Okay, so here is what I am learning: I give too much. I expect too much. And I am horribly bad at friendships because of it.

Something tonight just 'clicked' for me while I was talking to a 'friend' of mine. This person does not know me incredibly well, and that is actually a good thing in this case. The 'click' I heard was the maximum number of people saying something until I finally believed it. I have had so many people tell me that I expect too much from friends and that is why I always feel lonely or like people are not really my friends. Family has said this, friends have said this, my ex has said this. And now I am thinking it must be true. I admit that the amount I talk to someone indicates the level of friendship I feel with them (with offline friends). (Online friends are different and will not even be mentioned here. Expectations are different. I can somehow feel close to an online friend I do not talk to every day, perhaps because conversations are longer and more honest via e-mail or IM. For whatever reason, I do not take issue with online friends unless I truly feel the friendship dwindling.) If I talk to someone once a week, that is a decent friendship to me. If I talk to them more than once a week, that is a close friend. If I talk to them every few months, that is an acquaintance. I have been told this is wrong and that I should not expect to talk within certain timeframes. Unfortunately, this is always how I have been and I will likely never be able to talk myself into thinking differently.

I had this friend tonight tell me, as I have had other people tell me, that you can remain close while not talking often. I have no idea how to do this and I do not really want that in my life. If that person has the ability to call me and hang out with me, why are they not taking advantage of that? I am told that I have to accept this as being the way things are. I feel like if someone cannot make time for me, they are not really a friend. I know people get busy, of course, and that is fine. But should you not be talking to these people regularly in order to remain 'close'? How are you close with someone you only talk to every few months? Imagine being in a relationship where you only talked and saw each other every few months? That would be hell and eventually, one or both people would tire of it. (I say this based on experiences with long-distance relationships. They never work.) I just do not know how to equate 'closeness' with 'talking every few months.' To me, that is not a good friendship. That is more like an acquaintanceship. Time, unfortunately, matters when you do not have consistency with people in your life. Time does not matter to everyone, but it matters to me.

The second part to that is... yes, the type of conversations are also indicative of how close I consider myself to that person. If we discuss superficial things like work and movies, they can be a friend but not a close friend. If we discuss personal issues, self-esteem, relationships and things of this nature, I would consider that person a close friend. Typically, I do not have those discussions with people who drift in and out of my life (I term these as "acquaintances"). I have never felt like someone I discussed those superficial things with has been a close friend, even if we talked about those superficial things every day. Close friends open up to each other about their feelings and are able to have friendly debates or intellectual discussions. Close friends are able to be vulnerable with each other and discuss personal flaws they would not discuss with just anyone. There is some sort of line, I feel, between an acquaintance and a close friend in that respect. I do not discuss personal relationship issues (if I am in one) with an acquaintance, for example.

So yes, the way I define a good friendship is two-fold: intervals of communication and topics of discussion. Obviously, included in topics of discussion would be having that person care enough to listen when I am having problem or offering me help when I need it. This would include me being able to be there for them in times of need as well. In other words, the person is around often enough to know when you are going through a rough time and need some extra support. I would call this a third point, but it should be a given. A close friend should be there for you, and you should be there for a close friend... any time possible.

I am told, time and time again, this is all wrong. I have been told by friends and exes that I should not expect anything from anyone. I love how I am called a cynic by so many people, and yet I seem to have the most optimistic (and I am told stupid) outlook on friendship. I believe you can have a friend for life. I believe that you can connect with someone so strongly that you are able to overcome every bumpy road and every challenge the friendship faces. I do. I also believe, even if not from experience, that a couple in love can get through anything together and survive a lifetime (or close to a lifetime) together. I believe that type of love exists. In fact, I thought I found it once and it was the most earth-shattering thing to admit it was obviously not it. I just believe in these things. And people keep telling me I am so foolish and that I expect too much. Why? I think I see other people have these friendships. I feel I have them for certain periods of time. I feel I have been really, really close to people for a long time... and then it usually ends terribly with them completely betraying me in some way. I am never the one to let go first, and maybe that says something about my determination... or something about my foolish optimism.

This is just making me more and more depressed, all of these people telling me that what I want and what I (believe I) need does not exist. I am starting to believe them though. Tonight, as I said, I felt like, 'Okay, this is the x person to tell me this. This is obviously reality and I am the one who is wrong.' But I mean, really? I just want someone I can share everything with, someone I am not afraid or embarrassed to talk to about anything. I want someone I can talk to on the phone or hang out with and have it be equally as meaningful. I do not want someone who is dependent on me, but I want someone who feels like they need me or at least really want me in their life. Is this so weird? I think I see it all the time. I feel like so many people have those friendships. In fact, I feel like the majority of people have someone like this in their life. Am I wrong? Am I watching too much Sex and the City? I joke about that, but in all honestly, that is sort of what I am looking for in a friendship. I want people I talk to every day or every other day... or at least weekly. Is that honestly bizarre? Is there something wrong with me for wanting that?

Everyone has told me that I need to change my outlook. Everyone has said I expect too much. Am I? I want to know the answer. I want to know if there are friends out there who talk every day and are very close and share everything with each other. I want to know if this is some fantasy I have made up in my head or if I actually did witness people having these types of friendships in life. You read about them, at the very least, these people who have been friends for years and years and still do a weekly brunch... or still maintain some sort of ritual that they do every year or every month. Friends who know each other's families. Friends who will offer you honest advice. Friends who will be there when you really need support. I feel like this does exist. But everyone keeps telling me to get my head out of the clouds.

Has this caused a strain on current friendships? Absolutely. Has it caused a strain in new friendships I have built this year? Yes. I have had friends scream at me for complaining. I do not consider myself 'needy.' I would never describe myself that way. But when I go without hearing from someone I consider myself close to for weeks, I will ask them what gives. If it is someone I have known for a long time, I can be a little abrasive about it, which I know is wrong. But yes, I have confronted friends I feel I do not speak to enough or ones where I feel the conversations are getting into 'neutral' territory. For example, I recently had a friend I was very close to for almost a year. All of a sudden, he stopped telling about anything personal going on with his life or expressing any feelings that could make him vulnerable in any way. All we talked about, suddenly, were superficial things like movies or video games. When something was wrong, it was like pulling teeth trying to get it out of him. There was this drastic change and I confronted him about it, angry and upset, asking if I had done something wrong. I cannot stand people that I am close to cutting me off or the contact suddenly dwindling for no apparent reason. Let's say for example a close friend has a baby. Would I be understanding if that person suddenly talked to me less? Yes. It is when there is no real reason for a drop in contact or personal conversations that I get upset. Back to the friend above, I had no idea how to handle it. At that point, I just kind of felt the friendship was over. Or at least, the close friendship was over and we had moved into acquaintanceship territory, so certain things were off limits. Again, I was left devastated. This always happens to me. Once in a while, I will get what I need out of a friendship... but then I lose it for either no real reason or a bad reason, like the friend betraying me.

I seem to spend a lot of time trying to define my friendships with people, and this is likely because I do not know what is okay and what is not when people do not draw me a line in the sand. If I only talk to someone once every few months, do they even care about something that happened to me a month ago? When I have a "close friend," I do not have to worry about that. We catch up all the time, so of course I am going to be telling that friend what happened. I will likely talk to that "close friend" the same day or a few days later. It only makes sense to tell them. Not only do a spend a lot of time defining my friendships, but I spend a lot of time trying to turn them into what I want. I do not do this in a selfish way, but I just assume certain things will happen when things are going well. Like, if I am having great conversations on the phone with someone, I assume we will likely hang out somewhere in person. And this is where all the disappointment comes in. No one can ever tell me flat out that they do not want 'that' type of friendship with me. I suppose people think I will get really upset, or perhaps they are lying and trying to spare my feelings. Once I start trying to turn the friendship into this, things start going terribly wrong. 'What's wrong with not talking for a few days?' they will ask. At that time, it seems like "nothing" would be a good answer. But in reality, it bothers me. Why not? Why can we not that often? Is there something wrong with that? Do I bore them? Do they not want that type of friendship with me? I start feeling insecure. And I start feeling disappointed that the friendship is not going where I thought it was going. In this way, it is sort of like a relationship/lover. You expect it to evolve and grow, and when it does not, it just sort of fizzles and you go your separate ways.

I do not try to turn every friendship into a "close friendship," of course. I only start having expectations when things have been consistent for a long time. I just kind of expect it to continue (if nothing else, like a baby, gets in the way). When friendships in high school did not survive graduation, I did not take it badly. That was something I expected. It is when I do not see a real reason for communication to seize or become more spread out that it starts bothering me. So I do realize that I suddenly expect people to start living up to expectations we have not blatantly discussed. I just feel that if a friendship going in a certain direction I remain positive about it, feeling confident that we will grow closer and continue communicating regularly. This, yes, might be wrong. But how the hell do you know when you are both on the same page? The only way is to ask, and if they lie to spare your feelings, you will continue having those expectations and not have them met. I am not trying to point a finger at the other people, but I really do not feel like people are honest with me when they should be (which is always). I am then left very confused and sometimes hurt. I suppose I see potential a lot of others do not.

I have no idea what any of this means. I could be some intensely needy freak and not even know. I feel like people are trying to suggest this even though I am perfectly happy with a lot of alone time. I just also, in addition to being alone a lot, want some close friends whom I can depend on and call over for dinner and go out with on a fairly regular basis. I want my phone to ring sometimes. I want to text someone and receive a reply that same day. I want someone to go to when I am really upset, someone who does not feel it is a burden to comfort me (which acquaintances usually do). I just want everything I am giving or willing to give. But if what they say is right, then I am giving far too much to everyone I know. How do you just stop giving? I suppose in one respect they are right: I cannot expect what I give if I give excessively. In most ways, I honestly do not expect everything I give back. I know I give a lot and it would be hard to keep up. Sometimes I just do things because I am a nice person, and I do not expect anything in return. But with close friends, I sort of want them to want to spend the same amount of time with me that I want to spend with them. I do not always want to feel like I care more than they do. But I always, always do. And this is another reason I feel like these people, who are telling me this is a stupid way to live, are right. If I am always left disappointed or feeling sort of empty, perhaps the fault is mine.

