What Eternal Sunshine Taught 15 Year Old Me About Love

Movies and Books

A crestfallen, middle-aged man stumbles toward the exit of the bookstore at which his girlfriend works, crushing in one fist a necklace he’d bought her for Valentine’s. As he crosses the threshold, the lights fizzle out and the walls converge, morphing into the cramped living room of a grimy apartment in which his friends regretfully inform him that his now ex had erased him from her memory. It’s probably the most beautiful and heartbreaking scene transition I have ever seen—maybe ever will.

Out of all the poignant sequences Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind offers, this is the one that resonated with me most upon my first of four viewings. It stuck with me because it terrified me. At 15, I knew nothing about love and the control it has over the landscape of our thoughts. At 15, I had no desire to experience such a destructive and (in my naïve little head) overrated force, until I saw Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) stagger into that living room, shoulders hunched and eyes hollow, exuding shock waves of grief and vengeance. It was my first glimpse at just how suddenly and completely love can crumble, and how powerless we are to its crumbling. I was intrigued—no, addicted.

Oblivion terrifies me. To be eradicated from the consciousness of a planet to which I’ve literally devoted my entire existence is the saddest yet most inevitable thing I can imagine. To be eradicated from the consciousness of a person to whom you’ve devoted your heart—and invested an unwarranted belief in everything transcendent and beautifulis too cruel for words. Yet, there’s also a paradoxical sense of wonder to all this bleak bullshit, because the convergence of two souls is in fact the most transcendent and beautiful thing imaginable. Joel loved Clementine so much that he couldn’t remember a self without her; they were so connected that he had to eradicate her from his own consciousness to fill the void within it.

15 year old me was terrified of how much I craved that connection for myself. I still haven’t fallen for anyone the way Joel and Clementine fell for each other. I still want to as much as I did six years earlier because, really, how else do you defy oblivion other than by leaving an indelible imprint on somebody else’s mind? The perpetual nightmare of reality doesn’t grant you memory-erasing machines. If you get fucked, you carry those scars forever, but at least you know that someone, somewhere will always bear some remnant of your soul–no matter how small, no matter how bitter. And that’s pretty fucking neat.

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Uninspired, but at peace

My Awesome Life, Uncategorized, Writing

I’m on the cusp of a profound transition, arguably the most significant one in modern life: crossing the threshold from 20 to 21.

My grand initiation into the 21 Club is scheduled on Pi Day, which may be more than 50 days away, but I thought I might as well reflect on and immortalize in writing the bizarre and uninspiring person I’ve grown into over the last two decades.

The first 20 years of my life have been a collage of confused decisions, abandoned resolutions, disillusioned attempts down various career paths, and random epiphanies about both myself and the world around me.

My teenage years revolved around an emotional pendulum rooted at equilibrium, refusing to even flirt with either extreme. I’ve been frustrated and lost, hovering in a purgatory of mediocrity and indifference for the better part of the last four years. I’ve been sad but never heartbroken, I’ve been happy but never ecstatic, and I’ve dated but never in love. At times I feel like I’m incapable of feeling anything to the fullest extent, like anything I experience will only be a dimmer version of what others have already felt. I love writing–always will–but I’ve never felt that scorching thirst to sew my dreams into narratives, never been inspired enough to write for hours on end until the sun bled into the horizon and hours bled into days. Can I ever feel as passionate about anything as professional athletes do about winning a damn trophy, or as actors do about, well, acting? Can I ever commit to anything?

My state of mind is the Jamie xx album, “In Color”—not any particular track but snippets of the entire album. In electronic music, we anticipate drops. We dig bangers that take us on pulsating mind trips and emotional roller coaster rides. The spectacular is what expect from life, too, and if we don’t get it, we lash out: “I didn’t deserve this. I just thought there’d be more.” When the going gets tough, we tell ourselves to hang in there, push through the pain and wait for eminent arrival of better days. I think that’s been my attitude for the majority of my adolescent years: You haven’t seen shit. Just wait for the bass to drop.

