this extremely difficult last semester, I kept thinking ahead to several things in the future that would give me hope and happiness. One of those things was the big Transatlantic concert which was absolutely fantastic. The other occurred just two days ago- the Lost finale. The finale was even more incredible than I expected it to be. The only thing really left for me is my big Disneyworld trip in a couple weeks with Kevin. After that it is all over. What is there to look forward to? The last Lost episode was appropriately called The End, and I feel that is an accurate title to this part of my life.

So, what is the logical next step? Either I give up- have nothing to look forward to and go through a long period of hopelessness. Or, the better option, I find something new to look forward to. I'm struggling to find this new thing as I start to feel like the future for me isn't too bright. I have crippling doubts of ever having a successful career or a family of my own. I'm starting to really think there is something truly wrong with me- that I'm not capable of accomplishing what any "ordinary" person can easily accomplish. This is a problematic viewpoint and maybe this very outlook about myself is what is keeping me from progression.

These past few weeks have been particularly uneventful. I've been trying with great effort to find a job, but so far I haven't been successful. I'm starting to run out of options about where to apply and it is terrifying me. I did decide last week to go home for a week to be with family. I thought it was a great opportunity to see my family since I didn't have any obligations tying me down to being in Provo. I really enjoyed my time at home. I was worried my parents would scold me about not finding a job faster and it would make me even more depressed, but they were very understanding and fair. I felt like I got to spend good quality time with each family member and I even got a nice visit to my grandmother and uncle. I even surprisingly extended my trip a couple of days because I desired to spend more time with my family. I also was able to get a new pair of glasses and get new tires for my car. So, all in all, I felt like it was a very successful trip.

Coming back to Provo and trying to really put strong effort into finding a job hasn't helped me feel any better though. I just feel an emptiness right now that I can't describe. I'm trying to simply fill my days with productivity to deal with this. I'm planning on spending a good portion of each day looking for jobs and writing my novel. I also want to start to be more dedicated to a simple exercise program. I hate having nothing to do each day, so hopefully these goals will keep me from the boredom that is watching TV all day. Much to everyone's surprise, I do not enjoy staring at a TV screen all day. One of the stereotypes about me that people have (I'm mainly talking about my family) is that if it was up to me I'd watch TV and play guitar hero all day, every day. This stereotype is incorrect. In reality, this would be torture for me. I hate not being productive- I like having school and/or work to make me feel like I'm accomplishing something with my life. I need to have a better variety of interests so I can make life interesting and not waste hours staring at a screen.

Even though I obviously haven't been going through the best time in my life, there have been really great moments. Music has been inspiring me to a great degree lately. I have recently received what I consider to be the greatest CD so far of the year- the new Spock's Beard album "X". Kevin ordered the super special deluxe edition of this album for me for Christmas and it finally arrived last week. It was so exciting to open the package it came in and discover all of the cool goodies. The best part though is that I'm listed in the album as an executive producer and my name is sung in the lyrics of one of the songs of this album. It was such a blast listening for my name in the song. The album is by far the best Spock's Beard album after Neal Morse left, and may even be better than some of the albums Neal was a part of. I'm really blown away by what my favorite band has accomplished here, and I'm positive I'll be listening to this album nonstop for a long time.

Also profound to me was the finale of Lost. I will admit that I was in tears for much of the episode. Lost is BY FAR the best TV show of all time in my opinion. I'm glad that the finale focused on the characters the fans have come to love so much and I feel the ending was perfect. I am sad that there is no new Lost episodes ever, but I couldn't have asked for a more satisfying finale. The next big event to look forward to now is the Disneyworld trip that Kevin and I have been planning for a while. It should be a whole lot of fun, and it'll be cool to see Erin in Florida. Thankfully there is this one thing to look forward to and keep me going for the next little bit. Hopefully I can use this time to find the next thing to look forward to.

Perhaps I shouldn't look at this stage of my life as an ending...but a beginning. I've laid the foundation, now I have the rest of my life to look forward to. Maybe what is making me so sad is that I'm focusing on the wrong thing and am not giving myself enough credit for what I've accomplished thus far. I need to realize my true potential. I need to put aside these irrational, crippling fears. I need to start living. Life is a special gift and I need to not toss it aside. I want to enjoy life. I want to be happy with who I am. I have a long way to go.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Garden of Forking Paths

I feel lost. I feel alone. I don't know what to do with myself and it scares me. I've always had a routine to numb me from the fear of an unknown future. My routine is being stripped away and I'm soon about to face my greatest fear. I don't know how to handle it. Every reminder of what is coming is like a dagger to my heart. Why do I feel this void of emptiness? What can I do to fill this void?

Hopelessness is one of the worst feelings one can experience and I feel it about to consume me. I don't have any clear direction for my life. I feel extremely overwhelmed and don't feel I am appropriately prepared for the future ahead of me. I wish I was brave. I wish I was confident. But, I sadly am not.

I feel like I am losing everything. My friends. My family. My comfort. Soon I will truly be alone and that thought terrifies me. I definitely feel that a chapter in my life is ending and the blank pages that are the next chapter stare at me menacingly, daring me to write on them. I wish I could have built myself a better foundation so that this turning point in my life wouldn't be so scary. However, I have allowed comfort and fear keep me from preparing appropriately and I'm paying the price now.

Life is like a garden of forking paths. Every choice gives multiple possibilities to where life can lead. There are an infinite amount of possible futures based on the decisions we make. Some are more likely than others, but oftentimes life is unpredictable and a path you would have never expected ends up being the path you follow. Right now I have a big decision to make, a forking path where I could go one of many directions. I just hope I make the right choice and go down a pleasing path that will lead to fulfillment. If only I could have a flash forward and see myself in several years (or months even) to give some idea of where I'll be, or even give me some measure of confidence about where my life is headed. But, a vision of the future could be a curse as I bring to pass that future just because I have seen it and believe that my future has been determined. This would be especially bad if my vision of the future wasn't the most appealing- it could lead to despair and more hopelessness.

The future is not set. It is ever changing depending on the choices that are made. The forking paths lead to infinite possibilities and I need to make the choices that will lead me down the most fulfilling pathway. I need to not view this as terrifying, but as exciting. There are many possibilities for me in my life, many of which are positive and full of happiness. I need to focus on these positive possibilities and not feel like my life has already been predetermined down a path of misery and loneliness. As I try to change my view, I will "smile and act like everything is alright" even though I am in turmoil inside. There are still glimpses of my past chapter that will keep me satisfied until I write the new one. The danger, however, is staying in the same chapter and never moving on due to fear, staying perpetually stuck in the beginning of the book of life and not having a satisfying ending.

Note: This blog post is mainly due to having a boring week without much to write about and wanting to exercise my creative juices. I'm not depressed, just scared of an unknown future as I'm sure many in my position are.