Messed up…

After having a terrible day yesterday – largely due to not feeling too well and not being too happy with my friends – I had a number of disturbing dreams last night about my grandad, who has been dead for three years. I’m not quite sure why he came into my dreams, as I hadn’t thought of him for some time. Or perhaps that is the reason. He was sitting in a chair laughing out loud at something on the TV, but I didn’t understand why. Strange.

So this morning I didn’t feel much better. I had lost some of the weakness I’d been feeling the past few days, which I couldn’t particularly explain where they’d come from. I just feel emotionally drained at the moment. My head feels completely messed up, with tonnes of different things swirling around in there. I’ll try to account for them all…

pissed off with friends, bored with lecture work, feeling lonely – both in terms of having no real friends as good as the ones I used to have, and really missing having any kind of love interest, feeling useless, wanting to do some sort of volunteering but don’t feel I have the confidence to, wanting to do Camp America or something like that this summer but I don’t feel brave enough for that either; missing my family, wanting to do meet some different people in societies but not having the time, pissed off with myself for letting several of my talents from years ago (writing, comedy, music writing, music playing) disappear or fall idle, jaded with politics in this country and the world for being so populist and reactionary, dreading the essays I have coming up, annoyed with eating junk food all the time, depressed about growing up, feeling I’m wasting the time I’m currently using with other worthless stuff…

I think that’s everything. They are all swirling and churning around in here and I just don’t feel settled at all. Psychologically I feel I’m a complete wreck at the moment and it’s impacting on the rest of me. I don’t know whether I’m regressing, as I’ve never felt this bad in my life, or whether this is just another part of the ultimate phases of growing up.

It’s tough. I hate these feelings, particularly as I despise wallowing in my own self-pity. I know there are people out there who have it much worse than me and I should be grateful for the opportunities I’m getting. So I get even more depressed about being depressed.

Sigh.

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Broadbanded and Broadminded

I finally decided to take the plunge and have got myself broadband in the student house that I live in. I’m used to it at home, so having to go back to dialup had been horrendous. It’s been the main reason why I haven’t blogged too much lately, as I hate writing e-mails, blog posts, forum posts etc all offline. But I probably won’t post much more than I do now… I don’t like forcing myself to blog.

The weeks are beginning to fly by. We’re nearly over and done with another one, and that will be three weeks since I was last home. Hard to believe. Life seems to just fly by whether or not you’re enjoying the ride.

It’s been a quiet few days. I got the information from the project I volunteered to, and it looks like it’s probably a bit beyond me. I have to fill in an application form and get references, etc. I thought it was a lot simpler than that, but this all looks very professional. I was expecting to just contribute a little for a couple of hours a week, but I won’t have the time for this, rewarding though it would be.

So, the search begins again. In the meantime, I hope to be helping out with the Open Days at my University. I enjoy things like this, and I have been known to cut loose with my opinions – both good and bad. I just can’t help it. Still, I think the parents and the student involved appreciate it – it’s nice to get the truth rather than the marketing bullshit that Universities churn out.

It’s also a way for me to meet people. Even if they go away within a few hours, at least I get to talk to some different people for a certain length of time. I’ve always been very interested in the way other people have grown up. I look back on my childhood and my progress through school and wonder how things could have been radically different if I’d been to any other school or college. I’m fascinated to learn how other people have got to where they are now. It’s amazing how so many little things as well as the little things all accumulate throughout life to bring you to the point where you are now. It’s only when you sit down and look do you realise how extremely marginal some of the things are in life – purely based on what seemed like a minor decision you may or may not have made many years ago.

Life fascinates me like that. I may not enjoy mine that much, but I never stop wondering about how it all comes together. So much is decided at an early age – some of it, decided by parents or other adults, is totally out of your control – but a hefty chunk still remains throughout adolescence and then into adulthood that you can dictate and change. I’ve certainly noticed I’ve changed a lot in the past few months, but I’ll save that for another post.