The bass never drops in “In Color.” It’s just an impressionistic painting of intelligent beat-making and ethereal atmospherics, delicate but brimming with wonder. Some tracks (“Far Nearer,” “Loud Places”) bottle a fountain of youthful emotions–optimism, desire, dread, yearning–into a quiet and exquisite world of gentle, fluttering synth sequences and stirring vocals. “Gosh” builds up to a two-minute climax of lush keyboard soundscapes that douse you with euphoria and hope. On the other side of the spectrum, “Stranger In a Room” envelops you in spellbinding warmth using minimal percussion beats against deep baselines, hinting that life can be okay without staggering achievements or life-changing revelations.

Electronic music is an enormous and expanding world of countless sub-genres that defy categorization. Bangers comprise a recognizable but very small part of that world; extraordinary milestones comprise but a small part of ours. I’ve been so lost and frustrated that my youth–the most exciting years of my life–has so far been defined by a maddening indifference, and that I couldn’t find the motivation to reach my full potential to make my parents proud.

But maybe I’ve been asking too much. The way we package our emotions determines the way we experience them. I’ve never been euphoric about anything, but I’ve been happy about plenty: getting into college, road-tripping with mom, feeding my dog, hanging out with friends. I just need to believe that happiness can give me the same satisfaction as euphoria. I’ve never been obsessed with writing, but I want to write and I’ll continue doing so, inspired or not. What if you don’t need to live life to the fullest to be at peace with it? I’m not in love with life, but I feel lucky to be alive and to live this life.

I doubt much will change about my appearance or attitude 12 months from now. Maybe I’ll be single and jobless at 25; maybe I’ll be profiling Leonardo DiCaprio for Vanity Fair. I can’t see either happening, but I have always been dreadful at predicting the trajectory of my life. And I’m still young. I want to believe that one day I will fall in love with life.

 

A Love Letter to Calories

Musings/Rants

I randomly found this passage in my notepad. I don’t remember how it came about–it must have been for some dumbass application. Anyway, I’m posting it because it’s been too long again and I still can’t come up with anything new.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was born in China but moved to the mystical land of New Zealand when I turned nine. It’s a place where sheep roam freely, people are sweet but phony, and the most average coffee shits on the best espresso you can find in NYC. It’s the kind of town you dream of escaping while you live there but miss terribly once you leave.

My whole life there–living in resentment, departing in glee, reflecting with fondness – is how I developed my voice as a writer–curious and humorous, yet somehow always tinged with nostalgia. Even though I’m finally living in the city of my dreams, exploring sites and restaurants in every corner of the five boroughs (nah, just Manhattan, to be completely honest), I still think about that mince and cheese pie from Browns Bay and that slice of pavlova I had at a bakery that probably no longer exists.

I think food evokes our most visceral memories. If our existence is indeed highlighted by specific impressions, then food is the chain that connects all the dots in life and puts everything into perspective. How did the apple tarts that doused you with euphoria in childhood become an unbearable source of grief in adulthood? How did you ever come to crave coffee when you hated it with a passion as a kid? How are you going to look at strawberry shortcakes (lol) after you rejected the dude who stuffed an engagement ring in one?

Eating doesn’t inspire such introspection. When you’re ravenous, you’ll inhale anything you see, and when you’re chewing, you see only two categories of food–the disgusting and the phenomenal. Everything that’s not disgusting is phenomenal. You’re not really that hungry if you’re lucid enough to critique and analyze your food. Truth is, you don’t grasp the philosophical significance of what you shove into your mouth until you’re done digesting it. Introspection happens in retrospect.

How was a 13-year-old supposed to know that the moment he got tired of hot chocolate would mark the end of the beginning of his life? How was he supposed to know that it would all go downhill as he transitioned from mochas to lattes to espressos? Would I still enjoy that $20 burger when I can scarcely afford to pay rent after I graduate and move out? Food is the reckless, instantaneous decisions we make that would come to make sense in hindsight.