I almost hate myself for being as giving as I am. At some point, no matter how selfless you try to be, you want something back. You want someone to care. You want someone to really like spending time with you. You want someone else to initiate contact for once. I do not expect much from most people. But when I really, really connect with someone and open up to them--and they open up to me--is it so wrong to want that to continue? Am I only allowed this in small doses? I just... thought other people had these types of friendships. Maybe I am wrong.

The worst part is not admitting these people are right in that I expect too much and those friendships do not exist. The worst part is that after I admit that, I am not sure I can live with it. I am not sure I can live with mediocre friendships or just a ton of acquaintanceships for the rest of my life. I like friendships that last years and years, and even better if it is for life even though I realize that is rare. I am, in a way, dependent on these to be happy. If I do not have at least one person I talk to consistently, I feel angry, resentful, depressed and lonely. Like right now, for example. I feel like there is a constant void within me, and that void is due to a lack of meaningful friendships... friendships that stay even when the love of your life does not.

I am not sure I can settle for what people are offering me. If that makes me a bad person, so be it. In my eyes, I do not feel it makes me terrible. I just want something really meaningful. I want some of what I give back. If this does not exist, I am going to be really unhappy in life. Friendship is important to me. No matter how much I tell myself that I am fine alone, I am not fine being completely alone or only with people who drift in and out of my life whenever they want. Eventually, those drifters stop talking to me all together, and I suppose that is why I need to know if it is that sort of friendship or not. I need to know how much to invest.

Even tonight, when I was talking to my friend, I realized I am probably going to get really hurt again. We have been really close over the past few months and I really want it to continue, but he drew the line in the sand. First of all, he said that I will likely never hang out in his social circle. This hurt. A lot. He said I would probably not like most of his friends (because they are superficial party animals) and that he is not the type to bring new people into the circle anyway. He also said that at some point, the communication might die down and he is perfectly fine with that. Already, I know I am too invested in it because I am not okay with that like he is. And it hurts because I feel like I really have something good with him. We have such amazing conversations and debates. We can talk for three hours on the phone and not run out of anything to say. We see each other every week, for the time being, and it is always great fun. But he seems terrified to make any sort of commitment to this friendship, suggesting that we may drift but that is okay and we would still be friends even if we barely talked. (And I do not mean in a relationship sense because we both agreed we do not want to date each other. I realize this entire situation has a stigma attached to it because he is male and I am female, but I assure you, it is not like that.) Like, why? Why is it that someone cannot ever say to me, 'Hey. You are worth having around for a long time. I hope we stay friends.' What is so wrong with that? I am starting to think it is wrong to feel this way and that I should never expect anyone to tell me those things. I am starting to feel that asking someone for commitment to a friendship--not a lover--is wrong. Is it?

I know, I know I am going to get terribly hurt with this friend. I absolutely know, after that conversation, I am far more invested in it than I should be (or than he is, whatever way you want to look at it). I thought things were going really well. He has assured me time and time again that he really likes what we have and that he really enjoys spending time with me. But on the flip side, he also says there is a good chance this will not last. Why? Why? Why? How does he know? Has he already decided this? Why even say that if you are not sure? It confuses me. He did say he wants to remain friends, but he also said even if we drift, oh well. I just do not take the "oh well" approach when it comes to people I really enjoy. And I suppose that is a huge flaw. I have to approach everything more casually. But I am incapable of doing this. I want everything to be lasting and meaningful, fun and inspiring. I hate the superficial. I despise it when it comes to friendship. I despise social networks like Facebook (admittedly, I do have a Facebook account but I bitch about it on a weekly basis) where people just write about meaningless garbage and where "liking" a post means you read it or even cared what it said. Bullshit. It is all such bullshit. I want more than that.

The truth is, even though I now have to prepare myself to lose yet another friend, I am glad we had that conversation. It will not stop me from investing in the friendship or prevent me from being there for him in any way I can. But the conversation felt like the beginning of a new chapter in my life, the chapter where I either have to get help for these feelings of loneliness I experience when I do not have a close friendship in my life or the chapter where I somehow accept a variety of mediocre friendships in the place of one or a few very meaningful ones. I have to decide what I can live with. And right now, I think I am going to opt for getting help because I do not feel like I can live happily without close bonds, especially now that I have lost the love of my life. I feel like the word to describe what I am feeling is "suffering." I feel terribly, terribly depressed about this on a daily basis, and I have for a very long time.

If anyone was crazy enough to read all of this, I would be very interested to hear your critiques on what you think my problem is or how you view friendships. Feel free to be as critical as you like. I am open to hearing anything on this subject.

I cannot do this anymore. Seriously. I have had enough. Everything is so messed up right now and it keeps getting worse. I feel like every time I try to catch my balance, the volcano erupts again. What will it take to catch a break?

i. Things are really messed up with one of the two people I have left. Our friendship is falling apart and I have no idea why. I feel physically ill every time I talk to him because we are not really talking. My stomach is just in knots over this, and I am walking around feeling like I am going to throw up any moment, all day long. Something changed overnight and he is distancing himself from me more as each day goes by. I am always, always the one to initiate contact now; he used to initiate equally and then it just stopped. We are barely talking. The communication we do have consists of useless online exchanges. I am not sure if he is just trying to let me off easy (ending the friendship) or if maybe he is just going through something right now that I cannot help him with. I have tried. I have tried to fix it but nothing is working. If there is one person I cannot lose, it is him. I knew this would happen. It always does. And yet my lack of preparation suggests I will never learn, no matter how many times they leave.

ii. My father might have cancer. We are waiting for the biopsy, but the doctor was concerned enough to request one. He said he saw something that could be the beginnings of cancer. Colon cancer runs in our family with two previous male family members having died from it already.

iii. The job hunt is still miserable. I have next to no motivation left. I am depressed, I am angry and I have no idea how you continue to job hunt feeling that way. I wonder how much longer I can press on with it. I am clinging to the last bits of motivation I have to keep applying for things, but I feel impending doom and I still cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. What will this take? What will it take to find a job? I am going insane. Literally. I think there is something warped with my mind. I feel like my brain is fried. This situation has made me question so many things I was sure about before. I keep thinking, this is all setting me back. I am a few years away from 30 and I do not even have a job! How long is it going to take now to get into an actual career? Am I going to be 40 before that happens? When will I ever move out of here and into my own place? I need to start saving for retirement. I need to get this student debt paid off. All because of this job issue, I am so worried about my future. I am terrified. My life is just wasting away.

iv. I am not even going to start with my relationship. That would take all day.

v. I quit my exercise routine. Again, this depression has a domino effect. I am not motivated to work-out anymore despite my appearance being one of the main things causing my depression. I have gained weight since I have been unemployed, and that is obviously not good. I need to be taking the weight off, not putting it on. I feel inspired watching others get their routines together, but I am still lacking the motivation to start my own. I was doing so well with it for a while. I am so mad at myself. I wish I could wake up tomorrow and start over, sticking with it no matter what.

vi. Talking no longer helps. Nothing and no one can pull me out of this. It feels like drowning. I am still open to advice or recommendations though.

Okay, what the fuck is going on?! Another ten-year friendship of mine just ended.

How can anyone expect me to keep pushing forward and staying positive? Seriously. How? This is so far beyond ridiculous. Have I not suffered enough this week? I mean, really. And now this. And this... no, this was not an ending like the below friendship. This ending involved me being so verbally abused that my eyes are completely bloodshot from crying. This was not a mutual agreement; this was him practically throwing me out of his life, kicking me out the door on to my ass. Once again, it was him making the decision. Just randomly. After ten years. Nothing had been going wrong, there was no fight, there was no tension. He has never really insulted me before. I have an idea of where the anger came from but it had nothing to do with me. Yet, I know he will not regret his decision. Even though this was irrational and stupid, he will just pretend it was actually the right thing to do and he will never apologize or call me again. I know he will keep his word. That is just who he is. He used this as an easy way out, a way to just not deal with anyone or any emotions. He saw an opportunity to hurt himself and he took it. You think I am an emotional masochist? Well, you have not met this guy. At least I am never the one doing the hurting.

I believe lies always hurt more than the truth, especially when you know someone is lying at the time they are lying to you. If he had just been honest, this might be easier to deal with. But he chose to purposely hurt me so bad so I would never want to hear from him again. What a cop out! Why do people do this? I know it happens all the time. I know it has probably happened to almost everyone reading this. I know people purposely hurt others to force them away. But why? Why are people just not up front and honest about their feelings? Why is that such a foreign concept to people, especially men?

He told me I meant nothing to him. At first, he did not want to say it. After about an hour, he did say those words. After ten years of friendship, he had no problem blurting this out. He said he has no idea why he stuck around so long (again, another lie). He did not tell me he hated me or that he could not stand my life like others have. He just said he did not care about me and that it was best he walk away now. I asked why now, and he said because he is just an angry person now and it is not good for me to talk to him. Out of the blue, he becomes and angry person. He was never angry before this conversation today. He was completely different today. Even before this decision was made, near the end of the conversation, I kept asking what his problem was. Something was off. I asked if he had been drinking but I know what he sounds like when he is drunk, and this was not it. I asked if he was on any medication (because he had been in a car accident last month), and he said no, no medication. I had no idea why he was acting that way. He was not himself.

He claims he never planned this and that he did not have it in the back of his mind he going to end things today. Right. This sounded pretty planned out to me. He kept muttering the same things over and over, that he did not want to talk to me anymore and that he never cared about me. He said he had done this long enough. Despite the fact that he seemed irrational, he still seemed to have planned this. It did not sound like he made the decision while we were talking. Our conversation was perfectly normal. And he was so calm about it! No yelling, no swearing, no trying to talk over me. He was speaking in a very calm tone and even when I was crying, no reaction, no remorse. He was a fucking robot. That is the perfect way to describe it.

Why do all of these friendship endings sound like break-ups? I have no idea. Maybe that is just what happens in the male-female dynamic. I only have male friends. Well, I have one female friend but 95% of my friends, throughout my offline life, have been male. Is this how they will all end? Will every single male friend of mine eventually cut me out of his life? Is this what men do? No long term friendships for them? That is what is happening so far.

