Tag Archives: learning

To Know One’s Self

I am a horrible judge of my own abilities.  I’ve been wanting to write this posts for days, but couldn’t focus long enough to sit in front of the screen.  I’ve been going in circles, trying to figure out what I’m going to do in September.  I’ve been obsessing over my grad school plans again.  I somehow got it in my head that I could go to a top tier school.  I have no idea where that came from.  I never applied there for undergrad because I didn’t think I was anywhere near the level I needed to be for it.  On paper, I looked perfect.  Top of my class, 2 years of junior college down before I even graduated high school.  School awards every year.  But somehow I felt like it didn’t mean anything.  I knew I was just a big fish in a small town. That I could never live up to the standards that the top engineering schools demanded. Again I think it stems from my absolute fear of failure.

So I went to a good Tier 2 school.  One that my mom went to, so I guess I figured if she could do it, I could.  I was offered a full scholarship at the state school but turned it down.  I knew the name brand of the tier 2 school would mean more, and maybe it has.  I doubt I would have the job I do now without it. Problem was, I don’t think I fit in there the way I was supposed to.  I cried everyday for 2 years, think I made a horrible mistake refusing the state school’s offer.  I was alone, commuting 2 hours eveyday to school and home.  I never formed the relationships or developed the social skills I needed to survive in life.  I was probably a much better fit for the Ivy leagues, where I could have lost myself in schoolwork.

I always felt lost at the tier 2 school.  I was lucky to have an adviser who saw some potential in me.  The problem was I never saw it in myself.  I was constantly struggling, against schoolwork, against research, never fully understanding what I was doing.  I was just trying to scrape by and be done with it.  I wish I had the ambition I do now.  I won’t feel like I wasted my time there.  That I could have had more focus and worked harder and kept in touch with those that could help me now.

So with that, I’m still want to go back to grad school.  I must be crazy.  I have the perfect plan to go to the state school that I turned down.  I’ll start a certificate program in the area I want in the fall.  I’ll meet the people I could do research with.  I’ll get a recommendation from the professor so I’ll almost be guaranteed a place there when I apply.  Credit wise, I can be done in a few years, with the certificate courses counting as the bulk of the coursework.  I can get my work to pay for it, since I’ll have a plan and a timeline and contacts at the school.  And I’m fairly confidant if I work as hard as I did before, I would do well there.  It’s perfect.

That was the plan, but then my stupid brain kicks in.  My employer is associated with the Ivy league school, so alot of employees have gone there for classes.  I’ve talked to my supervisor and the Boy about going back to school.  Both think I should go to the Ivy league. This is where my problem of self assessment comes in.  I don’t know if I am even capable of doing the work.  To the outside world, I look like an intelligent person.  That going to this school is just a natural course of action.  But I don’t think these people even know me now, although they know my history and work the best.  If anyone could judge my abilities right now it’s them.  They think I’d be selling myself short by going to the state school.

I took the GRE last week and did OK.  OK enough to actually consider applying to the Ivy.  Again, on paper I look good enough that I actually have a chance at being accepted.  Then again, I may be delusional and just spin the facts to suit the outcome I want.

Now that I’m considering other schools, my plan has been blown apart.  I’ve been working on this for a year and now I feel completely lost.  I know to help my chances to get accepted, I’d have to take classes before applying. That way at least I’ll have something to count towards my degree and hopefully do well enough to get someone to write a recommendation for when I do apply.  But then I don’t know if work will pay for it.  I have no planned coursework, no potential advisor, and an even smaller chance of being accepted. (From a historical perspective, people have gone back to school with their previous advisors, and thesis plans well in place when asking for funding.  I won’t have that).

So I’m stuck.  Do I take a chance and try to take classes at the Ivy or do I stick with the original plan and just start with the state school in the fall?  admittedly, I’m in a much better position mentally than when I was in undergrad (and even when I started this blog 2 years ago).  Self confidence is tall a major issue and I can’t see my abilities objectively enough to figure out if I’m even capable of the work.  There are hundreds of other people trying to do the same thing I am, and I don’t know if I’m better than them, or deserve it more than them.  So until I hit some big revelation, I’m just going to spin my wheels.  At least, until the application deadline rolls around.