Food is life, quite literally.

A Torrential Downpour of Bullshit

Musings/Rants

I haven’t written in a long time and I’m very rusty. The heat here in New York is killing my brain cells. Then this morning Zeus got horny as shit and decided to give the clouds a good, hard pounding and like the obedient little maiden she is, the clouds parted her slender, fluffy legs and with several loud ecstatic moans, let out an explosion of angry fluids that has lasted for four hours now.

I am currently drenched in that fluid. I’m a slimy, sticky, sweaty slug. My shirt is clinging to my bra and my hair smells like pissed-on seaweed in the bottom of a highly polluted portion of the South China Sea. It’s appalling, but I couldn’t care less. I love rain in all its charming and unappealing moods. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. My soul needed cleansing. I’ve realized that I’m a horrible person who does questionable things and has the audacity to feel guilty about it but not the will to change anything. Walking through rain does not by any means remake my character or alleviate my rarely-existent guilt. It simply warms me up to it.

The one quality a writer needs to have is empathy. Every good writer has it. Every person has it to a certain degree. You can be a hypocrite, like myself, but you have to be able to react emotionally to people’s actions. Maybe you’re an alcoholic who abhors other alcoholics. Maybe you’re a slut who slut-shames. Maybe you hate cliches but has the full collection of Nick Sparks novels stacked like porno under your bed. You don’t have to be morally upright as long as you can sympathize with people’s motives and ultimately understand with their deeds.

But is it wrong to sympathize with some tragedies more than others? Is it possible to react insensitively to happenings that sadden you? Almost a year ago, I bawled my eyes out upon hearing about the Charlie Hebdo shooting. I sobbed as hard at the end of Brokeback Mountain as I did while I was reading Jennifer Gonnerman’s New Yorker piece on Kalief Browder. I even shed a few tears after Djokovic lost his 3rd French Open Final. I didn’t shed a single tear about the Charleston massacre, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, or the now countless ISIS orchestrated casualties.

Why? Because I’m a typically insensitive, pop-culture obsessed, spoilt, heinous member of the Millenials. Because I obviously don’t give a shit about political crises and communal tragedies and flawed cultural attitudes and racial binaries that threaten to destroy the world as we know it for good. My ignorance is going to send this planet straight into Satan’s gaping, salivating jaws and aren’t I just ecstatic about it. Jimmy Kimmel was criticized for tearing up about the murder of Cecil the Lion but not about any of the things I didn’t lose a tear on. I can carry on sniffing about unimportant shit without being shat on because no one knows or gives a shit about me. Too bad that’s not the case for Jimmy.

I don’t send my mom an “I love you” text everyday even though she’s one of the two people I love most in the world. I don’t cry about every single thing that makes me incredibly, incredibly sad otherwise it’ll be niagara falls every time I think about my future or my face. I don’t decide what or who I’m attracted to. So what if sports happen to move me more than global news does? It doesn’t mean I’m not appalled by what I read, and it doesn’t mean I don’t care about it, otherwise I wouldn’t fucking read it, would I?

Thing is, and we often forget it, just because other people have it worse does not mean we don’t have it bad. Pain is relative, to that of others as well as our own. Empathy is a beautiful thing. No one should feel guilty for understanding one kind of pain but not another. You’re not slighting anybody else when you devote all your energy to one point of interest.

At least you care about another human being, and that’s not a truth that everyone has a claim on.

What am I Even Saying

Musings/Rants

You know what’s the most frequently asked question in my life?

“Why are you so emo?”

It comes in several different forms: “Why are you so angsty?” “Why are you always so mad?” “Why do you never smile?”

The answer is very simple: smiling is painful. It literally hurts my face to smile more than a minute straight, even when I’m having a good time around people I like. Who the hell decided to make curved lips on full stretch the universal expression of happiness? It’s physically exhausting, like holding a coffee mug in your palm for an extended period of time. But some people can smile for hours on end like their jaws were born ajar. I used to think those people were phony as fuck until I got to know a few of them and discovered that they’re the sweetest people ever. That’s when I realized that I’m the phony one, baring my teeth like a fucking vampire when all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed and cry. And it made me wonder: are introverts just inherently more depressed and cynical than extroverts?

