Smiling Face Covers Broken Places

(You are loved—Stars Go Dim)

This is what going to the school I go to is like.

You spend all day every day either sitting in front of the computer or laying in front of the computer and thus are very out of shape, because squirming does not keep you in shape. Yeah, you used to walk the hall while studying and that was super helpful for you to be able to concentrate better when you could be in motion, but there aren’t any open hallways you are allowed to walk anymore and you kinda know walking in circles in the lobby is going to cause you to both be stared at and probably repeatedly run into things and people…but you know you are out of shape after running from the res hall to Jones (an equivalent of probably just under a block) leaves you wanting to sit down and not go back because it hurts…I have always hated running, and never been good at it, but I feel like that is pathetic…I was always the one in swimming that rules got broken for because no one wanted to stand outside an extra hour to wait for me to finish the run, but I used to at least almost keep up for the first like 30 seconds…okay…morning edit…pretty sure out-of-shape isn’t exactly the problem, because out of shape isn’t more sore in the morning…pretty sure it has a lot more to do with too much impact…there might be a reason I like climbing swimming and biking but not running…

You spend time convincing yourself that you really and truly are not at all interested in knowing what was said…because sometimes it is probably better for me to just not know what is being said behind my back…but at the same time I really just want to know…it’s one of those control things…it makes me feel more in control if I know even if I obviously have no way to change it after the fact…One of my strengths is input, which means that cataloging useless information is just what I do…at the end of the day, who cares what was said. I can’t make people be respectful. I figure the frustration of not knowing is sometimes better than the dismay if I heard what was said…plus there’s always the possibility that someone put on their big girl undies in the morning and acted respectfully.

You are frustrated that you can’t just go talk to people, but have learned to improvise and will definitely now admit that phone skills are useful…and they’d be even better if I remembered to go somewhere that I could actually hear what was being said on the other side…but when you are wise enough to realize that screaming down the hallway is probably a bad choice and email isn’t working and you have been patient for a few days and are quickly running out of patience, it is a lot faster. Also, someday I will remember to think about what I want to say beyond hi before the call connects…

You pretend and while occasionally it is to protect people from your pain or to minimize awkwardness, more often it is because it is when you stop pretending that you might cry, and once you let the walls down and stop pretending even for a couple minutes, it is really hard to get a grip back on the stones that were so carefully placed together to create the walls, and you lose too much time being upset…and so make-believe becomes your saving grace that walks you through each and every day…you become perpetually “okay” because it is true—your heart is still pumping oxygenated blood whether that is a good or a bad thing on any given day, so you are okay.

You go from the girl who freaked out hardcore in T2 because oh my, the world was ending because she got a 92.5% on the first exam…to the girl who continues to trudge along rocking the borderline between C’s and B’s just thankful she is passing…(okay fine, really hurting and the bad grades are bringing back memories that are reminding myself how to tear myself down better…but outwardly anyway I am making it and joking around that I “only” need to get about 200% on the rest of the exams to pull up my grade)…I can spout the nonsense that grades aren’t really that important, but at the end of the day, I know in reality that is bologna. Grades do matter, and without them you won’t get where you want to be if where you want to be isn’t either in a rural setting or doing something boring like retail or central pharmacy…

You use multiple drops of peppermint oil that specifically says to dilute before use because spearmint is supposed to soothe jetlag and is also supposed to be a more gentle version of peppermint, and you figure stupid daylight savings is kind of like jet lag and it is just past 6 and you are going to crash soon if you don’t try SOMETHING…did it work: well, umm, it kept me conscious, but it didn’t do much in the way of fixing the fact that I was too sleep deprived to think clearly or that I was needing what little thought power was left to try to pull myself out of what seems to be a looming crash…’cause let’s see…lacking sleep, continuing to realize how bad and hopeless my grades and everything else are…sounds like the recipe for the biggest crash yet…it kinda feels like I am in an airplane and it keeps almost hitting the ground full speed ahead yet somehow manages to be pulled back into the sky, so my body continues to feel the sharp jolt of impact but the plane itself hasn’t yet crashed.

Most of all though, you overcome. You take the injustice in stride and pretend it doesn’t hurt. After too much silence you find your voice and can have a little party inside your head when you use it even when you are reeling because you can see something scary in front of you…a situation in which in the past you probably would have been rendered mute for a couple minutes…you may never have guessed that the simple words “I think you are looking for me” would be such a triumph, but you are more than a conqueror…Wiggle Worm is a big girl. She can do anything she sets her mind to except get good grades, because she is stupid…actually she is not stupid, but she is still struggling with the “stupid” reel running in her head as a result of the scary as noted a couple sentences ago.


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