I did not go outside once today. I made my lunch, did my laundry, turned on Netflix, and suddenly it was dinner time. Hours went by and I felt like I had barely blinked. I've felt this way for the whole summer now, pretty much. I used to think it was some massive brain tumor occupying a huge part of my skull and screwing with my perception of time. While there are still times when I have to smack myself out of that mindset, the larger part of me has realized just how irrational that really sounds.
I'm going to level with you here, I haven't shaved my legs since I last had a serious boyfriend, and that was in February. Originally I was just going to go with it; make it like a "no-shave-November" extending to the entirety of my loneliness. But yesterday, I came to the conclusion that that might be awhile, and that some degree of self-care should be involved in the way I live my life. Seriously, you know you've hit your low point when you can feel the wind rustling through your leg hair. For the longest time I would always justify that by thinking that I didn't have a boyfriend to do it for. As nice as a boyfriend would be right now, sometimes I forget that I'm allowed to look good for me and me alone.
On top of my lack of basic hygiene this summer, I've also been pretty consistently tired. Again, I used to think that this was the sure sign of a brain tumor and certain death. But the sad truth is, I've been doing basically nothing with my life this summer. All my friends are going places with boyfriends and partying with old high school friends. I, on the other hand, watch Netflix, hang out with maybe one friend, go to work, and repeat the same cycle every week. I always wonder how it makes sense that I'm doing less with my life, but still feeling more tired. Well, you don't get any energy from sitting on your ass all day. At this point, I seem to be caring more about my Sims town more that I care about myself. On top of that, I think I've watched the same episode of Game of Thrones at least 6 times now because I'm strangely attracted to Ramse Bolton. I am ashamed.
Right now, I'm a 19 year old college student who's too scared to drive to the Walgreen's barely five minutes away. I can barely stand to look at my sister and her boyfriend for more than five minutes because I'm left perpetually screwed up from a breakup that I went through over five months ago. I have anxiety over practically everything and sometimes I think my brain is exploding (metaphorically, of course). Usually, I'm able to function. But when it gets bad, I sometimes like to call this a mini existential crisis. And I only ever get this way when I'm alone with my thoughts for too long.
Now I promise you, I'm not going to do anything stupid. I'm not okay. But I'm okay enough to notice the things in life that I love. I just never thought that I'd feel so stuck when I'm not even 20 yet. In high school, I knew who I was. I was a level-headed, intelligent person with a stable boyfriend and a heavy peer leadership presence at her school. I don't know if it's bad timing or just bad luck, but I haven't been handling the end of my first year of college as well as I'd always hoped. With the completely awful couple of months that I've had, the recovery process of it all has made me realize that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. And I always thought that would've changed by now.
I have this habit of going pretty crazy every time I see a trailer for an Indie movie on TV. I basically live for those films that celebrate the joys of life. Wistful, quirky young people reconnecting with the people they love and figuring out who they are along the way. Maybe for me the appeal behind all those lovable, coming-of-age stories is that they make not having a clue look really damn fun. They manage to find adventure in the smallest things, and all I'm left doing is wishing I could bring myself to do something anywhere close to that. So far, my formative college experience has been filled with nothing but tears, anxiety, and exhaustion. I think—somewhere down the line—I missed the adventure.
I guess the one thing I can say that I'm proud that I've done while sitting on my ass this summer is think. I've thought about a lot of things and I'm proud that I've been able to write most of them down. And in my slow quest to find out why I've been so stuck lately, my mind unveiled an ugly but strangle satisfying truth: Life is not as grand as we think. It's that kind of asshole that'll throw breakups, finals, car accidents, and anxiety at you all at once and expect you to keep moving forward. That's how it works and—sadly—we have to deal with it.
Right now, I've hit a low. But I'm not saying that life in general is all bad. Of course, a part of me is a little pissed that I'm not on some cross-country road trip with my enigmatic best friend and mysterious, guitar-playing, star-crossed love of my life right now. But movies like that give me the hope that one day life will throw me a tiny bone and give me an adventure like that. One day this low is going to pass. I'm going to get my energy back, learn to love myself, and just start feeling like myself again. Sometimes optimism without a direction is what helps most in the world. Because I've always operated under the firm belief that - one way or the other - things in life have a really funny habit of turning out okay.