Random Thoughts

Sorry I haven’t posted as much.  I’ve had thoughts, but they’re half thoughts.  Stuff I want to get out but I just can’t put into words.  I’ll go through phases of anger and loneliness and alot of self doubt.  I’ve been thinking I’ve been doing ok lately, that things are going well, but then something in my head just snaps and I’m fearful again.  As I’ve mentioned before my clostes friend moved away, and the Boy and I are ok, but don’t see each other often.  I’ve just been dealing with alot of isolation and loneliness, but I’m starting to think I prefer it.  Maybe I just needed a break from everyone.  I’ve 10 days away fromwork and not having to think about my job or coworkers or what they expect from me has been wonderful.  I’m actually ok being away from everyone.  I feel almost peaceful and I dread going back to the 10 hour + commuting work days and bouncing between too much work and trying to look busy.

I had a strong bout of self doubt last night.  I’m been trying to psych myself up to go to night school, and since May I’ve been thinking it would be great.  then I start thinking about the details and I panic.  Im afraid I won’t be committed enought, or my interest will wain like it always does in everything I do.  I’m afraid of the commute, of being in a not so great city at night, of dealing with new people  and afriad of the teachers again.  I was so shy in college that I never spoke to anyone and didn’t make the connections I needed.  I’m afraid I’ll fall into that trap again.

I’m losing focus again.  I’m at a point in my life where the decisions I make now will affect the rest of my life.  I could just stay where I am, doing what I do, but I don’t think that will work in teh long run.  I don’t want to be doing the same job, taking orders from people younger than me.  But I don’t know if I’m management material either.  i don’t know what I am or really what I want.  I just feel like I have to do something, even if it’s to say I tried.  I don’t want to look back and wonder what could have been.  I hate regret.  I am terrified of failure, but I hate not trying.

I worry about the future too much.  I forget to live today.  Sometimes I just want to freeze the minute and live it forever.

There goes my social life…

So I just found out that my “best friend” J is moving across the country after she graduates next month.  I use quotes around the best friend part, since I consider her my best/closest friend, but I’m am not her best friend (Is it ever a two way street in these things?)  I guess I qualify as her second best friend, since she invited me and who she openly calls her best friend to dinner to tell us this.  She doesn’t really want to go, but there’s no job opportunites here, and it’s a really high cost of living.  She recently moved back in with her parents, which is pretty tocix to her (her mom is a little off, and is verbally abusive to her)  So she deided to move in with her cousin, where she can get a job and go to grad school.  She said it’s only temporary and that she’ll move back in 3 years.

I glad she can get her life in order.  Really, I am.  But I feel incredibily guilty that I can’t help her.  She asked me to move in with her 6 years ago, when I was still in college, but I said no.  I fear change too much, and given her history of flakiness, I was afraid I would be stuck somewhere I didn’t want to be, and give up the cushy life I have living with my mother.  I know I’m not responsible for her life, and I’m not supposed to take care of her, but I feel helpless, and like a terrible friend.  I’ve thought alot since she told me and I discovered alot about myself:  I am selfish. I am a terrible friend.  Then I try to bend over backwards to make up for it.  I just bought her concert tickets for graduation.  I prefer to throw money at problems than actively deal with a situation.

She is my only friend.  I feel comfortable being myself around her (well, relatively speaking.  Apparently not comfortable enough to live with her).  I’m not sure what happens now.  It’s not like we hung out all the time anyway, but the option was there, and the only times I ever go out are with her.

I like consistency.  I like being able to plan.  I guess that’s why I don’t have alot of people in my life.  Too many variables.  I’ve known J since the 6th grade.

Life will be different.

I think I’m bipolar

No offense intended to anyone who is bipolar, but I’m trying to explain why I can be so depressed and angry and lethargic and then be the way I am now.

I’ve been so hyper.  Not necessarily happy, but I ‘ve been doing things I wouldn’t normally do.  I started a new blog for my hobbies and I’ve been posting to  that like crazy.  I even put pictures up of myself, which is very much not like me.  I’m initiaiting contact with people, but I’m also very impatient.  I was waiting to hear from my friend about watching the super bowl (he said on friday we’d work out details this weekend) but by saturday night, I hadn’t hear anything.  My brain goe in to overdrive, thinking he got a better offer, so I emailed him.  a few mintues later he gets back to me, but I still feel slighted.

I also tried to apply for a textbook writer position for the new myHogwarts program.  I wrote up my writing sample and eveything.  Typically, I don’t want to interact with strangers on the internet who will judge me, but I was excited.  I was still scared though, so I wanted to wait, and reread what I wrote.  Turns out I shouldn’t have, since they just closed applications (it’s been two days for crying out loud).

So now, I’m upset I let another opportunity pass.  I still don’t trust myself, but maybe next time I won’t be so hesitant.  I have to take a risk at some point.

Something good for once

I rarely post about the good things in my life, since there are relatively few of them, and the hell in my head makes me forget them.  With that I’d like to post about one positive change I made, which a few years ago, I probably never would have.

