The Emotional Rollercoaster

I’m not quite sure I do this to myself, but right now I’m wasting my time. I know I am, and yet I find it difficult to pull myself out of it.

Last night I couldn’t have felt better. A friend of mine was holding a house party which I was reasonably looking forward to. I always enjoy house parties… they are vastly preferable to going out to nightclubs and the like… for one, they’re cheaper, and for two, you are usually in good company with good music. Music is very important for me – it has incredible effects on my moods. Right now I’m listening to a load of depressing stuff. I can’t tell, however, if the music has made me introspective now, or if I’m just complementing my current mood with this music. Hmm.

Anyway, the party was great fun. I hardly drink, and so after two cans of pretty weak beer in the first hour I’d had enough. Meanwhile, everyone else gets pissed, and I can laugh at the ridiculous situations people get themselves into. I would really hate to get as drunk as some of these people do – so much so that they can’t even sit up straight on a chair. Pathetic.

The funny thing is that people seem to think that I am drunk too. I just get into the party mood and act as independently as possible. I always try to be my own person, and despise feeling like I’m under the influence of someone else. It’s something I’ve cultivated since I was about 13… I suddenly realised that being a sheep sucked really bad. The logical consequence of this was that I only ever had a small number of friends, but they were really good ones. I was cast aside by most, but I was able to deal with it.

This attitude is still with me, although I don’t feel like I have as much self-esteem any more. Somehow that managed to seep out of me.

So I had a lot of fun being myself… meeting people, dancing, singing and annoying several others who were beginning to annoy me with their anti-social drinking. I didn’t get back till 4am today, which is possibly the latest I’ve ever been at such a party.

But this morning I’ve undone all the work I did in making myself a bit happier by getting back into the usual rut of the things I like to piss myself off with, i.e. everything I’ve complained about in the past. It’s almost a neurosis now… endlessly concerned about the passage of time and what I’m doing with it. I’m still pissed off that I seemed to stop growing in height a few years before everyone else.

It’s hard to put it into words… but I think this is possibly the best way I’ve put it in a while. I don’t want to accept the fact that I’m finished growing up, and within a few years I won’t have anything in common with the new younger generation that is replacing me and my peers. In the past, the days used to pass by, and even if I knew that I’d not achieved anything, at least I knew that I had had another day of “growing up” – physically, rather than mentally – in the bag.

But now that is over, there is not even that to fall back on. Mental maturity now has to be achieved through my own effort. This is what scares me.

The days don’t seem to be as valuable now. In the past, each day had a bonus factor of growth, and there was an ultimate target of full maturity to achieve. But now I’ve got there, I don’t know where this is going. Apart from the end, of course… but I don’t depress myself further by thinking about that.

This has all been added to by the fact that I’ve been looking at the website of the Sixth Form college I studied at for my A-Levels – and things have moved on a lot there since I was there just a couple of years ago. I had some great times there and I wish I could go back and do those two years of my life all over again. They were great times, and these memories have come flooding back as I read through to see what life is like there now. I’d like to visit and see what my old teachers are up to now, but being a couple of hundred miles away makes that rather difficult.

But since I have to get older, one my main worries is that I’m going to take my “finger off the pulse” of what it means to be young. I have always considered going into teaching as it’s an extremely worthwhile area; there is something about youth that is fascinating. No other time of life has as much academic research dedicated to it. Once you’re beyond youth, you have 50 odd years of adult wilderness.

So I want to continue engaging with young people, and keep this teaching opportunity open. I still am at the moment, just about. But this won’t last much longer.

A confused mess. That’s what I am. And it’s all my fault.

Advertisements

Housemate trauma: the dilemma

I hate writing things about the horrible person who lives in the room next to me in this house. It’s almost an admission of defeat – a sign that he has got to me so much that I have to vent it in some way. I tend to get myself involved in psychological battles with people, and being a bit of a fragile individual mentally, I already go in with a distinct disadvantage.

Fortunately, this guy is a weak individual too. I’ve been taking him on with success the past few weeks. The latest incident involved him tidying up his disgusting room before an inspection from the landlord, and, realising that he has nowhere to put his 16 binbags full of rubbish, he starts chucking them out the bathroom window into the garden. I had hidden the key from the back door to stop them doing that in the first place. I had to confront him.