So consequently, I love to know about the things other people did. I like to know how they got on in school and how their school functioned. This is especially true of other people. I always wonder how different I would be if I’d grown up in an American school, a German school or a Spanish school. They are all so very different, and they all socialise their students in different ways. Seeing life through different eyes is something that I’ll never be able to do, but it doesn’t stop me trying any less.

We could all be very different people. Life is very fickle indeed.

Troubling Times

I’m a little spooked this morning. Last night I had a disturbing dream about watching a public execution by electric chair. In real life I would never do anything like this, and I’m always grateful for the fact that there is no capital punishment in the UK, and the chances of it ever returning are extremely remote. This dream rather backed that up… I was watching it on TV – it seemed to be coming from America – and I couldn’t bear to watch. I had no idea who was being executed and under what circumstances, but I sat there “watching” behind my hands covering my eyes. It was really sickening… the electricity was turned on, noises and screams were heard but the picture cut out. I’m not quite sure why I would dream about this, and I have no idea what it means. Still, it scared me a lot. I’ve never had a dream like that before.

Anyway, I have decided that it’s time to do something. Anything. I was watching TV yesterday and discovered that 2005 is the Year of the Volunteer. Volunteering had never really interested me, until recently, when I wanted to do something to help out for the Tsunami victims. Having very little money to contribute, I thought I could do more by actively getting involved, but I didn’t know where I could. So eventually, I did nothing. Purely by chance I spotted this clip on the news yesterday, referring to a website where you can put in your postcode and get a list of all the projects requiring volunteers in the local area.

A fantastic idea, I thought. I found a number of projects that I’d probably be interested in learning more about and probably contributing a few hours a week – at least to give me a feeling of some sort of self-worth by putting something back into society, and as a bonus to meet some new people.

Unfortunately, I made a small error on the website. I signed up to the site that allows you to send all your details to the organisations online not realising that by doing so it would submit my details to the organisation I had last looked at on the website. The last one I looked at was the one I decided was probably the last on my list of ones I’d like to volunteer for.

So now I’m expecting a phone call from these people. I don’t know whether to just go along with it – give it a go and find out what exactly is involved, or bottle out straight away.

I don’t know how I manage to get into these ridiculous situations. I’ve managed to turn something positive into a negative, and now I’m dreading the phone call. I hate the phone anyway, and talking to someone on a subject like this is not something I’m particularly looking forward to.

Stupid me.

A Week

It’s been a very fast week. I can’t believe it was last Sunday when I last posted. I’d like to think it’s because I’ve kept myself busy, but I can’t really see much evidence of that. I’m only in for 10 hours a week in Uni, which is pretty non-stressing.

I was supposed to go to a meeting on Tuesday about working in a summer camp in either America or Europe. Something like this really sounds like a break that I’d really enjoy, but as usual, I managed to talk myself out of going. I took one look at the insane application forms, and the processes involved – including interviews at the American Embassy, and I decided it’s just too much for me. I might come to regret this decision… I know I already am in my head, but I can’t help but feel contradictory at times, even when I know it isn’t my true feelings. Or maybe they are this time…

I was browsing across the internet the other day when I stumbled upon a website with lots of trivial tests on it. I can’t resist things like this, and the first one I decided to do – surprise surprise – the one called “What Age Do You Act?” produced an interesting result.

You Are 19 Years Old

19

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

I act 19, according to this test. Quite a co-incidence that I am 19 anyway. I normally do things like this and the results are usually way out and somewhat vague. I was very amused when it came out with the exact answer!

It did get me thinking. Of course the test is just fun… I have always thought I act a lot older than I really am. Or maybe I’m just acting a lot older than my peers – who I swear often seem more like 15 year olds at times. But the description is true. I do have a major problem with authority. I despise it. I question it, especially when it comes to the motivations it holds. It doesn’t matter what guise it is in – I can’t help but wonder exactly what’s going on inside such people’s minds. But I think I will always be this way. I have for many years now, and I would like to think it’s part of my mentality. I believe authority should always be questioned; authority makes mistakes. Always.

And yes, I am also still trying to find my place in the world. I’ve been struggling with this for years, and I don’t see signs of this ever changing. It’s the way I am. I still don’t think I have anything to contribute to the overall welfare of society. I don’t think there is any point to life at all. It’s just a bunch of stuff that happens. Then you die. There’s absolutely nothing more to it.

