(I can’t do this—Plumb)
Disclaimer: I wrote this last night…it is crazy what some sleep can do…still true words, but not overwhelmingly knocking me over anymore…
Nearly every day I go through the same rote conversation at least once…often many times throughout the day. How are you? Okay…I know it isn’t just because of all the times I worked on learning conversation by rote memorization, because unless every other person I encounter is okay or good or fine 95-99% of the time, everyone else does it too. In French class we learned responses to that question that were actually honest and how to phrase it to a friend, a family member, a teacher, a boss, and a stranger. I have always thought that French class was so much more useful than English, and this is why…I doubt that I am ever in the real world going to need to be able to underline the adjectives and circle the conjunctions, but in the real world I really do need to know how to properly communicate with a variety of people, and sometimes it takes a non-traditional definition of the word “okay” to make that statement true. I mean, yeah, my heart is pumping oxygenated blood so I am great, but that’s not really the whole picture.
Anyway, sometimes it just feels like I am living a big lie, because I have the routine down so well now that I don’t even think when someone asks me how I am—I just answer…and now that I actually talk with my words out loud, my best friend who used to not let anyone answer with good or okay doesn’t really mind if I say that, because I am making conversation and that is awesome…plus she can read me well enough to figure out what I am not saying most of the time anyway. But sometimes I am not okay.
If I am at a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly whether you know me or not, but if I’m at an eight, for the most part, even close friends don’t have to know…which is great in terms of not making things awkward, but not so great when someone really wants me to try dancing. It does look like fun, but if I don’t really know how to communicate the tangle of words in my head, it just starts feeling really frustrating. I so appreciate being included, and I want you to know how much I’d like to be more involved, but the connection between mouth and brain is short circuiting probably secondary to things including sleep deficit and residual deficits from years of not speaking.
I don’t want to go to school tomorrow. Or ever. I feel frustrated and isolated and alone. Academics are hard but I have to pretend I don’t care that I am not getting it, because it is starting to feel like high school again where it doesn’t matter what I actually said, because all anyone is going to say about school is going to invalidate how hard it feels…it is easier to pretend I don’t care and invalidate it myself before anyone else can do it for me so it doesn’t hurt as much when they do it.
And emotionally it is hard when there are just a few things I want…sometimes maybe even just one small thing that I want more than anything in the world for that moment, and I don’t know how to access it.
…but you know what, I have to remember like the song says at the end to “breathe the air…you’ll be free to do anything.”
Sometimes beautiful houses are built that cause new people to take all the parking spots, and sometimes I leave my headlights on all day, and sometimes things go wrong with school and/or academics, but someday I will be SO outta here. Unlike high school where I knew I was probably going to come back and hanging out sometimes, as soon as I am out of here, half my brain says “but all the people you’ll have to leave behind,” but the other half says “FREEDOM!!!!! LET’S GET OUT OF HERE ASAP!!!!” I might not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it might not be a very bright light, but I have to believe it is there. Someday I might not have my dream job or even a job I particularly care for, but I will be out of here, and I will be thrilled. My heart will be sad for all the people I’ll see so much less frequently, but TBH, as a girl who pretty much only had friends throughout school as a function of who was sitting next to her in classes that particular trimester, loss of “close” friends is something I have experienced over and over, and as long as there is someone new to fill in the gap I cope pretty well…on the rare occasion I go from someone to no one I struggle hardcore, but the transition from someone to someone else is challenging but manageable…especially now that I can use my words to include myself without waiting for someone else to include me.