He lied. Barefaced lies to me. Claimed he was not throwing rubbish out the window at first. Then claimed he was always planning to take them the rubbish dump all along – another lie as he would have left them if I hadn’t challenged him, and third that he was going into Uni early tomorrow morning and so couldn’t take them to the tip the next day before the inspection in the afternoon. Also a lie – he didn’t even go in that day.

I hate liars. There’s nothing worse than a disingenuous person. It’s odd, because you can almost always tell if people have a natural level of integrity to them, and when I first met this guy, I knew I wouldn’t like him. It only took me a few days for this view to be confirmed… he’s another one of these people who love to be loved, and craves the respect and glory from friends. Or rather, he just wants people to look up to him, even if they aren’t friends.

So I don’t supply it to him. It’s scary how many of these people I meet, even now at University. Frankly, this kind of attitude is the one that dominated school playgrounds. We all knew the type… the shallow, desperate and dominating people who wanted huge friendship circles over having quality friends. I really thought I’d left this behind. Worse, I never thought I’d actually have to live with one of these people.

So yes, my life has been difficult since September. We’ve tried to resolve the problems in the past by talking, but there’s no point… we’re two very different people.

Ever since this point there has been a severe tension in the house. It makes me pissed off. Things could have been so different if I hadn’t accepted this house. Maybe if I’d sent off my accommodation application forms earlier, I wouldn’t have had to take the first thing I saw.

In terms of social life, Uni has been something of a letdown for someone like me who is not at all a fan of going out drinking. I do have my friends here, but they’re no better or worse than the ones I had at home. I chose not to join any of the “social clubs” because all of those are also just excuses for drinking as much as possible.

But this atmosphere gets to me. I’ve no doubt they’re using this as an excuse not to pay their share of any bills on time at the moment. I’m still waiting for the electricity and gas bill to be paid to me. I know they know about it, because there is a note that he has written on the table in his room saying that he still owes money to me, along with calling me a “dickhead”.

This gives rise to a horrible dilemma. I really want this year to end. I want to see the back of him, and be able to live in peace with people who I can get along with.

Yet, given my total lack of enthusiasm for seeing my final months of being a teenager pass me by, and also hating the fact that my life is currently flashing before my eyes, and the fact that 2nd year will be much tougher than 1st year, I shouldn’t be wishing my life away. These are valuable moments that I will never be able to relive. But I just can’t deal with it.

I hate him for making me feel like this. It’s ruined the whole of this year, and it’s set me back mentally by many years. It’s been many years since I felt this depressed…

Developing

On one of my travels around the blogosphere I just so happened to stumble across this blog by someone who is in a similar situation to me, but it looks like he’s gone through a lot of trauma. I found it a fascinating read, and I shall continue to read it. I’m glad to see it’s not just me who’s having difficulty dealing with leaving teenagehood. In fact, it got me thinking… back to the stuff I started this blog with – i.e. the transition into adulthood. I do believe it’s one of the most overlooked times of life… the time when you finally do begin to realise what your place is in the world – i.e. not much – because you have much more of a grip on reality.

When you first become a teenager, you get your mind filled with all the usual “you can do anything!” from your family and school. To an extent it’s true, but there will still have been a significant number of doors that have been closed even at this point in life, largely due to simple upbringing and the status, or not, of your family.

Of course, while you’re a teenager you suffer all those raging hormones. One minute you’re feeling great, the next not quite so. But overall, your grip on reality is not quite there. As a result of constant pressure by families to succeed, as well as the hell that peer pressure can be, you can underestimate what you can achieve, and at the same time, overestimate the world. It’s nice to be youthful and idealistic… the world is your oyster.

The thoughts rush through your head… I can actually be something! I want to be able to change the world. And it all seems so easy! Your family push you further… often hoping that you will fill in on their own failed ambitions.

It’s only when the realities of life start hitting you – i.e. the capitalist society and the endless pursuit of wealth – you realise, in fact, that things are not quite as they seem. This begins to kick in around the age of 17, and it carries on into mid 20s. I believe I am in the midst of it now.