Yup. I’m not exactly a happy person to be around!

Over My Head

It’s been a strange 48 hours. On Friday night I went to a house party. I much prefer house parties to going out – it’s a lot easier to get to toilets, and using public toilets is one of my biggest hates. There’s something about the lack of hygiene in my fellow men that really winds me up…

Anyway – the party was pretty good. But because the hosts had invited lots of people, and perhaps overestimated the size of their kitchen and living area by a factor of twenty, it was rather overcrowded. About 50 people squashed into a space about a quarter of the size of a tennis court. Plus, most of the people there were international students. They formed their cliques and held parties within a party. It wasn’t much of an exercise in Europeanness, especially as I ended up speaking to the three American students there for most of the evening.

When I go to a party, I usually make sure I have some fun, regardless of how much alcohol I drink. This night, I’d had about 2 cans of Carling over six hours, so it had no effect on me whatsoever. And whenever there’s good music, I will be found nearby. So when all the songs everyone knows came on, the party atmosphere got going… in about six people. So there were six people attempting to sing and dance in a room crammed to the brim.

Then it was someone’s sensible idea to turn off the light and put on the strobe effect when YMCA came on.

Not a good idea. I ended up with an elbow to my eye, which is still sore today.

Despite that, it was overall a good party.

Yet, just 24 hours later, I was in the depths of depression. I think most of it was triggered by the Michael Moore book – Stupid White Men – that I’d just finished reading…

No. It wasn’t bad. In fact, it was good. It just wound me up about how much inequality and injustice there is in the world. And while I’m worrying more about what this strange red stain on my shirt is, there are people in the world who don’t even have a shirt to wear. This got mixed up with the feelings I’d been experiencing since an awful tutorial on Friday where I learned that my tutor is a complete arsehole who I have no idea how she qualified as a teacher. Add to that my general feelings about the semester so far, particularly over the extremely boring and probably very difficult courses I’m doing over the next few months.

It wasn’t finished. I then got pissed off my friends, who were all sitting around me playing Championship Manager on their laptops in total silence. Then my family. Then annoyed about my lack of direction. And my complete lack of action in any of the fields I’m interested in. I’m one of the few people in the University who aren’t members of any of the club or society. Most of them are just excuses to go and get pissed anyway (and we students don’t need excuses to drink…) – but still… I’m missing out on meeting new people. I feel a great emptiness in my heart at the moment. I suspect it’s mostly a lack of companionship… I really would like a girlfriend, but I just don’t have the confidence to ask anyone.

A night’s sleep let all of this simmer. I didn’t feel so bad this morning, but it was still crushing me inside. I want to do something about the problems in this world. I want to stand up and be counted, and to make a difference. But then again, who doesn’t? This doesn’t make me any different to anyone else.

The difference is that I really must do something. Other people just harbour these thoughts and do nothing. How about if I actually carried out what I want to do for a change?

It’s a question I have to answer. Do I want the easy life or the hard life?

Time is running out for me to make a decision.

Dull Week

In the end, not much has happened. I’ve had more classes cancelled than classes that actually happened. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why this week was even necessary in my university life. The lecturers and tutors don’t seem to know what they’re doing, and the reorganisations of many tutor groups have left me having to make new friends all over again. Which isn’t particularly easy when most of the first years like me are not particularly friendly types.

It’s been good to see my friends again though. I’ve realised that it’s only through interaction with these people that it stops me going completely insane. Not that they aren’t insane anyway, but things can get a bit lonely at times. This really helps, and we have some good times together.

The world is full of comment about Prince Harry at the moment, and his rather stupid choice of costume for a party. I’m not going to let fly with my views on the Royal Family, as I don’t want to go into things like that on this blog, but I do find the side issue it has raised quite interesting. It was only inevitable that certain people were going to start coming forward with their mass generalisations and broad strokes of their Ignorance Pen.