What did I do to deserve all of this? Is there something I did? Is there a murder I committed while sleepwalking that I am forgetting? Was I a terrible person in my last life and I am paying for it now? I actually asked him, "Why are you doing this to a good person?" He admitted I was a "good person," a "nice girl," he said. He did not say I did anything wrong. He just kept saying he did not care about me and he never has. But you know, I guess everyone has hours and hours of good, exciting, thought-provoking conversations with people they do not care about... right? I guess the past ten years were all a lie if that is how he truly feels. I am torn whether to believe him or not. Could I seriously have been duped for ten years? I highly doubt that. I am not that stupid. I know he enjoyed spending time with me. Why would you pretend to have a good time with someone or pretend to be someone's friend for ten years?! My head is swirling. And pounding.

I have no idea what to make of this. It is obviously over and I am obviously better off. But why did this happen? I was already still over-analyzing my other friendship ending and the fact that this is my first day of unemployment. You know what he said to that? "Yeah, sorry about the bad timing." Sorry about the bad timing? What the fuck?

I am so angry right now. You know I am angry when nothing I am writing makes sense or when I jump from one topic to the next like I am right now. I am even more angry that I allowed him to hear me cry. That was just stupid. The fact that I have cried at all over this is stupid but the fact that I did not control myself while he was still on the line was even more stupid. He said, "I did not expect you to cry." Yeah, because ten-year friendships just end every day for me. Oh, wait, they do! This is the second one this week. I forgot.

What is wrong with human beings? The only human thing for me to do is to turn this around on myself and keep asking what is wrong with me. That is the natural thing to do. Because I do not have any answers, the human thing to do is wonder what the hell is wrong with me and what I am doing wrong since this keeps happening. I am torn because on the one hand, I do not believe it is anything I am doing at all. On the other hand, bad things happen so often to me that I get suspicious. How is everyone else to blame? It must have something to do with me too. This incident, however, does not feel like it has to do with me at all. This feels like someone who is very unhappy with themselves and their life and needed someone to take it out on. I was there, conveniently, and he saw a quick, easy way to get rid of someone who cared about him. People in that state of mind just want to feel as sorry for themselves as they possibly can and then play victim to everyone else, pretending they were the one who got hurt. The thing that gets me is that he openly admitted being a complete hypocrite and that there are double standards (e.g. it is okay for him but not for anyone else). Psychotic.

None of this would matter if it was in character. If this had been someone he had pulled before or that I had heard him doing before, fine. It would be my own fault and I should have seen it coming. But this was not him. It was like I was talking to a completely different person. It was the first time I had ever yelled at him, in fact. We have never even had a real fight before. It is certainly clear I had a lot more invested into the friendship than he did (if he did at all)... but what else is new?

Should I just stop trying to make or keep friends? It does not seem to matter what I do or do not do. I always have so much more invested in it all, in the friendship and in the person. This goes for relationships too. Any boyfriends I have had did not love me as much as I loved them. I can think of maybe one or two cases. Am I just excessively needy and completely unaware of that fact? Or maybe I am just completely insane and have no idea. Even if the people in my life do not leave, the threat of them leaving is always there. I have no idea how you are supposed to live this way, with that possibility looming over you. The worst part is, the very few people I never, ever thought would leave have too.

You cannot rely on anyone. You cannot trust anyone fully. You know that game where you have your back to someone and you are supposed to let yourself fall backward, the person behind catching you? I would never do that. I just do not trust people to that degree anymore. That is it now. I have really had it.

Someone who once hurt me to a severe degree made me cry happy tears today.

It was kind of beautiful.

He said I made him cry too. I keep wondering how. There have been so few people I have made cry for any reason. This was kind of beautiful to me too. I wish I had been there to see it and truly experience it. I know that sounds odd but that is how I feel.

There is nothing worse than the pain of letting go. In any form, letting go is excruciating for human beings of any age, race, gender or creed. Today, I had to let go of a very close friend. I cannot explain the circumstances, but it is just the way it had to be. I have accepted it to an extent but not in a way where it feels like the right thing to do. Unfortunately, I still feel like we are doing the wrong thing. But it was his choice, and I suppose I can understand why. At first I thought he was just trying to hurt me, but I now understand he is only doing what he thinks will save us from future pain. I hope that some day I am able to think it was 'for the best.' I just really do not feel that way right now. I feel like we are throwing away a perfectly good thing, something we both need. Or maybe it is not something we need but it feels like something we could both benefit from, positively. I have no idea how I am going to do this. As I said, I have only accepted the fact that I cannot do anything about his decision, but I have not accepted that this is the best thing to do. I have no idea how I am going to convince myself this is best thing for both of us. I see his point, but my heart's feeling is stronger. There is just something inside of me telling me this is not the right thing, and I do not know why.

With losing him, I will lose a small part of myself. And for him, he will lose a small part of himself too because I am taking it with me, locking it away in my heart for all eternity. You always lose part of yourself when you let someone go. So many memories have been shared, so much intimacy, so many life experiences. This one person knows more about you than ninety-nine percent of people on the planet ever will. That is amazing. And it is terribly soul-crushing when you have to give that up.

Have you ever thought about simply never being able to speak to someone--a friend, a family member, a lover--ever again, as long as you live? Just ponder the concept for a moment. It is so horrid to think of that bigger picture. Never speaking to someone again. Ever. It is so final. It is so terrible that it cannot possibly be the only choice. But for me, under these circumstances, it is. I have no other choice. The choice was never mine to make. My powers of persuasion are finally of no use. My words finally cannot win this battle. No amount of pleading or crying will change it. It just is what it is. I am useless here, and so are my emotions.

This feels a bit like a death. Despite the pain we sometimes caused each other, I can only think about the good times now. At first, I was trying to think of all the bad times to try and 'trick' myself into believing he is a horrible person and I am better off without him. The truth is, he is not a horrible person. He is a really good person in spite of his character flaws, in spite of this decision, in spite of how he has hurt me. He is one of the most unique creatures I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

He just 'got' me. He found humour in my quirks. He did everything he could to get me to see myself the way he did, still a good person even with my personal flaws and insecurities. Somehow, he never made me feel stupid. He is a really knowledgeable person, and I looked up to him in many ways, but he always made me feel like an equal. So few people can accomplish this with me. I always feel like people are looking down their noses at me. He had the strangest habits and hobbies. Even when I had no interest in something he enjoyed, I loved to listen to him talk about it. He got so excited, like a kid at Christmas. And then there were the phone calls... he called me all the time, almost every day for years. In my last entry, I talked about the way more recent friends never contact me first. Well, he did. He called me from home, he called me from work. He made me feel like he enjoyed talking to me and like he wanted to be around me. Again, very hard to do. Looking back, I should have appreciated it as much then as I do now. It was so easy with him. I was never worried he would not call or that he would suddenly disappear. One day he did (in 2005), but before that, I felt safe being so vulnerable. I know I annoyed him. I know I pestered him. He always over-analyzed everything and he could never make a decision. We just accepted those things about each other. Still, he has no idea just how well he knows me. That makes me smile.

I even remember silly things like the way his hair smelled or the way he tightened his grin to form two hooks at the sides of his mouth, making me fairly certain he was a geek at heart. He only showed his teeth when he laughed. He liked cargo pants. He could paint the tiniest details. He once created a new username just to please me (manwithabigyam). He can sing opera but he never did sing for me. I remember the way he asked, "Really?" when you complimented him, in this shy, kid-like voice. He did not like to have his emotions on display, but every once in a while, he will open up and give you a glimpse of heart. There was a chink in his armor, and I think he purposely allowed me to see it sometimes, including today.

I take comfort in knowing that the intimacy we shared will never be the same as the intimacy he shares with anyone else. Our friendship was just too unique for that to ever happen. I wish that thought healed everything though. This is so unbelievably painful. Even as I write this, I feel him slipping further away. Somehow, tears cannot dictate what I feel inside, which is like my chest is caving in.

It will never truly feel like he is gone. There are remnants of him, tangible or tight within my memory. He once gave me this card, this magic card. I have had it for over ten years now. It is probably the only tangible thing I have left of him and our friendship. He probably had no idea at the time how much it meant to me, nor does he know how much it will forever mean to me now. So few men know what it means to be sentimental and nostalgic, but he did. And he will still be floating around in this big city somewhere. I wonder if we will ever cross paths... and if we do, what will we say? Will we even say anything at all, or will it be a silent encounter? It is silly even thinking about this now.

I hope that sometime soon I stop thinking about him and what I have had to give up... because really, I have had to do this twice. Giving up someone once is bad enough. I will have to learn not to think about what we could have done together, the talks we could have had, the experiences we could have shared. I need to stop thinking about the ways I could have rescued him or the ways he could have rescued me.

I told him that I hope he finds some way to contact me down the line, at random, just to let me know he is still alive. It may open the memory flood gates, but at the same time, I just want to know he has not forgotten about me completely.

This will never feel right. I know I said it may one day, but who am I kidding? It will never feel like I am supposed to lose him forever.

I wish I could see him or speak to him just one last time. It has been so long.

Reading this, I think I can give myself credit for one thing (he would be proud I am finally giving myself credit for something): it must feel great to be in my good books. You just may get a eulogy like this one.

I love you.

Sometimes, when one part of your life is a mess, the other parts do not seem to even matter. Happiness is never consistent. We always need sadness to counterbalance; we need the bad to truly appreciate the good. But in order to feel content, there has to be one or more parts of our lives going well at the same time. Unfortunately for me, this is not the case. And usually, when one part of my life goes to hell, so do the others. "When it rains, it pours." Right now, I feel I am in a very bad place. For months my depression has been slowly increasing and not just because of my job situation. The thoughts inside my head are anything but positive or empowering. I feel vulnerable. I feel like giving up. In the end, I usually find some way to pull myself out of these slumps so I try not to worry too much. But this time it feels a bit different. It feels a bit... worse.

