I hate evenings

From my journal, dated Saturday October 6th, 2012

I hate evenings. I have for years now. It’s like I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, but for days, not seasons. Evenings are dark, dreary, often lonely, and, well dark. It doesn’t help that I’m most thoughtful and emotional in the evenings. Anyways, so I often feel kind of depressed at night. Like tonight. I start to feel like I wasted my day and feel anxious and worried about the next. Tonight it’s more that I’m lonely.

But the most messed up thing is that I’m pretty sure, that even though it’s Thanksgiving weekend and most people are away, that there are a couple of people in the common lounge who I could theoretically go hang out with.

But I stay alone in my room instead. I hate conversations and chitchat.

I am the biggest introvert ever.

I want to get to know these people on a personal and deeper level but how to start? I’m a listener, not a speaker, and a follower, not a leader.

I have nothing on tomorrow and I might try to go to church. I found one that looks interesting and modern but I don’t know if I’ll have the guts. Churches are scary, especially when you’ve almost never been inside one.

But I need to find something, some sort of raft to climb aboard soon. Because I can’t continue floating along alone. So alone.

Meanwhile, my youth is slipping through my fingers….

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Positive Starts

From my journal, dated September 30, 2012

So a ton has happened since I last wrote. I had a pretty awesome – and surprisingly full – week. It’s like before I was just waiting for it all to start, and last week it finally began starting.

I joined the French Club and went to a pizza social and practiced my French while meeting people. And I made 2 friends! I also went to a meetup with one of them last night (we went bowling).

I went to an event called “Community Kitchen” where a group of whoever shows up gets a bunch of donated local food and we cook a vegan meal together (and eat it of course). It was delicious and I was introduced into the enviro community here.

Speaking of the enviro community, I found a group to be a part of, a group trying to get the university to divest (take its investments out of) from some specific bad companies. So I went to an open meeting of theirs and after we all went and got food together. Some nice people.

And on Thursday, my day off, I organized an outing to Parliament.. Five of us ended up going together, three strangers (other 1st-year students), Iris and I. It was just so cool to be sitting in the House of Commons and seeing “real” politics in action. (Though it’s a wonder our government gets anything done).

Thursday I also went to an enviro panel which was super interesting. It was nice to know that others care about the environment and that some people are working hard to make the campus more sustainable. And then they served hors d’oeuvres and since there weren’t many people there, there were a lot and I ate a lot. What’s funny is that they were also serving wine (for free!) and they gave me a glass without asking my age!

On the alcohol front, I’ve not had any personal progress (if you can call it that). Friday night I had the first of my 6 beers that have been sitting my fridge since I bought them on my first weekend here. It tasted horrible but it gave a nice light-headed feeling, for a bit at least. To be honest, I kind of want to be more adventurous and try drinking more, but the opportunity hasn’t arisen. That, or I’m just not trying.

School work is slowly starting to get more stressful. My poli-sci paper is my main point of stress at the moment. It’s just so difficult to come up with a good topic! But I’m going to go talk to a TA this week who will, fingers crossed, help me out. Time is running out…

Today I have not left the building. And I don’t plan to. It’s rainy and miserable outside and I have nothing to do anyways but stay here and study. But I’m having trouble staying on task because it’s just so boring and endless!!

I have to go back to work; wish me luck!

Adjusting & loneliness

From my journal, dated September 17th 2012

Life your goes on. In many ways it feels like I’ve been here forever. I guess you could say that I’ve gotten used to it and the people. But at the same time, it is only been just over two weeks and eight months seems like a long time (though I know it will go fast).

My floormates are nice people, though I feel like I’m back in high school when I’m with them. That’s just because there’s the “core” group (kind of like the popular group but not that stereotyped) and I sometimes hang out with them and we’re all friendly with each other, but I don’t feel like I’m a part of it. I don’t feel completely included.

I’m working on making more friends. Well, I’ve got Charlotte so far. I sit beside Iris (fellow blogger) in French class and we’re going to be partners for a presentation. I sit beside the other blogger in my English discussion group and I feel we could become friends (her name is Audrey). There’s also Genna who’s in my poli sci and English classes but I don’t think we have too much in common.

I joined the university “bookworms” (book club) though we haven’t had a meeting yet. I also joined the French club which sounds super fun and seems like a good way to meet people. I’m still looking for a climate action / enviro group to join. So frustrating that I haven’t found anything yet (or heard back from people I contacted). I’ll find something.