That’s a difficult question to answer because most introverts are camouflaged among extroverts. We all lie somewhere on the introvert-extrovert continuum, and the more heavily you lean toward the introvert side of the spectrum the more excessively you have to lie. Pretending to be outgoing and outspoken people has become our defense mechanism. Obviously some of us are better at lying than others. I suck at lying. I drop my smile when it gets even slightly unbearable. I stop socializing with people as soon as I detect the emergence of an headache. I flow in and out of my own reality when conversations get awkward. I retreat back to solitude the first chance I get. The longer I dwell in my own head the more depressed I get. So if all introverts are like me then yes, maybe we’re just a bleak species. But I can rarely distinguish the hidden introverts in a sea of extroverts.

Amazingly, even I have managed to fool some very intelligent people. A classmate said she didn’t believe I was an introvert. A relative complained that I was “too gregarious.” If an atypically shy introvert like I can convince people that I’m “too gregarious,” imagine what normal, less awkward introverts could do. Regardless of how good a liar an introvert may be, I’m sure we’re all sick of putting on a bloody mask all the damn time.

Sometimes I just want to start over. I’m not talking about going back to a particular moment in my life. I don’t want to rewind the clock because I don’t need more regrets gnawing at my messed up mind. I just want to be in a different place, like Budapest or something, with a different name, preferably something asexual like Alex or Taylor or Jaime. I’d reset, find my place in new surroundings, among people who can never unearth my past transgressions. As much as I love some people in my life right now, there are just too many others I can no longer deal with. Remember how Forest said life is like a box of chocolates? For me it feels more like a box of Bean Boozled jelly beans. You know, the ones containing both nasty and yummy flavors, except my box is 80% the former, so I’d get three boogers every time I get a strawberry.

Anyway, I’m well aware that life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies and sometimes it’s compromise that moves us along (lol thanks Maroon 5). I know it’s mostly my own fault that I’m so unhappy with myself, and I know that I can fix my situation without ditching everything I’ve come to know. I also think fate is bullshit. Your life’s not gonna be some perfectly structured skyline with proportionally distributed peaks and troughs, interrupted by occasional periods of dullness. Who knows? Maybe my life will turn out to be some downward sloping curve that gets steeper as time goes on.

But right now it isn’t. It doesn’t have to be. As I said before, I don’t know how many of you out there are introverts going through the same identity/life crisis I am, but if you’re reading this then this next part is for you too. Maybe self-pity and self-doubt is something we’ll always have to deal with, but we will work through it and it will get easier. And here’s a crazy thought: maybe we need that pang of self-pity and self-doubt to remind us of who we really are. Lying is a skill that can be improved, even perfected, through practice. The more we pretend to be the extroverted, outspoken individuals this fucked up society pressures us to be, the more we’ll be convinced that that’s who we were made to be. We’ll start to believe that introversion was an illness that we have finally cured.

And that’s absolute bullshit. It took me almost twenty years to stop hating my preference for self-reflection over social interaction. Introversion is not a problem. It’s a personality trait that’s every bit as beautiful and important as extroversion. It may not thrive in this stupid 21st Century world, but it needs to exist.

Worlds Apart

Musings/Rants, Writing

My titles have gotten progressively dumber over time. I apologize for that. If I ever write a book I’ll probably have to improve on that. Oh well, don’t judge a book by its cover, amiright?

Anyway, I briefly mentioned in my last post my discomfort with showing my blog to people I know, and I’d just like to explain that a bit more. It has nothing to do with the possible backlash or indifference. I’m used to both of that, especially from friends. If indifference is what I will receive then I’d be more than willing to share this blog on Facebook. A reaction is what I’m nervous about.