Last week, I went for an interview. It was a really amazing job, even if only a contract. It was a great opportunity and involved business writing, something related to my future to finally put on my resumé. It was my last chance at employment before this coming Wednesday. It went really well, and I came out feeling good. Three days later, I was told I was very nice, very polite, very professional... but they decided to go with someone else who had more experience. Ah, "experience." What I love is that I actually have this now, and yet here we are back at square one with employers telling me I do not have enough. Even after three consecutive years of being at the bottom and gaining that much-needed experience (along with all of my summer jobs before that), I still do not have experience to these people. Interesting. My sadness quickly turned to anger, and I began questioning what the point of this even is anymore. If I cannot even get into an entry-level position, where am I going to end up? Is it even worth it to stick around and find out? How much longer do I have to do this? How much longer do I have to do things completely unrelated to my career before someone will let me into my industry to start gaining experience in my industry? How long? I cannot keep waiting and wasting my life.

I am sick of my non-existent social life. I go out several times a month, but I mean in terms of deep friendships. I am sick of people saying they do not have time for me. Up until now, I have had next to no time myself but I always found a way to offer it to the people who mean the most to me. Here is the worst part about every friend I have right now: they make me believe they want me around, but when it comes down to it, they just do not put in the effort. They say "I miss you," or "We need to talk more," or "Let's not go without talking this long again." And then nothing. Why dangle a piece of meat in front of a hungry dog? I hate to call these people terrible but maybe some of them are and I just need to realize it. These people somehow find a way to convince me they will try harder or they will be there for me, and then they are just not. They cancel at the last minute, they do not return my calls, they are conveniently busy when I am not. Or sometimes I get so excited about the prospect of a new friendship, and it disappears faster than it came. There is always some damn excuse. An excuse not to hang out, an excuse not to open up, and excuse not to start something. It is one thing or another, always. Do not even get me started on the number of people who promised they would never leave me and did. I realize saying you will never leave someone is crazy because you do not know how things will play out, but in a few instances, I actually believed them. I am not even putting all of my eggs in one basket; I have several people doing this to me, new and old. I am not even a needy person. I like my space, all the time. So it is not like I am making unfair demands from these people. But it seems most people cannot even deal with or want to provide someone else with the most basic needs of human friendship. Is it laziness? Arrogance? Pride? A power trip?

As much as I hate to admit this because it makes me appear weak and stupid, I have been really used in my lifetime. I have people to remind me of just how much all the time. Most of the time, it was not my fault. Sometimes it was. And the thing is, I will not change. I will not stop opening up to people, even strangers. I want to live my life open to everything, all people and all opportunities. I do not want to write off friendships simply because they did not work the first time. People do change, right? That is what everyone tells me. I do not want to overlook anything, even the smallest of things. The little things matter. I rescue lady bugs from my bathroom every morning and I feel good for the rest of the day knowing I have saved a life, even if it is a small, insignificant (except to me) life. I take a lot of emotional risks, and I honestly have no regrets even when I get hurt. I think sometimes I could handle things better or that I should not have done something, but I do not regret it. Ever. Everything has made me who I am. It all matters.

Despite my lack of regrets, it still feels like my entire life is made up of getting my hopes up and then being disappointed. Just this constant up-down, this bipolar way of living. The fact that I always get my hopes up proves I am obviously not overly jaded or negative. I always have faith before I am let down. I believe in that. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt; I never just write people off as bad or not good for me. But in the end, there is always that disappointment. This runs through all aspects of my life. Friends, family, career, self. Is this really what life is? Getting kicked down and getting back up again? Is that all there is? It feels like that is all there is. I cannot remember the last time I was sublimely happy, content, feeling great, loving being alive, wanting to get up in the morning. When will this happen for me? Does it happen for others? What are the hidden, subconscious obstacles we need to overcome to achieve this?

I just want to be happy. I just want to get my career off the ground. I just want a few really close friends. I just want one person to love me unconditionally. I just want some spec of a relationship with my father before it is too late like it was for one with my mother. Is this seriously too much to ask? I thought these were things everyone deserved. Why do I always feel so undeserving of these things? I feel initially that I deserve these things, but then I have to wonder why I have none of them.

My father just told me that I make it really hard to love me and care about me.

How nice.

After twenty-five years, he still knows exactly what to say to shatter me and my self-esteem. How? How can I not just sweep a comment like that under the rug and write him off as a total asshole (which he obviously is)? Well, not only is he my father but he is also the only parent I have left. I am guessing that has something to do with it. I just cannot believe he can say something like that straight-faced and not care how much it could hurt me. A lot of people would say, aside from perhaps not helping out enough around the house growing up, that I was a model child. I was a straight-A student, I never got into trouble, I stayed away from drugs and alcohol, I never had a pregnancy scare because I was always so careful, and all I have done my entire life is help others and fight for causes I believe in. I am not a completely selfless person but I am a very generous, caring, and kind-hearted person. I am open-minded and accepting of practically every type of person on this planet. I cared endlessly about my academics and doing well in school so I could get somewhere in life. No one ever had to tell me to do my homework or that work comes before play. I was studious, focused, and hard-working growing up, just as I am now. I have no idea what I did so wrong, to cause so much hatred. I have no idea what I did so wrong to make him so unimpressed and disgusted with me. Ashamed. That is the word. That is how it seems he feels, ashamed of me. And I have no idea why. I wonder every day what is so awful about myself, and I am so sick of sitting there wondering that because it is probably all him and his own messed up personality. But there is no stopping it. It hurts me no matter what I do and no matter how much I tell myself he is the problem.

I have never been a parent, but how do you loathe your own flesh and blood this much? I thought it was impossible to hate your own child. I guess if they are conniving, rude, and deliberately try to hurt you and ruin your life... then maybe I could see hating your own offspring. But even then, from what I have seen and experienced second-hand in life, most parents still love their child. No matter what. Parental love is supposed to be unconditional love, at least from what I have gathered in my years. It seems only natural that it be unconditional; you created another life and you are supposed to love and support it, and do everything you can possibly do to steer it in the right direction. I did none of these things. I have never set out to hurt him in any way and all I have done is try my best in life.

Instead of getting unconditional love, I get nothing but conditional love. And unfortunately, I do not meet any of his deranged conditions. I got someone who has done nothing but criticize me even when I try my best. I got someone who does not appreciate me in any way. I got someone who would not even give me two dollars unless I "earned" it; I was always the furthest thing from spoiled and I never received gifts or thanks 'just because.' I got someone who could not think of anything about me to brag to his friends about. I got someone who has physically assaulted me and does not feel a damn ounce of regret about it because I "deserved it." I got someone who says I have an awful personality and that he cannot believe someone would love me, date me or "put up" with me. I got someone who does not ask how my day was, someone who does not care to learn anything about my life and who I am, someone who would rather make the assumption that I am a moron rather than believe I could make a simple mistake. I got someone who has been absolutely no substitute for a dead mother. I got the complete opposite of what a girl needs when her mother dies. I got a life of abuse, questioning my self-worth and what I could have done to make him hate me.

There is no fixing this. I am so sure of this now, more than ever. There is absolutely nothing that could heal any of us, not even death. I would not breathe a word of regret or offer an apology because I have done everything I can to make things right. I have tried to make him see the error in his way: the way he talks to me, the way he treats me, and the way he makes me feel about myself and our relationship. I dragged him to counseling where he proceeded to lie and place blame on only me. I have done everything to save the relationship. It is so far gone now. And as much as I am sure that it will never be mended, it is still hard to admit because it is heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking that the only parent I have left refuses to see me as a decent human being. And no more will I accept that he cannot "express himself properly" or any of that nonsense my family tries to feed me. You do not tell your own flesh and blood that they make it hard to love them. That is a fucking awful thing to say, even to a stranger.

After all the abuse I have endured, you would think it would be easy to walk away. But it really is not and I would never admit this to him because he would just laugh and call me dramatic. I would be lying if I said this did not affect me in other ways. In all honesty, I am absolutely terrified to end up with someone like my father. I have promised myself that if I move in with someone and start experiencing what I have experienced living at home--the constant criticism, the constant nagging, the constant hurtful comments and lack of appreciation--I will get the hell out. I have seen parts of my father in every man I have ever dated, give or take one or two. That scares me. I can promise anyone I am with that I will not ever stay if I start seeing too much of my father in them. I cannot possibly do this to myself for another thirty, forty, fifty years. But he has ruined a lot for me, and he has made it next to impossible to trust any man. I hate him for that. And I hate him for taking away what was supposed to be a decent childhood after losing a parent. Even if I did not lose a parent, it still would have been just as horrible because I lost him. He just was not there. It is like I never had a real parent, a real family.

Even a few years ago, I never would have screamed "I fucking hate you" to him. But it is so easy now and I would not think twice about having regrets for saying it. And in fact, I wish I could waltz up to him and say, 'Just so you know, I meant every word. I really do hate you.' What makes it all worse is that he is Jekyll and Hyde. He is such a phony and he pretends, with everyone else, this side to him does not exist. So no one believes me. My entire family has never, ever been on my side about anything. Even my grandmother said I might be overexaggerating when he assaulted me and that I might not be remembering things correctly. It is kind of hard to "forget" someone chasing you around the house, hitting you and choking you. And of course, he lied to absolutely everyone and said I hit him first; I never laid a goddamn hand on him. I have never laid a goddamn hand on anyone and surely I am not stupid enough to hit him because I know damn well he is not afraid to hit me back and then some. He was eager to hit me and just looking for an excuse. Since he could not fine one, he made one up and flat out lied about me hitting him first. Even if I did, that is still no excuse for what he did anyway so I do not know why he even bothered to make that up.

When we are finally apart, I wonder if he will regret any of this when I never speak to him again or bother to invite him over. For now, I am putting on a face and pretending--when we are not arguing--that I am fine with him. But really, I am not and I never will be again. And I will never, ever forgive him to the pain he has caused and the self-hate he helped create. I will never forgive him for not being the father I needed even though I tried to be the daughter he wanted.

Despite my severe lack of direction right now, or rather a lack of being able to get anywhere I do want to go right now, I have come to a few major life decisions.

Number One.