I would say that I’m pretty happy here. The one thing I’d like is to make more friends though. I mean, I’m a real introvert and I like doing things alone, but I still like someone to talk to, you know?

On Friday I hit a low point. A real low point. Embarrassing to think about. I was just overcome with loneliness. I sat in my room alone hearing drunk people parading in the hallway outside and bawled my eyes out, and even Googled “I feel so lonely”. It was horrible; I just felt like I had no one to talk to.

I don’t want my parents to think I’m lonely (or bored) so I try not to Skype them too often. I also try not to pester Stephanie with too many messages, because she’s just in the process of setting up her new life at Stanford.

Anyways, I’ve been feeling better since then. Saturday I got a haircut which I (mostly) love. I also got a public library card so that makes me happy. And on Sunday I went for a beautiful bike ride along the river. This is a lovely city.

In short, I’ve learned that there’s a VERY fine line between being alone and being lonely. But, as it currently says on my inspirational whiteboard; “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow.”

My first week at university

From my journal, dated September 9th 2012

I meant to write here for days now, but somehow I never get around to it. Anyways, I’ve now been living in my rez for OVER A WEEK. It’s crazy to think I’ll be living here for 8 months. My room is comfy. I like it a lot, and I’m so glad I have a single room. The other day I put pictures of my hometown up on my wall in a sort of collage and I love it.

The freedom is intoxicating, really. Verging on too much. It’s just crazy that I can decide to do and eat whatever I want, whenever. Hell, I could even bike across the river and buy some beer. If my bike wasn’t broken.

I’m growing to like my floormates. They’re crazy people, at least the ones that hang out in the common room. I’m hoping to get to know the quieter ones a bit better too, since I think they might be more friend material.

I have made one real friend, which I’m happy about. Her name is Charlotte and she’s in the room next to mine. We get along well and I feel like I can speak my mind with her (I’m still intimidated but most other floormates). But, then again, she is no Stephanie. Maybe she’ll become one once we get to know each other better (it has, after all, only been one week).

I’m also hoping that I’ll make friends in my classes, once they really get going. There’s a girl was in both my poli sci class and my English discussion group, and she’s in the same program as me.

Living here still seems unreal for me. Like a dream or little kid boarding school fantasy. I first full week of classes starts tomorrow. Maybe reality will sink in then… I’m wide awake and dreaming.

Almost there

From my journal, dated August 31st 2012

We’re almost there! We’ve been on the road for 10 days now and we’re currently about 2 hours from O-town.

Big news is that today I caught a frog! We were packing up our campsite and there was a plum-sized brown frog (or toad?). And without thinking I picked it up! It felt so cool.

Anyways, so we’re almost there and I’m so excited and nervous. When I think about it I can feel this lump of nervous excitement in my stomach. We’re going to be staying in a hotel tonight and I move in tomorrow. Ahhh!

I really want to make a good first impression and make some friends. And what if I don’t like the people on my floor?

This evening we’re going to have dinner at Mom and Dad’s high school friend’s house. Hopefully we can get some insider U of O information & tips.

Anyways, I just have like a thousand emotions going through me at once. This is like the biggest thing that has happened in my life (so far). My new life will soon begin… they say change is scary, but change is good?

Ready to jump

From my journal, dated August 21 2012

Where in the world did the time go?

I leave tomorrow.

What have I been up to these past weeks? Many have asked and what is the answer…

Well, I went to the gym frequently and I tried to keep up with my physio exercises. I went to the cabin with my parents on the long weekend. I did house sitting in cat sitting. I went to the States with my mom for three days. I helped (a bit) organize and canvas for the upcoming charity ride. I did some babysitting. And I read.

And the past two days I’ve spent packing. I have a lot of stuff. Even now that I’ve packed most of what I’m bringing, my room looks no less empty.

I am so afraid, and so excited at the same time. Nervous about who I’ll meet and about the first impressions I’ll make. Dear God, I hope I make some friends. I’m really worried about that.

But I’m so excited too, for the cross-country road trip with my parents and starting my new life with increased independence.

I have so many emotions going through me right now. I love my room, my house, and my hometown so much and I’m sad to be leaving them. At least I know that I’ll be returning next summer.

But for now let us look east, and jump with our bundled courage and belongings, into the great unknown…