If I could pick two things that I’m very good at, they’d be these: sloughing off the day-to-day troubles of life, and carefully managing my emotions so as not to let the negative ones affect me. In terms that William James would use, I possess the “religion of healthy-mindedness.”
And yet the past three weeks have presented me with a steady decline into a state of exhaustion and irritability. They’ve given me sleepless nights, hungry days, missed classes, and bloodshot eyes. They’ve presented a formidable challenge to those two emotional strengths.
Sleep, sleep, sleep, I tell myself. A full night of rest, one blessed night sometime in the near future, and everything will be better. That’s what always happens. Sleep fixes it all. Lord knows that I tell Yumin that just about every night.
It’s amazing to me how much sleep affects my mental status. On days when I have ample sleep, the constant impoliteness of people here just bounces off me. Didn’t hold the door? Didn’t say thanks when I held it for you? The insult lasts about ten seconds when I’m well-rested. When I’m not, it sticks with me for much, much longer. Tonight, I had to pick up all of “The Wood Man” newsletters that they distributed to each room the other night. I love my hall, but really, if someone puts something under your door, it’s now your responsibility to either make us of it or recycle it, not kick it out into the hall and leave it there for days with no intention of picking it up. I shouldn’t have to clean up your mess.
And why is it that people here are so insular and cliquey? Why does no one make eye contact when walking around campus? Why can I smile at a stranger and have the gesture returned only about ten percent of the time?
These things bother me infinitely more when, as today, I don’t receive enough sleep.
In truth, all is not bad. I’m resilient; all it takes is one little sign for me to perk up and be infused with the energy that always accompanies good feelings. Tonight, just walking back to Hewitt from PAC, the sky was crystal clear and the stars were, it seemed, the brightest and sharpest I’ve seen them in a long time. The air had just a touch of motion, and was warm on the skin. Andrus was empty, and I had the space to myself, and I just paused after getting off the phone with Jeffrey, and looked up with wonder. Even in times of darkness, the beauty of the world can be plain to see.
Right now, there is thunder rumbling in the distance. It’s gotten much cooler outside, and I’m laying here in bed when I should be asleep. After all, I’ve shrugged off my work for today’s classes; why not make use of the night by sleeping it away?
I think it all comes down to having too much on my mind. I’m awaiting news on the Apple job for next year; I’m being enticed into several jobs over the summer. I’m attempting to learn all these new programming languages for my work at the Learning Objects Studio, when I haven’t programmed more than a page or two in my entire life.
I have Erica, with unknown motivations, dropping old pet names and generally making me confused. Girl relations here at Wes are nearly as bewildering, and after last weekend, so much has been thrown up in the air, and it’s still landing all around me. GRS is finally over, but it came out less successfully than I had hoped. The rewrite of the religion paper I fucked up on is still due, along with another one. And finals are just around the corner: that week is going to be a bitch.
My arms, knees, hip, and back are still all shredded from two days on the slip-n-slide. My stomach and hamstrings are sore from the repeated impact of skin on ground. My throat is even hurting again: how does a sore throat last for a month? To top it off, the trees are flowering all over. I can smell the pollen in the air, and that means one thing: my allergies started today.
Plus, we’ve got TV On the Radio, Deerhunter, and Project Pat playing at Spring Fling. You know, what the hell? For $60,000, I wish we could get a well-known and popular band to come to campus. Rap sucks, and getting cutesy indie bands to please the hipsters is so lame. I want Morrissey. Or, fuck, Seth showed me that Rage Against the Machine is getting back together. Where would Rage fit in more than at Wesleyan?
I could go on for quite a while about everything that’s on my mind, all these things bothering me. But that’s not really my style. I’m going to get some sleep and revert to my normal, happy, relentlessly optimistic self by the morning. That’s the plan. I’m sticking to it.