Imagine wearing a skanky dress to a club in, say, Ecuador or somewhere far and exotic. It’s miles removed from all the judgmental assholes back home. You feel free and loose for the first time in years. You flirt with everyone and drink everything that smells like it can fuck you over. You’re happier than perhaps you’ve ever been. And you just don’t give a shit because you know no one’s gonna treat you any differently after tonight.

What an awful analogy, but that’s exactly how I feel with about blogging. It’s like wearing a thong in a club and knowing that no matter how many lap dances I give my life in the real world is still going to be the same. You know, holding a secret identity with no strings attached.

Why do I care so much? Don’t I trust my friends or family? Honestly, I’m not sure. Some of them, some of the time, absolutely. But once I show them my blog – all these darkest, truest thoughts I’ve ever had – I’m not gonna be same. I’m not going to write without reservations. I’m going to be haunted by dumbass questions that I just don’t want to care about. What will they think if I say this? Will they be okay if I say I’ve never agreed with them on this thing? What if she thinks I’m attacking her? These are bullshit problems I have to deal with in real life. And the blogosphere is a much simpler, quieter, happier world. It’s a place where I can just write in peace and discover the person I want to be.

I don’t want to censor myself for other people’s sake. That’s not what good writers do. They may be sensitive to public response but they know it’s less valuable than being true to their visions. I’m not there yet. Maybe when I get there I’ll be able to fuse these two worlds and reveal my most private thoughts to the people I consider most important to me.

Yay May

Musings/Rants

Hi. I’m going to crash in about 29 seconds so this will be a quick post. May is always the last month of the school year, so in about two weeks I’ll be essentially a junior. Half of my college career has come and gone. I can’t even begin to describe the aching emptiness that realization stirs up in my heart. I’m more than happy with the strides I’ve made this semester, socially, emotionally, and professionally…but whenever I look back I just can’t stop wondering how much better my life would be right now had I made different decisions, had I been courageous enough to trust my gut. Regrets are such a bitch to deal with. Yes they help you reflect and mature, but honestly I’d go back to being that retarded immature kid if I could roll back the seconds and erase some booby tracks on my road map. I don’t care about lessons. I just want those years back.

You know how people always say mistakes and regrets teach you shit? That with them you’ll be a better, more complete person? So rather than loathing them you should appreciate them? But I just don’t, you know? Whenever I reminisce on my regrets (which I guarantee you is a lot of the fucking time), I don’t think about the lessons they’ve taught me. I think about the things I should have and could have done instead but will never be able to because time doesn’t rotate counterclockwise.

Yeah well I’m still crying over spilled milk. Can’t help it.

Disillusionment, Love Potions, and that Obsession with the Unattainable

Musings/Rants, Relationships and Shit

So I just read this from a NY Times article:

“A few months ago, I read several articles touting the health benefits of writing in a deeply personal way. Studies had shown that writing introspectively on a regular basis can lead to lowered blood pressure, improved liver function and even the accelerated healing of postoperative wounds. The study’s subjects had been told to write for short periods each day about turbulent emotional experiences.”

Interesting. I know from experience that writing in a personal, introspective way can exorcise the darkest of demons, but I didn’t know it has been confirmed by science. That’s encouraging, I guess, because part of me thinks it’s kind of toxic to ponder so deeply and frequently on all the bizarre and bleak truths of life. ANYWAY. That was a passage from the Times’ Modern Love section, which features some of the best essays I have ever read. 1500 words, packed with the optimism of finding love, the relief of losing it, the joys and misery of fighting through it. And those stories – bitter, furious, grateful, and so, so raw – just made me realize that I’d never been in love and never felt anything nearly as beautiful or devastating as they have.

Is that a terrible thing to say? I sure feel a bit guilty writing it down, considering that I’ve had memories and experiences that warranted those feelings. Deserved them. Demanded them, even. But everything is relative, and compared to people who wrote those stories, I really don’t know anything. I thought I did. I thought I knew what love is, how it feels like, and what it could do, but the problem is just you don’t see shit when you’re in the middle of it. It’s hard to know that you’re letting staccato bursts of joy overtake your ability to see how glaringly toxic your relationship really is. And maybe that’s a good thing, because I know that the best is still ahead of me.