You begin to find your place in the world. Your true place. Egos have been deflated, and the pressure applied by parents disappears as you sail off over the horizon to a new life. You may still have a lot you would like to achieve – you should never stop dreaming, after all – but you are tempered by reality. Tempered by the fact that your real chance of being exceptional in an area of study, or maybe more, are probably gone. You begin to realise you’re stuck with what you’ve got and you really have to make the most of it.

And it’s at this point that you realise in fact that you’re just another Mr or Mrs Average. The same old, same old, being reproduced endlessly and destined for a life of mediocrity. Gotta find a job and become a slave to the wage. Deal with shit from bosses forever. Maybe have a family so you can have kids to live out your dream that you didn’t quite achieve in the end?

Uh-oh. Aren’t we back where we started?

This is the cycle of life. We overestimate our value, even once we have realised how tedious life really is, because even then we fail to understand just how impossible true, unique and world-changing attainment is. A miniscule percentage of people actually have an impact in this world. A real impact. Not the old dears who kick up a fuss over the placement of some wind turbines. That’s still just the monotony of life.

Yet no one will ever really drop these thoughts that they may some day have an impact. It’s possibly good that way, as eventually some people have to emerge to change the world – for the better, or even for the worse. But in the meantime, 99.999999% of the rest of us have to live in a deluded world of our own self-importance.

We are not really free people. We are following the age old programme of life. Get born. Reproduce. Die. There is nothing more to it than that.

These thoughts don’t really go through the heads of early to mid teenagers. It’s not the best thing to be telling younger kids after all – that life is not a particularly good thing for the vast majority of people. It’s us late teens, and then the early 20-somethings, who bear all of this in mind. Some of them still don’t understand it, and probably never will. Others – the vast majority – will begin to realise it, openly deny it, but internally accept that little niggling feeling at the back of their minds: that the long slow decline of life has begun.

Consequently, I and all of my peers are still developing as people. We will continue to do so, just in the same way everyone else does. But we are at a more crucial stage than most. This is the time in life when things are, the overwhelming majority of the time, finally set in stone.

We make mistakes. I make mistakes. We’re just trying to find our place. The older generation above us may have already found theirs.

But we are still looking. We will find it, but we must find it ourselves.

So please, give us some space and time. We will eventually become the Mr and Mrs Average that the world craves.

Then we can all be Average together.

Gone But Not Forgotten

It’s been a pretty lively week here, with some major contrasts between the good and the bad. I would like to have split this up into two posts, and I really should have posted something earlier this week so I didn’t end up in this situation, but I just haven’t found the time.

But now it’s Sunday, and another week is over. Currently, Hull is under a blanket of snow and it looks rather good. I wish I had a digital camera so I could keep a record of this moment… so I might ask my friend if I can borrow his for a time. The weather forecasts are for lots of snow over the next few days which will be the most I’ve ever seen if it actually happens. We had some snow back home on Christmas Day last year, and there was a lot of it. But I have never seen a whole week of snow. Could cause some major disruption. And some mega snowmen. 3 metres minimum!

My family come to visit me this week. It’s half-term back home so they decided to spend a week in a caravan site in Skipsea. It was great to see them, and we went on numerous day trips to places in East Yorkshire, including Beverley, Bridlington and The Deep in Hull, which I really enjoyed.

I find it really weird to see my family these days. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about them until I saw them all again. My mum had stopped phoning to only once a week, and it rather felt like the disconnection from home had been made permanent. According to my mum, my youngest sister told her that she didn’t see me as a brother any more. Just a “Hull brother”. I think that says a lot. Kids have a habit of coming out with the truth and can put things better than anyone else ever could.

It makes me wonder what sort of brother I can possibly be when living so far away. I know they all used to look up to me. I’m sure they still do. I never considered myself to be much direct help to them, although I will always regret that. I am a naturally emotive person. I like to talk about feelings. Yet it’s not the way in my family. We were sort of left to cope on our own… my dad is too embarrassed in situations like that, and it’s rubbed off on the rest of us. So our communication with each other was “implied”…

And now they don’t see me at all, there is no communication, either physically or implied. I’m very envious of my friends who seem to have much closer relationships with their family.

I can see my mum and dad had both missed me. And like I said, I mostly missed them, but only when prompted. I can get through the weeks often without really considering things back home. I was surprised at how easily I made this transition, and perhaps a little scared too. I don’t want to go back home, and this has quite easily become my home now.