Yup. Just because Harry, 20 years old and thus one year older than me, did it, it must also mean that everyone of my generation doesn’t have a clue about the significance of the Holocaust, and that we are all in need of some firm discipline. It’s the usual nonsense about how we allegedly don’t care for what happened in the past, and looking back with rose-tinted glasses about how wonderful children used to be. These days, they are all ill-mannered, impatient and act in a disgraceful manner.

Of course, it just isn’t true. Thanks to the stupid actions of one single stupid man, who just so happens to be quite a celebrity figure, “the youth” are now being told that we have no respect for the sacrifices our elders made for us.

I find these allegations offensive to me and to my peers. We all know full well exactly what Hitler did. We will never forget what happened. Of course, we must always continue to educate the next generation, and those after that.

Having said that, there is also a lot of other nonsense being spoken. Harry is 20 years old. Really, it’s old enough to know better – especially when you consider he is supposed to have had the best education in the country. Yet, there are still plenty of people leaping to his defence with the usual “boys will be boys” and “he’s just a kid! leave him alone!” bollocks. I also heard one commentator insinuate that what teenage boy hasn’t ever dressed up as a Nazi? Or that this kind of behaviour is somehow normal.

I’d love to know what circles these uninformed people move in. I certainly don’t know anyone while I’ve been growing up who thought it would be fun to dress up as a Nazi. Not that it really matters if they did – in jest – but, still… it’s not a particularly popular thought amongst the “Youth Of Today”. So to somehow suggest that “what teenage boy hasn’t ever dressed up as a Nazi?” is rather more an indictment on the person saying or thinking that view, rather than against my generation.

It simply isn’t true. People need to learn to think just a little.

I despair for our society.

Over

Yup. My holiday is officially over. It had felt like it for the past week, but now it’s finally here and has happened.

I hadn’t packed anything properly yet, so this morning has been a bit of a mad dash around the house getting things together. It’s only when you do something like this that you realise just how much stuff you’ve accumulated in life. Some things I’m taking I’m sure I’ll not find a use for – they have purely sentimental value only.

Just thought I’d make a final post on my computer before I tidy it all away and pack that too. The journey is tiring – around three hours, and I have a book a friend of mine gave me that I was supposed to read over Christmas but never did. I’m 100 pages in at the moment. Unfortunately, there are 600 pages to go 🙂

The new University semester awaits me. What wonders will be in store is a question I would love to know the answer to. But only I will find out as I tread the Path of Life once more.

It may be a couple of days before I post again while I get settled back in to my house. Not looking forward to that bloody freezing cold place again.

See you soon.

Closing down…

The Nasty Sunday Approacheth. As predicted, the week has flown by. I’ve now just got one day left – tomorrow – in which I’ll have to get my books, clothes and work sorted out. Probably have to get some shopping in too, which is never fun.

The past couple of days have been mostly relaxing. I got back in touch with a few friends via the internet, and it was nice to find out how they’ve been getting on. I’ve also watched a fair few DVDs, finally getting to see the first episodes of Star Trek Voyager that I’d somehow managed to miss every single time they were repeated on Sky One. That was fun. They really don’t look like they were made 10 years ago now.

As usual though, there’s always something that ties me down. It’s uncanny how I manage to encounter an event that gets me thinking about more depressing stuff. My brother has a football calendar, on which is listed the birthdays and the years that the footballers playing for this team were born.

I flicked through it out of curiosity and noticed that the ages were closing in on mine. Most of them were early 20s. But there was the ’84s, ’85s’ and 86’s creeping in. Even a 1987. This is what scares me. Some of these kids are younger than me now. I remember when I’d look up to football stars, and they were all older than me. Now they’re all beginning to look like child prodigies.

Makes me wonder. These people have only just started their lives, like me. But they’ve achieved an awful lot already. And probably making a lot of money too – this is a top football team I’m talking about here.

It’s not just football though. There are a lot of musicians now who are ridiculously young. 14 year olds being exploited by the record companies. 16-19 year olds forming bands, like McFly.

Being in a band has always been one of my ambitions. And these people have achieved it all, and younger than me.

It’s making me feel old. Damn…