Assuming that everyone has some epic love story written into their palm lines ofc. I’m not sure we all do. We speculate on the future with a dizzying mix of dread and excitement. They’re so closely interwoven that it’s hard to define one without mentioning the other. And with them there’s always uncertainty. Am I going to get into Yale? Am I going to make it into the music industry? Am I going to get knocked over by a scooter

Yet when it comes to love, questions don’t start with “am I going to.” Instead you get the 5Ws. What do you look for in a guy/girl? Where do you want to get married at? What kind of person do you see yourself with? Who can make you happy? 

They’re not bad questions, but what right do we have to feel so sure that love is meant for everyone? It’s not even about finding the Harry to your Sally. What if some of us never meet anyone, never fall in love, never know what it feels like to hate someone so fucking much that you’d shove a champagne bottle up your ass and fake your own murder just to ruin his life (yeah, my inner Amy Dunne’s back)? What if we really do die alone?

If that’s the case, do we only have ourselves to blame? Is it because we’re too shallow or too idealistic or too indifferent? It’d be easier if that’s the case because at least we have control over our flaws. I don’t believe it’s all about us. It takes a lot to foster connection and turn spark into fire. Circumstances have to work with you, chance has to work with you, people have to work with you. Not everyone can get all three on his/her side. I certainly can’t. Maybe that’s because I’m awkward as fuck and freak out every time I have to socialize with people.

I’m not saying I’ve given up on pursuing that intoxicating whirlwind romance that everyone should experience at least once per lifetime. I’m going to chase it, and I’m going to believe that it’s still in the cards for me because that’s pretty much all we have. Chasing is living. That briefest moment just before yearning becomes fulfillment is pure euphoria.

But I don’t expect it to happen. I just hope it does.

Hi.

My Awesome Life

Hi again. I’m back from the dead. Please believe me when I say I’ve literally had no time to blog. Without torturing you with insanely dull details, let’s just say I got kicked out of my dorm and pulled off 2 straight all nighters. Yeah, um, the building next to my dorm exploded. East Village explosion. You may have read it on the news. My parents certainly haven’t….either that or they just forgot my address. But uh, anyhow, I’ve ran the gauntlet of the most extreme emotional and physical torture and made it out alive. Barely, with a ton of bruises and scares that may never heal, but alive nonetheless. I’ve missed blogging. The whole time I was wandering around NYC at seven in the morning, sweaty and disgusting and homeless, I thought about blogging constantly. Blogging, writing, cussing, crying, anything that let’s me exorcise all the rage and hatred and sexual frustration burning inside my loins (lol). I actually had a nice long howl Saturday afternoon that left me relieved, exhausted, and extremely thirsty (lol).

And I had my second quarter-life existential crisis in two weeks. Who am I?? Am I making the right decisions? It’s so confusing because the various commitments I’ve taken up this semester require me to adopt several personas, all of which feel so foreign to me. And I’m cool with that; after all, you need to take risks and grow as a person. Yet sometimes I just feel like I’m pushing myself to become someone I’m not.

Fake it till you make it. That’s what everyone tells us. Especially us introverts who refuse to comply with the charismatic, articulate, extroverted personality standard that society lauds. The whole time I’m “faking it till I make it,” all I can think of is, “why do I have to fake it to make it??” Why do we live in a society where being introverted and quiet and perceptive is considered a weakness? I can’t remember how many times I’ve been told that if I don’t speak up I’ll never get anywhere. I just think that’s so fucked up, this idea that being a good talker is more valuable than being a good thinker or a good listener.