I want to write. Okay, this is nothing new. But it is new that I know I want to write books. I always nonchalantly stated that I want to release a book someday. Earlier, when I was actually able to get poems on to paper, I toyed with the idea of releasing a poetry book. Well, that was a bit of a pipe dream and although I still like the idea of releasing a poetry book, I cannot write poetry anymore. I may as well face the facts. I cannot go on with my life without saying I hope one day my poetic tongue returns to me, otherwise I would feel horrible. I want to write poetry again. But for now, let's just say I am not going to release a book of poetry. So what do I want to release in terms of books? Four solid ideas.

1. A baking book.
2. A book on motherless daughters (this was always a plan).
3. A children's book on dealing with death.
4. A book on make-up artistry.

These are still in their beginning states, of course. But I am positive I want to release these four books some day. Publishing is in my future. I know this much is true. I have never really committed to releasing any type of book, so this is a big step for me even if it does not seem that way to anyone except me. I have no idea how I am going to keep a career and release all of these books, but I want to do it and I plan to do it.

The baking and make-up artistry books will come later than the others because I am still perfecting my craft; I am not at the stage where I have enough knowledge or talent to release books on the subjects. I accept this and know it will be a long time. But that is okay. This is not an overnight realization or goal. I also need to purchase this book.

Number Two.

I want to be a freelance make-up artist and get my certification. This would only be a side career and I would not be dependent on it for income. Like web design, this is something I dabble in but I really want it to be a part of my future. I even have a certificate program picked out for when I am able, financially. I have grown to love the world of make-up and cosmetics so much that it has become a huge part of who I am and what makes me happy. I had no idea, when I was younger, I would become this involved in the world of make-up artistry. I have always loved make-up and have been told my mother did too, when she was alive. This makes me happy, that we share this passion. But I had no idea the passion I had with it when I was a young girl would turn into a desire to make a career out of out it.

The reason I know this is not just a passing passion is because I actually really, truly care about getting better and perfecting my skills. I watch hundreds of make-up tutorials every month. Hundreds. I have tried to recreate hundreds of different looks I have seen and liked, experimenting with techniques I feel the original creator may have used. I have picked up tons of tips and tricks the average woman would not think twice about. I subscribe to Make-Up Artist magazine. I care about the industry and breaking into it. I care what other make-up artists are doing out there and how they got where they are today. I care about make-up quality and I am willing to spend more money to get it (believe me, everyone can vouch for this). And now I have taken an interest in wanting to do other people's make-up and have had several people request I do it for them sometime. I love the idea of using my skills on others.

Part of the fuel is the amount of compliments I get. I have strangers telling me how "well-applied" my make-up, how much they like my lip combinations or the eye shadow colours I have chosen to put together. I usually only got compliments once in a blue moon but now it is multiple times a week, and not just from people I know which it usually was before. It makes me feel good, and I do not feel that way very often. It makes me feel like I have half a chance. Most times, I take a severe interest in something but I am always horrible at it. Here, I might actually have a chance. The funny thing is, at work, a lot of the compliments come from senior patients. I figure if I can impress them... if I do not look like a clown and if my make-up looks worthy enough of a compliment from someone three times my age... that can only be good.

I love both extremes: bridal make-up to stage make-up. (This is so lame but I honestly drool over thinking of doing make-up for Cirque du Soleil some day. I figure this is also a pipe dream but wow, this would be my ultimate goal.) The difference with this goal/dream is, I have no idea if I will ever get there. With writing, it is different. I have been writing my entire life and feel I can release a book some day. With make-up, this is a new development in the past five or six years and I am nowhere near "pro." But I have this dream and I want to acknowledge it out loud.

Number Three.

Animal photography. Even I feel like this has come out of nowhere but I feel like I could really develop a passion for this, once I develop as a photographer. Right now, I am a horrible photographer but I have someone weird to thank for getting me interested: my father. This is probably the only thing he has inspired me with throughout my life, but I will give him credit where it is due. His went to school for photography but never really pursued it as a career, even though I could see him making a lot of money. Even more, his pictures of animals are stunning. I know I have expressed jealousy before over the fact that animals love him. Even though I love animals more than almost anyone I know, they are still drawn to him far more than they are to me. I have no idea what it is about him. So that combined with his amazing skills as a photographer have created some completely breath-taking photos of animals. I will post some here sometime soon. He has hundreds that are worthy of animal calendars. I keep telling him to submit some, even to small companies like Page-A-Day Calendars. They have several animal calendars.

I want animals to be part of my future no matter what--that will NEVER, ever change. But why not combine two passions? Animals and art. There is not a lot of money in animal photography (or is there?) but it is still something I would love to do. This is not a career aspiration but just a general one, a hobby I want to start up. I still consider that a "major life decision." I will be doing a birthday post in two weeks but I will say this now: I have acquired a new camera. Is it not an SLR but it is the next best thing. I am hoping I will learn how to use this and get some practice with my cats.

This is something I really want to do. If you had any idea how many hours I spent online looking at animal photography, you would see why this is so logical for me. I spend hours every week on Flickr too, just looking at these amazing photographers who have breath-taking pictures of every subjects imaginable. Thank you, Daniel, for introducing me to this amazing teenage photographer. (Did I mention another aspiration is to acquire two rats?) I want to create images that I can submit to CuteOverload.

I feel stupid even listing this because I know virtually nothing about photography, despite being around a photographer all my life (I should take advantage while I am still living here). But I plan to learn how to take an amazing picture. And then I want to take amazing animal pictures. All types of animals, not just cats.

Number Four.

And this is the nearest in my future. I think I have decided to get my Technical Writing certification. I figure Technical Writing and Editing are similar enough to warrant me being qualified in both if I get this. Technical Writing is not editing but there is so much editing involved in it because you are taking a piece of writing that is generic and making it presentable to a specific audience. That is what editing is all about: making writing clear, concise, fluid, understandable for everyone. I cannot seem to find and Editing certificate from any major schools in Toronto, and certainly not online/distance like I need. I think this is the right thing to do, and it is certainly what I have been told to do by many people in the writing industry. I do not know if technical writing is my true calling, but I know I love it enough to at least get a job in the field and test the waters.

I have a feeling I will never fully leave school behind. I am the type of person who always wants to keep learning. I may or may not go back to school for my Masters, but if I do not, I will certainly be doing more certificate programs. I have the one for make-up artistry I want to do, I have this one for Tech Writing, and I also want to do one for web design because that is also something I plan to do on the side throughout my life.

The problem with me, as you can see, is that I have too many interests. Though, it is not "too many." That is just who I am. I do not think you can have "too many" interests. The problem for me will be trying to fulfill all of these interests and give them all enough time and effort before I die. I want to do everything. This has made job hunting really hard. People keep telling me to focus and only apply for one thing, but if I do not know exactly what I want, why don't I just apply for what I feel I am interested in and what I can do? I am really sick of people telling me I need to chose one thing and one thing only. That is not how I am going to live my life. And if some snotty employer wants to fault me for that, go ahead. I do not want to take a job from someone who thinks singular vision is great. I feel it only makes me stronger as a person, not being totally focused on one thing. I feel it will lead to me being well-rounded and cultured instead of stuck in some mundane job doing the same thing over and over until I die. I will switch careers. I know I will. I will not do the same thing forever. I have too many passions to do that.

So this goes out to both everyone and someone specific (and you know who you are)...

Accept this about me. Accept that I will not apply for only one type of job or have a singular focus. That is not who I am and you have to accept that part of me because that is all of me. I am a walking, talking contradiction. I am technical but creative. I code sites but I love Martha Stewart. I bake pies and I want to edit manuals. I want to write textbooks and I want to do wedding make-up. That is just who I am. Please, deal with it. Do not torture me about it. Do not tell me to be single-minded and do one thing with my life. And in the job hunting process, do not expect me to only apply in one industry because I want to break into several industries. I went to school for English and Communications. That leaves me with a well-rounded experience in many industries and leaves me with a lot of choices. I did it for a reason. I did it so I would have choices. If this hurts me in the end, that will be my problem, not yours. So let me live my life the way I want to live it. Let me live it in chaos, if that is how you see it. I will end up in more than one industry, so let me just apply as I see fit.

I hate relationships. I want to be in one, a monogamous one. I am loyal, caring and committed. I do everything I can to make the person I love happy. And yet I am always the one who ends up getting hurt. Therefore, I hate them. I am tired. I am tired of working so hard and ending up with nothing or things thrown back in my face. I no longer have the energy to live this way. I cannot keep making sacrifices and improvements, and taking huge steps, only to have those things mean nothing to the person I am with. I cannot keep working so hard only to achieve zero payoff. I cannot put so much time and effort into something that was never really mind to begin with. And I certainly cannot be with someone who is too afraid to commit or too confused to know what they want. I deserve more than that. I am ready for more than that. I am tired of being strung along. I am tired of broken promises. I am tired of never being enough. I am tired of watching as people look for greener pastures. I am just t i r e d. I cannot believe how much time I have wasted, thinking this was it. I cannot believe how many lies I have been told and how many times I believed it. I cannot believe I have spent almost four years being told this is what he wanted, only now to be informed maybe not. This is ridiculous. Men are ridiculous. People are ridiculous. Relationships are ridiculous.

Why can't we all just worry about our own lives? Why the hell do we sit there comparing ourselves to other people? It is useless and wasteful. Why do some of us always think we want what we do not have? Why do we never appreciate things until they are gone? Why? Why do we waste so much time worrying what other people think? Why do we waste so much time worrying that we are not where we should be in life when there are no deadlines? Why do we care where other people are headed? Why do we assume maybe we should be heading in the same direction? Too much of life is spent worrying about things that do not even matter, and it prevents us from being happy. So many people never stop to look at what is right in front of them. Too many are blinded by what everyone else has, what everyone else wants, what everyone else is doing. It is all propelled by fear. Fear that you are falling behind, fear that you are not good enough, fear that you need what you do not have, fear that you have what you do not want. Why do people try to revert back to their past the second they get scared about the future? Why do people sit there and try to figure out who they are when self-discovery is obviously a lifelong journey? What a waste. What a sad way to live life.

Hold on to the things about yourself that actually matter. Your greatest passions, your largest influences, your most cherished loves. Let go of who you used to be because you will never remain the same. You will change as life progresses, and that is just the way it is. Let go of who you think you want to be and just be. Stop living in the past, stop worrying about the future, and focus on the present. Constantly looking behind you will only interfere with your direction ahead. Just concern yourself with the path you are on and the paths you want to take later. Just let go. Relax. Be yourself. Live you own life, not someone else's.