But I think the main reason for that is because by seeing them I also started missing them more. It was hard to see them drive away at the end of the week after seeing them each day over the past five days. I had grown back attached to them, and its made the past couple of days more difficult than it should be. In my case, absence really doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. I like living my own life now – it’s one of the big things I like about being “grown up” – and when I see my parents it subconsciously puts me back into “parasite mode” – where I let other people look after me.

I don’t like that at all.

Kids TV

Almost everyone you speak to will tell you that the kids TV programmes were better when they were younger. It’s largely true, but only because your memory is skewed and you had more time to watch such programmes back then.

I seem to be a bit more objective at things like this. While I have great fondness for some of the programmes I can remember (Knightmare was awesome – bring it back!), I do think that a lot of kids cartoons are much funnier now, particularly things like Spongebob Squarepants, Dexters Lab and plenty of others.

However, there is one thing about kids TV that will never change for the better. In fact, with every passing generation we can be sure that this rule will apply forever more. It’s so breathtakingly predictable that it’s almost depressing.

Kids TV presenters will get worse. And younger.

In the days of Phillip Schofield, Andy Crane, Andi Peters, and others in the Broom Cupboard with Gordon the Gopher, Pat Sharp and others… and even the guy who we heard but never saw on Children’s ITV, they were all rather annoying. And they were all late 20s to early 30s.

Now the oldest presenters are mid 20s, and some of them are early 20s. And they’re incredibly annoying. So fake and pathetic in their attempts to be “cool”. None of them have hair that’s remotely straight – everyone must sport that “just got out of bed” look. This guy is one of the best examples of this. Within the next few years, I’m pretty sure that the presenters will be late teenagers. I just wonder how much further they will take it…

Yet, at the same time, I cannot help but feel a little jealous. I’ve always been interested in TV, although not as a presenter. Backstage has always fascinated me, and so I’m really jealous that these people, no more than a couple of years older than me, have managed to get in there with likely the minimal of effort if they have the usual nepotistic connections that getting jobs in the media entails.

It makes me wonder if I’d made some different decisions and pushed myself a little harder when I was 16 or 17… and indeed, not thrown away the connections I had with a few people in the media at that age, things may well have been enormously different.

And once again, it makes me think about how many doors have already been closed on me, even as reasonably young as I am. It won’t be long before I’m older than the kids TV presenters. And then I’ll be depressed.

Fancy that. Getting depressed over these gangs of completely infuriating baboons…

Oddity

When the main theme of your blog is dealing with a pretty shit life and a usual persistence of psychological trauma it doesn’t help when things go well and feel reasonably good. Yet, it should be something to celebrated.

So I am. For now, things are well. Today we had an inspection from the landlord, who was not at all pleased with the filth and general disgusting lack of cleanliness from my scum-sucking house mate – one of the sources of a lot of my misery for the past few months.

I knew they were coming today. They had given me notice. But I didn’t tell them they were coming. I knew if I did then they would get their room in order, including removing food that’s been on the floor for weeks and washing dishes that have been used once and never will be used again. I couldn’t let that happen.

I wanted some revenge. I wanted him to suffer, just a little, for the pain he has caused me.

I’m not normally a revenge person. But I’ve given this guy so many chances. Time after time I get it thrown back in my face because he can’t help but be so false and disingenious. He likes to pretend he is something he isn’t. I know he isn’t that. But he sure as hell likes to try, and in the meantime I put up with his disgusting behaviour because I’m so weak-willed I can’t find it within me to properly challenge him. Yet, I know that he is only acting in this way to try to get me to react, so I can’t. I get trapped, and then I start to implode with the feelings in my head.

I know I have no spine when it comes to issues like this. I just can’t do it. I don’t know what I fear, but I can’t stop myself from being afraid. I cannot find it within me to put a stop to it.

So it was nice to be able to turn things over to someone in a position of authority. It was great to see him squirming and having to bullshit lame excuses about the sorry mess on the spot. I enjoyed it.

And hence why I’m feeling pretty good right now. I think I’ll enjoy it.

The Blogosphere

Do you have a good blog that you think I might read? If so, then read on…

I enjoy blogging. But I tend to enjoy writing more than I do reading, which is a problem if that is repeated across everyone. Why? Simply because you end up with more blog writers than there are readers in the “blogosphere”.