Since that’s the way society has become, I’m willing to change myself, to improve on my “weaknesses.” But at what point do I start to lose myself? At what point do I begin to see my “weaknesses” as real weaknesses? Knowing that I may really start hating my introverted traits scares the shit out of me. I have to remind myself constantly that it’s okay to be withdrawn, that it’s therapeutic to wander off into my little world and imagine weird, crazy things that’ll never happen, that it’s fine to leave the practical world behind for a little while. I do that because I truly believe that those so called weaknesses are the essence of my being. I do that because I’ve never considered my awkwardness or my inability to speak coherently a real weakness. Maybe that’s why I’m such a slow learner, but that’s also why I’ve never lost myself.

Truth is, I get attached easily but nothing sticks. I don’t have an addictive personality. Cigarette smoke invigorates me. If some guy walks by me with a cig dangling out of his mouth, I’d breathe in real deep and exhale real slow, bathing in that delirious blend of toxins. Sometimes I even get that irresistible urge to snatch it out of someone’s hands and take a drag myself. Goddamn. But if I don’t see it, I don’t think about it. Even when I’m smoking and loving the hell out of it, I know that it’s never gonna be a habit. That’s how it goes what everything I do. I’ll get involved and work hard but I know where my heart is. That’s the mindset I had going into this year, into some of the academic pursuits that I took on.

But I’m starting to think I’m losing my stand.

Moments.

My Awesome Life

If you’re one of those few awesome people who follow my blog regularly, you’d know that I’m obsessed with time. I used to write about it frequently until I realized that my obsession is so ironic because I’m always wasting time.

If I have a two hour gap between classes, I’d spend it stalking people on social media or playing that stupid new iPhone game instead of finishing those seven excruciatingly long pages in Symposium. That means those seven pages are reserved for midnight, after Netflix and dinner with friends and the internship columns and the ten other distractions that I can’t even remember right now. But at midnight I’ll remember that I haven’t showered in two and a half days and, being obsessed with time, I’ll feel obliged to change that. So instead of reading those pages and getting a good seven-hour sleep for the test tomorrow morning, I’ll hop in the shower and start thinking about the dumbest shit like the first time I’ve ever listened to Nirvana or that remarkably beautiful moment each fall when I realize that the leaves are no longer green.

And before I know it it’s 12.40am, but for some reason I don’t start reading until 1.40am. By then I’ll feel so guilty for wasting so much time that I only read 3 pages for 20 mins and hop into bed at 2am. But ofc I don’t sleep till 2.30 because my perpetually nostalgic mind will wander down memory lane to a bunch of obscure memories from 6, 7, 8 years ago that I had long since forgotten.

I haven’t stopped feeling guilty about my inability to conserve time until yesterday morning at 5am, when I went to sleep. I got back from a friend’s friend’s birthday party (because I have no friends of my own) at 3am, slightly tipsy and quite lonely and very, very depressed because all my (very few) friends ever talk about is their significant other halves while I, talented kind and exceptionally beautiful, remain directionless in life and partnerless in love. Anyhow, right after I got back two of my friends wanted to Skype together. I obliged despite my exhaustion because in that frame of mind I would have slept next to the security guard just to be next to someone. And as we Skyped and bitched about people and life and love and school, my drunkenness and loneliness and self-loathing slipped away one by one, so subtly that I didn’t notice anything until happiness, the intoxicating happiness associated with familiarity and company, pretty much made my head explode. Life is better with company. I fucking hate that line because it’s so fucking true.

And that, finally, brings me to my grand epiphany. Maybe wasting time is how we’re supposed to college. Maybe not knowing how to focus on the important shit is the beauty of our 20s. Drinking past midnight. Talking till dawn. Procrastinating on absolutely everything. Sleeping so late every night that morning doesn’t begin until the clock hits double digits. Reminiscing on the not too distant past, speculating on the not too distant future: nostalgia and optimism so closely intertwined that they’re almost interchangeable. It’s toxic, I know. But it’s temporary. We can’t afford to waste time and abuse our bodies so carelessly in our thirties, or forties, or God forbid fifties. Maybe it’s okay to be that reckless, spoilt college kid once in a while.