Do what makes you happy. There is no need to hurt anyone else in the process.

Fear, fear, fear. It is what we live for. It is what keeps some of us going and it is what stops most of us from moving forward. Life is not a goddamn rat race unless you make it one. Live for yourself instead of living for other people. Life is not impossible no matter how much you have been through. I am living proof. Life is always worth living. There is so much help out there if people would only accept it. No one is perfect. There is no need to be perfect in a world full of fools and confusion. You may as well accept it and move on, do the best you can. People are not static beings. We change, we grow, we evolve. We can, therefore, never become exactly who we want to be or know exactly who we are. And that is okay because we are all in the same boat. We are all paddling away. We are all changing directions and discovering new paths. Uncertainty is a given. Uncertainly is life's hidden charm, if you let it be.

You have to earn what you receive. You cannot have everything at once, and you cannot have things for which you have not worked. Patience truly is a virtue, and everyone is capable of maintaining it. Want, want, want. Take, take, take. Greed will lead you to unpleasant and useless places. Do not live selfishly. Be grateful for everything you have, even the smallest things. Your pets, your talents, the shirt on your back. Do not forget those things even in times of anger, confusion or irrationality. Make a list, if you must. But never forget the people who have helped you, the kindness of strangers or the gifts you have been given.

Running away is never the answer.

Life is hard. Get over it. We are all still capable.

We all have the ability to survive, no matter what has happened to us in the past and no matter what obstacles await us in the future. And the only way to get through it all is to honestly believe it. Believe in yourself. Believe in others. And most of all, instead of complaining and claiming there is no way, try to make a difference on this planet before you leave it.

Feel free to ignore this boring, long-winded entry. It is really just me releasing a lot of feelings I have not written about lately.

As much as I have tried denying it, I am spiraling into a deep depression. Oh, how utterly cliché. I thought these feelings were long gone, looking back to my high school years. But there is a sense of familiarity surrounding me, one I have been trying to suppress. Every time I have started typing journal entries, I have refrained from putting these words down. I backspace. I type something less negative. Not only did I not want to believe my current state--because putting them down on paper always makes them more real for a writer (if you can still call much such)--but I did not want anyone else to know either. I am ashamed to be back here.

Most recently, I have lost my best friend of six years. Not only was it the most important friendship in my life, but it was the only close friendship I had left. I did not have much of a say in the matter. Apparently the friendship was slowly coming to an end over the past few months, unbeknownst to me. Apparently I am 'no fun to be around.' Too jaded and unworthy. I am out of words. I have tried. I have rationalized and suggested. No response. There are things that happened that lead me to believe it will not blow over this time. Friends are allowed to disagree. Why do so many people think you must sever all ties once an argument happens? No friendship is smooth sailing. You debate, you see it headed nowhere, so you just agree to disagree and move on. That should be the way of it. You need to focus on all the good and treasure that with all your might because it rarely comes around. You rarely ever connect so intimately with one person. What I think happened, though, is transference. I do not think the end of the friendship had anything to do with me but rather, it was sparked by something else unrelated and I just happened to get the short end of the stick. I feel sick over this. It consumes me even though I am so hurt by what she did, without any explanation. I should be obscenely angry and just think 'Good riddens, I obviously meant nothing to her,' but that is so far from reality. How someone can throw away such a long and intimate friendship over nothing, I have no idea. There were no warning signs, there was no time for preparation. I am confused but I am still offered no explanation. I have somehow managed to make someone else believe cutting me out of their life is the best thing. How? Unspeakable things were said to me, hurtful things that I do not know if I can forgive. But while I mull over that, there is still silence. And I hate silence when there should be words. I hate time because She never tells.

My family is, in one word, a disaster. Everyone is fighting, various people are not speaking to other people, gossiping is taking place behind everyone's backs. We have become the epitome of the dysfunctional family, something unfathomable even just five years ago. We are all very close. We used to have monthly family dinners. We used to celebrate every birthday, all of us together. Then my two aunts declared war on each other, loosely connected to childhood battles and a lack of forgiveness. I somehow got involved and was given the silent treatment by the both of them. Then it was just one not speaking to me, then it was the other. This troubles me greatly, having the only female figures in my life only sometimes speaking to me and others giving me the cold shoulder or just ignoring me all together. My poor grandmother, still recovering from breast cancer, has to see her two daughters fighting like this. Neither one will go to a family dinner if they know the other will be there. Then, after some negative incidents at the cottage this summer, one aunt decided to give my father the silent treatment. She never showed up to dinners if my father was there. And, as always, my alcoholic uncle is either causing pain or chaos. We were not on speaking terms over the summer thanks to a drunken night during which he tore me and my life to shreds, swearing and screaming at me in the car all the way home from a dinner. He was getting so crude and so out of line that even my father threatened to throw him out of the car. Unfortunately, that was nothing new for me. Despite the fact that my father is usually the one around him most, I always bore the brunt of my uncle's alcoholism and always receive the most abuse.

Basically, the whole family has not been together, in the same room, for almost a year. I feel horrible for my grandmother, and I cannot seem to just let everyone else battle it out while I sit by the sidelines. They are my family. It is my business. It is affecting me. No one knows what to do. My one aunt has gotten so bad that my grandmother has told her to just not come over anymore. She is overly negative, sensitive and uptight. She never has anything good to say about anyone or anything. I feel this is because she is completely unhappy with her life, but that is no excuse to abandon or insult your family. Everyone in the family needs therapy. That is what my grandmother said to me. I agree. We are all walking on egg shells now, and I hate this feeling. At any given time, someone is upset with someone else. Sure, this is how all families are, but it is tearing mine apart because it is more than just anger. There is deep-seeded resentment, and there are repetitive problems with the same people. Everyone has just had it, and right now, everyone has just given up. I ache thinking about how to fix it all.

My relationship is one of the biggest problems. Too much fighting, too much negativity. Get out, you say? No. It is one of those situations where things are a lot more complicated than just getting out. When two people have been through so much, it is never a matter of just getting out. When two people have worked so hard and have dedicated so much to each other, there is no easy way. We continue to work on things, but we continue to have problems. We both want to be together, but we are at a loss for what is going to solve at least some of the issues we have. Distance is a very big problem. We live too far and we only see each other once a week. If it goes any longer, the fighting gets worse. Now that he is working and in school part time, and now that I am back in school full time, our time on the phone is less and less. I have no idea what to do. I do not even have any more words to describe the confusion and heartache over it all. He is not there for me like he should be. I do not feel I can confide in him. I hate feeling this way. When I am feeling down, talking to him should make me feel better, not worse. I have no idea what I deserve anymore. I have no idea if I am asking too much or too little.

School, obviously, is always a problem for me. Between my SAD and the obscene amount of homework, I have very little time for myself or anything else. I feel like all I do is read, read, read. I am getting lazy. I do not want to be in school anymore. I worked hard in elementary, I worked hard in middle school, I worked hard in high school. I worked so hard even when working that hard was not required or respected, and now I am burned out. I have had enough. I feel I have earned my degrees, and I just want out. School used to be fun and interesting for me, but now it feels more like a prison. I dread going. I am exhausted coming home and can barely stay awake to do tomorrow's readings. I cannot drop any classes. I need to just do everything I can to finish up and graduate. I feel like I will have a nervous breakdown if I do not just get out of there.

Which brings me to my father... the ongoing negative in my life. Despite the fact that I still live here, I am pretty much independent from him. And yet, this issue bothers me more than most of the others in my life. Since he started dating his current girlfriend, I have barely seen him. He is never home. He stays away for days or weeks at a time. He rarely tells me where he is going, when he will be back, or leaves a number where I can reach him. When I do see him, it is nothing but fighting and nagging. I keep this house clean, I vacuum, I wash the dishes, I change the kitty litter, I water his hundreds of plants... but I miss some crumbs on the counter and he flies off the handle at me. I feel like I live here alone, and it is too much work. I would want a smaller place if I were living alone. I do not have the time. He is becoming more and more ignorant of both me and the whole family. When he has a woman in his life, that is all he has. He is neglecting his friends. They leave annoyed messages on the machine talking about other messages they left three weeks ago without a response. He keeps changing family dinner dates in order to go to her place instead, and stupidly, my family says okay to it all. He cut short one of my uncle's birthdays just so he had more time to spend with her; he turned it into a birthday brunch instead of our normal birthday dinners. He left early on Mother's Day, even though my grandmother was upset that one of her daughters went to her husband's mother's instead, to go to her place right after dinner. If we are watching a movie in the living room and she calls, he will pause the movie without asking and proceed to talk on the phone for hours. He says I have no right to the phone anymore; we cannot share it or create phone times, but rather, he gets first dibs and I just have to deal with it, even if that means not talking to Sean. He is quite willing to go out of his way for her, no matter what for, but not even do small favours for anyone else. He promises to do something and then says he forgot, so too bad. He uses up all of the food I have made for my lunches when she comes over for lunch; I get home, it is gone, and he just says, "Yeah, we ate it." He barges into the bathroom in the morning without knocking, telling me to get out because he has to get ready for work, as if me being ready for school is unimportant. Oh, sure, little things. Little things add up.

And she, his girlfriend, is completely blind. She has heard him snap at me on the phone and has probably noticed his ill temper, but she is blind and worships the ground he walks on. I feel sorry for her. "He seems like the type to hit women." I agree, and he has thrown things at me and he has wacked me in the back of the head with rolled up magazines. I want to call her up and tell her she is dating a monster, but I suppose she may eventually find out for herself. Things with my father have just gotten so much worse over the past year, even though I thought they were already at their worst in high school. So now not only do I never see him, but when I do, it is non-stop negativity. I cannot deal with this anymore. I would move out in 24 hours if I had the money. I really would. It must be getting pretty bad, too, because a few of my family members are becoming less ignorant about the issue and finally acknowledging that he treats me like complete and utter shit.