And when that happens, there ends up a lot of blogs that no one reads. I count mine in this list. This doesn’t particularly bother me as this is just an outlet for my frustrations and something for me to look back on and see how I’ve “grown” as a person. I wish I’d been doing it for much longer and I hope to continue doing so for a while. And after all, I’m not particularly convinced that anyone else will find any of this remotely interesting.

Which brings me on to my point: is there actually anything interesting in the blogosphere at all? And if there is, what percentage of it is good?

Of course, the definition of good varies from person to person. What I’m looking for is probably way different to what another person is.

As blogging becomes more and more popular, more and more people are going to start writing blogs. And when people start doing things like that they become less inclined to read other people’s blogs. And so there are fewer people out there to read and pass comments around. It’s my theory that the blogosphere is eventually going to become a pretty lonely place.

Today I decided to search for other blogs from people around the same age as me who look like they might have something interesting to say. My hit/miss ratio was extremely low. I’ve been looking for many hours now through the blog directory Blogwise, and a good chunk of blogs put me off in seconds often by poor design. Others are impossible to read as the standard of English is so bad. I’m not after perfect English, or even anything near perfect… I just want it to be good enough that I can understand it! Others are written as if they’re a conversation – so there’s a lot of spurious words all over the place like “umm” “er” “eh” “ah” “….” and more. I can’t read something that takes years to get to the point. Or they are just not detailed enough – I like to read about people’s emotions and thoughts, not just their actions. There’s no soul to most blogs, if you see what I mean.

I would dearly love to find some blogs to read by other people. When you find a good one, it’s genuinely fascinating to read about the experiences of that person and you can form a bond with them. I don’t like to read “happy, happy” blogs – where everything is perfect because that is not a real life. Reality is important. Psychology is important.

Of course, I’m talking about personal blogs here. I can read specific politics blogs and technical blogs about certain subjects with no problem. Those are more likely to be successful. But the bar of quality is set much higher if there are people’s lives involved. I’m pretty sure my own blog would not pass my own quality test if I were a different person applying these rules to it. But it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t give up.

I would ask anyone reading to post a link to their own blog, or any other personal blog that they think is interesting. But then again, I’m not quite sure if anyone else is reading this, so that’s probably counter-productive. If you are, then try it. You’re guaranteed a visit from me and I’ll be brutally honest. What more can you ask for? 🙂

Relative Calm

It’s been a quiet few days. Two of my friends who live in this house with me went home for an extended four day weekend and there’s still no sign of them. Alas, it has meant I’ve been dealing with the stupidity and filth of the other two on my own for a few days, but I guess it’s character building.

I’m not quite sure what I’ve been doing lately, but I know what I should be. I have decided that I’m going to at least apply for one of the many Summer Camp America programmes there are around, but I only have this month to fill in the forms and get the references. So far I’ve shown no enthusiasm for getting round to the mighty biographical essay I have to write, and time is ticking away. Plus, within a few weeks I’ll have some more important deadlines involving my essays for my politics modules in my head, which will make a significant contribution in making me feel bad about myself.

The non-stop dreaming hasn’t stopped. I think there’s only been one night where I didn’t dream anything recently, and that was probably because I only managed to get in 5 hours of sleep. They still don’t make any sense, but they sure are interesting.

Today I also went to a meeting to find out more about what I’m going to be doing in my third year of Uni. I’m currently on a particularly special course whereby in the third year you spend a year in Parliament working for an MP as their intern. It sounds amazing, and I’m looking forward to it immensly. I was a little put off by the £10,000 or so overall living cost across the year cited by the previous students who I spoke to today, as I don’t have anywhere near this kind of money available. Sounds like it’s going to be a tough year. Better start putting money aside…

Final thought: why is there no such thing as a warm water tap? I only ever seem to be able to wash my hands in freezing cold or roasting hot water. Why has no one invented a water system which siphons off a little bit of water and heats it to only 35 degrees C or something, which allows people to wash their hands in comfort! Extremely annoying. And extremely painful. Our cold water feels like it’s only a few degrees above freezing, and one of these days I’m going to get frostbite off it.

Perhaps it’s just another of the many Wonders Of Hull. No purchase necessary.