The ongoing issues with my SAD and self-esteem. I will not even bother rambling on about my SAD since I just wrote a long entry about it. As for my self-esteem, well, it has definitely declined over the past couple of years. There are things I am not even brave enough to share that have caused its decline. But all of the issues above, in addition, have caused wear and tear on my ability to love myself. I wish I could put myself in a protected bubble so it would not get worse than it already is, but alas, that is impossible. It is especially impossible for me who sees everyone else's problems as my own problems. I help everyone but myself, and I do not know why. Every time I go to work on myself, I take one look at the stack of problems and just push them aside. There are too many things to deal with, and I have no idea where to start. There are things I have tried that have not worked, so I get discouraged. My support network is non-existent, and this is yet another reason motivation is too hard to come by. Self-love may come from within, but it is still fostered by your friends and family. I need people who will, at least, be there for me when I need to rant or release some of these emotions. Looking at how long this entry is already, you can tell there has been a lot bottled up. I need more people in my life. There is no question about that.

Sadly, the one thing that used to keep me sane throughout all of this is something I am no longer capable of: writing. Not journal entries but creatively. Prose, poetry, stories. My writing, for two years, has been non-existent. I am completely lost because of it, and I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life now because it was always writing. Writing was always my passion, the only thing I ever wanted to do. It was in my past, my present, my future. It was everything. It was my saving grace, my single 'talent,' my therapy. Lost, lost, lost. It is like someone has taken away my flashlight and I am left to find my way in complete darkness. I miss it. I think about it every day. I ache to have it back. I feel so useless without it. It almost acted as a protection from everything too. I could retreat to my room, take out a pen and feel safe again. Now I feel overly exposed, and not fully whole at all. It was so much a part of who I was that I honestly feel like pieces of me are missing or empty. It is a horrible, horrible feeling to have. What scares me most is thinking it may never come back to me. I can say over and over again that it will, but once again... time leaves me guessing and unsure.

In my life... when it rains, it pours. That is quite clear looking at the past ten years. How I am going to get through it all, I do not know. But right now, I feel so broken. I have things coming at me from all directions and I cannot control them all. There are things I have absolutely no control over, things that will continue to poke and probe me. I am obviously in a rut. I have no idea how to get out of it. Every time I feel some willpower to find solutions, something else happens and makes me question why I am even here to begin with. Over the past few months, especially, such hurtful things have been said to me, things that are making me question my personality, my character, my goodness. These things are inhumane but are they true? I no longer feel capable of thinking I am a good person. Too many people are leaving. Crying comes too easily now. I feel weakened. I am not a weak person but I feel like I am being worn down to a small twig. My branches are weighing down too heavily for me to hold up. At night, I lay awake for hours before falling asleep. I barely get any sleep at all these days. My mind races and the emotional exhaustion is what usually puts me to sleep. All of the negativity in my life keeps my mind off of school, so I take longer and longer to do what needs to be done. I just feel very trapped. I feel very unloved. Very, very unloved. (However, I do acknowledge those of you here who have always reminded me that I am never alone. You know how you are... J & M especially ♥.)

I am physically and emotionally exhausted.

It is never a good thing when I start listening to Jann Arden this often.

I am seriously going to lose it. The amount of negativity in my life is going to push me over the edge. And by that I do not mean something melodramatic like suicide, but I mean that it is going to prevent me from functioning. It may even land me in a hospital. I have been in the emergency room for stress more than once. It truly is amazing how much of an impact stress and negatvity can have on you. It takes over your body, your mind, everything. And people can sit there and say it does not control you but it does. When it gets out of hand, it does try to control you and your actions. It is sort of like drinking too much caffeine. You cannot talk yourself out of the high or pretend you are tired. You just have to let it play out and drain out of your system. Stress and negativity do the same thing. They grab hold of you and no matter how much you try to combat them, you will feel the effects until they have dissolved or subsided.

I want to get away from the negativity so I play no role in breeding it. I do not create it, but I am exposed to enough of it that it affects who I am, how I feel about myself, and how I treat other people. I need to get rid of the people who are making me feel this way, or at least block them out for a long period of time until I have the patience to deal with it. Right now, my focus is my summer job and finishing up school this coming year. I do not have the time to deal with these neanderthals who would love nothing better than to see me fail. There are some people out there who must sit up at night thinking of ways to try and ruin my life and my self-esteem.

The thing is, I am old enough now to not let anyone run me down. But the amount of anger I experience on a daily basis is dangerous and self-destructive. It is good I realize this, yes, but it is not good that I continue to put up with it. I am not an angry, argumentative or unpleasant person. I have a lot of opinions but I am respectful, I always listen, and I am rarely insensitive to someone else's feelings. It is amazing that you do not get what you give in this world. No matter how nice or considerate you are, that does not mean you will receive any of that back. In fact, you could receive quite the opposite, like a slap in the face or a stab in the back.

What I am experiencing lately is a lack of faith. Coming from the people closest to me, that can cause an awful lot of anger. The people around me have no faith in me, my words, my beliefs, my actions. They do not believe I can take care of myself, they do not believe I am my own person, and they do not believe I have the best intentions. Ignorance is another word that comes to mind. I need to get away from these ignorant people.

Is there some resentment here that I get stuck with these people? Yes. One of them is my father, someone that I can never fully get away from. My mother was taken away from me and I was left with a selfish, ignorant, shallow, materialistic, racist, homophobic, degrading, accusatory, insulting and extremely neglectful father. You could not have left me with a more perfect polar opposite. We are everything the other is not. Not only do I have to deal with these negative personality traits, but I also have to deal with the fact that we have nothing that will bring us together. He has expressed several times that I should just "get over" my mother's death, so I guess the whole "we only have each other" suggestion is out. He speaks poorly and negatively of her anyway. Family counselling did not help because he refused to admit he had any role in our dysfunctional relationship, and now we are here. I have to bear his insults on a daily basis, and he has pushed me so far away--emotionally and physically--that I have given up all hope of ever fixing anything with him. I have given up on the only parent I have left, and I have absolutely no faith we will ever work anything out. That bothers me. And it bothers me that my number one wish right now is to move the hell out of here and get as far away from him as possible. It bothers me that I would start packing tonight if I could magically afford a place of my own before I finish school.

My point is... I need to get away from this. This is bad for me. Living here and associating with similar people. I need a clean slate. I need people who care about me. Right now, I have no offline friends. I do not have even a single person to call up if I needed something or if I had an emergency. That needs to change and it needs to change fast.

I can just see my life headed in a very bad direction if I do not get away from the people who are bringing me down. Unfortunately, in that group are people I really do not want to admit are in that group. Some are close friends, some are other family members. (Most of my family members are toxic to me.) So they will have to shape up or slip out. This is the end of the line. I cannot possibly keep myself enveloped in this anger and negativity, not if I want to be a happy or healthy person.

It would have been very ironic had I been born today instead of tomorrow. I have been told my mother tried very hard to have me on Valentine's Day, but alas, even then I knew I did not want to be born on an overly-commercialized holiday.

For some reason, 25 feels like a big deadline. When you turn 25, you should have x, x and x accomplished. I have no idea why it feels this way to me but it does. It's like, "By 25, I was... and..." It feels like you should have accomplished some very large goals by the age of 25. So as I inch nearer to this age (three more years yet!), I feel more anxiety. When I turned 20, I had a quarter-life crisis and with every birthday that goes by, even this one, I feel I have wasted more and more time. But how do we know when we are living our lives to their fullest anyway? There are no prerequisites or prescribed to-do lists before death. Well, I suppose we can make our own but who is to say if we do not achieve all of these goals that we did not live life to its fullest anyway? People always bite off more than they can chew.

The next two years are going to be very important for me. By 25, in fact, I should be making some life-altering changes and it will be a big year. I will have graduated university, I will be moved out on my own, I will have some sort of "professional" job... it will be an entirely new chapter. This presents, of course, even more anxiety this birthday. I keep hearing the word "crucial" in the back of my mind, and when I hear that word, I tend to fuck up.

I have three years to make this work. I have three years to set myself up for success. I have three years to cross off some major goals on my list. I have three years to prove to myself I can do this, this thing we call "life." Three years to prove I am capable, even worthy, and I hope I can do that because I feel so far from it now.

Blowing out the candles this year means wishing for everything to run as smoothly as possible in these next few crucial years. *crosses fingers*


Nov. 11th, 2005 01:50 am

Is there anyone on this planet who doesn't have a list of goals that include just moving in with someone, marriage, kids, and a house with a white picket fence? Even people who claim to be unconventional and non-traditional have the exact same life goals, the goals society dictates and deems 'successful.' It makes me sad.

I am not saying it is wrong to have these goals if that is the way you truly feel, but it is if you only have them due to social pressures, including pressure from family. You know what happens when you push yourself into doing something you are not ready for or something you really do not want? You end up like someone I know named Chris. He is 28, has been married for a couple of years, lives with his wife in a nice house, has one daughter and one on the way... and the kicker... has been cheating on his wife this entire time with, mostly, underage girls. He bluntly admitted to me that he did not want to get married, but his parents were pressuring him, as was his age, and so he just did it. Now he is having his cake and eating it too.

I hope he is poisoned.

I feel extremely outcasted and alone in terms of my life goals. And really, I can sense I will probably end up alone because I do not happen to see things the way everyone else does. It is constantly being held against me and I am constantly being criticised for it. No marriage and no kids, for me, does not equal loneliness. I am not anti-love or anti-companionship. I just want to go about it in a different way. I do not feel there should be all these numbered 'steps' (first moving in, then marriage, then kids) in a relationship to feel it is being taken to new levels. Why can't sharing new experiences together be considered a step forward? If there is a pre-determined set of expectations for a relationship, you are going to miss out on an awful lot of things. You will also probably end up rushing into a lot of these things, thinking you only have a certain amount of time to accomplish them. For example, how about being financially stable before popping out a child?

These issues are coming up too often for my liking. I am only twenty-one and these things, whether I want them are not, are far, far away in the future. I am a career-oriented person and having a family, whether I change my mind or not, is not something I want or need to be thinking about right now. But suddenly there is all this pressure and I cannot seem to make it stop.

I have a feeling a lot of people reading this may not have a pre-determined life goal list. So please, enlighten me. Please tell me what else is on your life goal list, other than the things above. Please give me hope that not everyone's list is empty aside from these typical, conventional things.

I hate that feeling of impending doom. It is so frequent in my life right now that the feeling never really goes away. I always feel it in the pit of my stomach, like a swarm of angry butterflies. I feel heavy, restless and I am continuously short of breath. It has been so non-stop that at first I thought I getting the flu. Constant headaches, irritated insomnia, nausea, upset stomach, shortness of breath, muscle tension, lack/abundance of appetite, lack of concentration. This is a primary example of how much anxiety interferes with my life; it has many physical repercussions that make it impossible for me to function properly on a daily basis. It keeps getting stronger too. I keep feeling more and more worrisome that something awful is going to happen. And the worst part is, I know I am right. Yet for some reason, I cannot prepare myself for it. It keeps getting closer and closer as the days pass, but I am in such denial that I refuse to prepare myself for it. This will make dealing with the consequences much harder than it has to be. I will regret this, no doubt.

I cannot concentrate at school, I keep getting less and less sleep, and worst of all... this sickly feeling twenty-four-seven. I am usually an extremely patient person, but not when I am this aware something is going to happen. Now I just want it to hit me like a moving bus and be done with it. I would rather that than this waiting and feeling of impending doom. I am willing to accept the full impact if this would just please, please, please go away.

Let me get on with my life.

The fact that I continue confiding in people is just laughable now. I feel quite inclined to say this is a very good example of my masochism. Every person I confide in seems to have no interest, a severe bias or just a generally negative outlook on absolutely everything. I get either two reactions from every person I confide in:

1. Meaningless one-liners, even if I talk/write a lot: "Wow, that sucks."
2. Negative, blame-filled bashing instead of advice: "Well, it's your own damn fault!"

Why? Why can I not just bottle everything up or just feel relieved writing about it? Why do human beings need to talk to other people about every little emotion? I hate it. I hate the fact that I cannot control it. I honestly wish I could just not open my mouth about it, but I always do in the end. No one wants to hear it, no one wants to deal with it and no one seems to care about it. Even if I allow these people to confide in me, I still get the idiotic repsonses listed above. Again, I should just keep my mouth shut. It would solve the problem of feeling even worse every time I open up to someone.

I consider myself a very good listener and advice-giver. I honestly cannot recall a time where I have written someone off when they expressed a need for my help. Unless I knew everything about the situation, enough to assess it was the person's own fault, I would never insinuate such a thing either. And if someone wrote me an e-mail that was four pages long about a problem they were having, I certainly would not respond with one or two lines and think I had done my job. Is it just that people do not have time for anyone else? What is it? All I know is that I do not treat people that way. I put in the time and effort to respond, as positively as I can, when someone takes the time to confide in me. I feel very privileged if someone trusts me enough to ask for advice. I would not want to blow that by being presumptuous and judgmental, or worse, come across as uncaring, cold or disinterested.

I think the problem is that I am expecting people to care. I have no idea why I would have such a high expectation, even from friends, but I do sometimes. I suppose it is only natural to assume at least some people are going to care.

I wish I could say that from now on, I will just shut up about my problems and confide in no one. But alas, I know I do not have that much self-control. I will, however, be more careful in the people I choose to unload on. I think I am well aware of who cares enough about me by now to figure this out.

I need to stop going back.


Sep. 26th, 2005 11:01 am

I am officially in a rut.

After I stopped writing last year, I found myself in a very bad position: not knowing what I wanted to be or where I wanted to go. All of my life plans just shattered around me and I was suddenly stuck, scared to death. It is really terrifying being in your second last year of university and having no real clue what you want to do when you get out. But unfortunately, that is the position I am in. And that is the position I have been in for over a year now. I feel lost and I am completely terrified I will never find my way back.

If there is one regret I have in life, it is that I did not work during summers a lot of the years as a teenager and even now. I am going to walk out of university with two BAs, and then they are going to see my nearly-blank resume and tell me to get the hell out. I am not cut out for the conventional workplace, but I failed every time I tried to search for an unconventional job. I know they are out there but I just could not come across any. On top of that, my self-esteem is just disgusting. It is so disgusting that I do not feel I am qualified for even the lowest-paying, bottom-barrel jobs. I could never be a cashier, for example-- I would fuck that up completely. (I probably just offended a bunch of people. I am not saying being a cashier is not a good job; I am saying it seems like a simpler job compared to others and I can't even do it.) So not only am I hesitant because I hate conventional jobs (I would hurl if I was asked to wear a uniform), but I am also hesitant because I do not feel I am qualified for anything. Not even a university degree can convince me otherwise, and I have no idea why.

I almost feel like all of my efforts in school are going to go unrewarded. Are they really going to care about my straight As last year? No. Are they going to care about my scholarships? No. I keep working my ass off, and now it seems like I have been working my ass off in the wrong area. Everyone always says school is the most important thing. Is it? Do employers even care how hard you worked in school? Will it tip the scales when it comes to people who seem equally qualified? Probably not. Just because someone works hard in school does not mean they will work as hard in the workplace. Good grades do not mean you are the most qualified for the job. What the hell, honestly, is all the hard work going to get me? It doesn't help a damn thing. I almost feel selfish because I did well in school to please myself and not really anyone else. Growing up, I truly lacked talent in any area, so I chose school as my 'talent' and held on to it for dear life. An A was not good enough where there was an A+. I put 110% into everything, even the things I hated most. It was the only thing that made me feel good about myself, so I never let it slide. Not even now. And yet now I am honestly wondering where that has gotten me and how it has bettered my life. Not myself, but my life.

People keep telling me I need to figure out what I want to do before all else. Well, that's great, but how the hell do I do that? You don't just wander around aimlessly and suddenly stop in your tracks and shout, "Eureka!" It does not work that way. I have no idea how to go about figuring things out. I obviously will not just get a job this summer and suddenly know. And it is definitely not a light switch I just need to turn on, as many people seem to think. This is not something where I just 'know' anymore. It used to be, I admit. I had a one-track mind for becoming a writer and absolutely nothing was a reasonable substitute. But now that I am no longer writing, that has thrown everything off, including the dreams that I did have for my future.

I hate not having a plan. That is probably the worst, most stressful position you can put me in: send me out into the world without a plan. Or anywhere, for that matter. I'm a planner and I need a plan... for everything. I need a plan for each day that I wake up. I plan out my morning routine and I plan out my bedtime routine. I plan for tomorrow and I plan for next week. I was always one of those annoying people who could have the next five to ten years of their life planned out. Always. I always had answers for people who asked me those ridiculous questions, even when I was very young. And now... nothing. I can barely tell you what I want in two years, let alone ten.

I have no idea what the hell to do. I have less than two years to figure all of this out. I have two full summers of working ahead of me that I really hope amounts to something, but it might not. I feel completely lost, completely insecure, and completely unqualified. I have no idea how I got myself into this mess because no one in my past, in their right mind, would ever assume I could be in this position. Not me, not the one with the plan, not the one who is so determined and ambitious. It would seem unthinkable to anyone who knew me in high school, teachers included. And yet here I am. I feel horrible about myself for being here, in this predicament.

I have honestly become exactly who I have always dreaded becoming. At this point ending up a bum on the street seems like an actual possibility, which is sad. I think one of the main problems is that I have lost my passion. When I was passionate about writing, I was passionate about other things too. Now nothing gets me going. Nothing triggers that spark inside of me. Nothing makes me feel good, nothing makes me feel productive, and nothing makes me feel like a better person. I think that needs to be fixed before anything else, but again, I have no idea how to go about fixing it. I just seem to sit here, idle, and keep complaining.

I have never in my life felt this unmotivated. Never.

I think-- or rather, I know-- that people mistake my honesty for negativity.

It seems these days I cannot speak any word of honesty or truth without being beaten over the head with insults, implying that I am "a negative person." When I am honest, people turn around and give me either a disgusted look or a sympathetic look. I dislike living in a world where I cannot be honest about my feelings. Sometimes the truth is not always pretty. Why can people not accept that? That is life. You cannot go through life expecting sugar plum faeries and rainbows. Why do people feel the compulsive need to sugar-coat things? Sometimes things are going to be bad. Sometimes things are going to be negative. But that is okay because it is only sometimes, not all the time. That is not reality. That is not truth. We are living in a corrupt world full of disaster and hate. No one can deny that. It is only natural we as human beings adopt some cynicism after some years of living. Once again, that does not mean that is all the world is; believe me, there are really great things about the world we are living in too. But you obviously cannot focus on the positive all the time because that is just not the way life works.

If we did not have people who were honest (or in some people's eyes, "negative"), we would not have news. News programs would not exist. Newspapers would not exist. The reason people are honest is because it spreads awareness and allows people to start thinking about solutions. When I am honest, that is my only goal. I do not wish to depress someone or anger them. If people were not honest about the negative things in this world, nothing would ever be accomplished. People would never sit down and think about what they could do to make things better, to create a more "positive" atmosphere.

When I say "negative" things about my own life, that means I am unhappy with them and want to fix them. When I say "negative" things about my life, I am just being honest. My life is far from perfect. Why should I have to apologize for that? Should I just pretend everything is my life is fabulous and bottle it up inside? Of course not. And yet I feel I am being pushed into that. I feel I am being pushed into a life where I lie about the bad. I feel I am being pushed into a life where I have to lie about things being dandy simply because someone else views my honesty as negativity. Why on earth would I hold back from speaking freely about the bad things in the world and in my own life? That is ludicrous.

I have my reasons for being cynical. I am allowed to be cynical. I am allowed to rant, vent and get my anger off my chest. I am allowed to be sad, depressed, lonely and unhappy. I do not feel guilty for any of these things and I do not intend to change my personality for someone else. As long as I am still appreciating things in life and do not feel the need to resort to suicide, I will continue living how I am living. If people want to exaggerate my cynicism and negativity, that is fine with me but I want no association with them. I do not need to be constantly told I am a bad person simply because I am honest about my feelings and sometimes those feelings are negative. I am not going to sit here and censor myself about things that are real. There is no need for it. If you think I am going to change for you, think again.



March 2017

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