I moved into a new office at work.  Yes, yes, groundbreaking personal growth </sarcasm>,  It actually is a big step for me, given how much I hate change.  I always choose the devil I know.  I’ve been in the same office since I started working there 5 years ago, with the same office mate.  My office mate and I were never all that personal to each other.  I think it was just the awkwardness and differences in our personalities.  He also worked somewhat different hours than me so I had the office to myself for periods of time.  It was a decent setup, with some occasioanl inconviences, but I know I could have been in a much worse situation.

So, then my coworker, who I actually work on the same project with asked me to move into his office when his old office mate moved out.  At first I was hesitant, since I wouldn’t know how the dynamic would be.  We got along well and talked daily anyway, but I was afraid that even more social interaction would just exhaust me and put me over my limit.

He has a strong personality and likes to get things done, so I had a hard time telling him no.  I’m glad I didn’t tell him no though.  I’m actually happy going into work, knowing the person a few feet away likes me and likes talking to me.  It’s not too much interaction, and since we’re on the same project we get a bit more work done, than when we were running back and forth to each others’ office.

Also, it turns out he is the best office mate ever 🙂  He made me a cake for my birthday, bought me a light bulb for my lamp and today I came in a found a box of homemade cookies on my desk.  I picked him out a nice christmasy plant to give him tomorrow.  It’s not much in comparison, but I’m not used to gift giving acquaintances.  My social development is improving, and for once I made a positive change in my life (given a strong push, of course).

And So the Circle Begins Again

The Boy update:

So the Boy and I aren’t really talking so much anymore.  I’ve seen him once in two weeks, and that was a few days ago at basketball.  We got along fine then.  I think he’s been missing me a little, but not as much as he has in the past when we went weeks without seeing each other.  Usually there would be some invite to hang out by now.  I think he’s tired of me, and my disappearing acts.  I get relationships need to go both ways, and I should just ask him to hang out more, but that just isn’t my style.  I tried, actually, and that backfired.  Every sunday that we do hang out, I always ask him “Up to anything good this weekend?” or “Do anything this weekend?”  The answer I always get is “not really” or “not much”.  occasionally I’ll get that he rode his bike down the bike path.  So, stupid me, for some reason started believing he doesn’t do much on weekends.  I asked him to a concert on a saturday (I asked him the monday before) and he dodges the question.  I must have caught him off guard since he looked a little flustered and instead of answering me, he asks his own questions.  I emailed him the details that night and all of a sudden he magically has plans for that saturday.  I know he does stuff and for some reason doesn’t want to tell me, but that finally pissed me off.  I don’t care what you do, but don’t hide it from him.  If he has a real girlfriend then, why bother with me in the first place?  I don’t get it.  All we ever do is watch football and sometime eat pizza (If there’s time, since he just seems to fit me in before he has a bball game to get to).  We don’t even go out anymore.  I’ve never met any of his friends (and he doesn’t seem to want to meet mine).

I guess I’ve finally had enough.  I’m sick of this pseudo-relationship.  I want a real one.  I know he at least somewhat cares about me, but I don’t understand what is going on.  I’ve only had one real relationship and that was emotionally intense.  I’m not sure if my relationship with the Boy is normal or not.  Maybe I’m expecting too much.

I just spent the last hour browsing profiles of guys near me on OkCupid.  I’m not inherently against online dating, but I don’t think I can do it.  And given the 3 guys that I recognize on the site (two I went to high school with), I want to stay far far away from that site.  They all seem to be asshat jocks or depressed nerds.

Maybe it’s the depression talking, but I don’t even have any sex drive any more (given that I’m a virgin, I mean any type of sexual arousal.  Nothing seems to get a physical or emotional response anymore.)  I know I don’t want to be alone forever, but I don’t feel “that way” about anyone I know anymore.

The Ex

I talked to the ex yesterday, as part of our semi-annual catch phone call (semi annual since it’s typically my birthday and his birthday as the catalyst for conversation).  It went…really well.  I was a bit surprised actually.  No crying after the call, no pangs of withdrawal and no crushing feeling  that I won’t ever talk to him again.  I never thought I’d be able to say this, but I can really be friends with him, and it can work.  I’ll always have a special place for him since he was the first guy to ever really care about me. He showed me physical intimacy can be a positive experience (even if I fought him at the time).  He’s had such strong influence on me.  Talking to him again has given me that push I needed to do something about my life.  It’ll still be baby steps, but at least I won’t be stewing in my own depressing thoughts for a while.  I hate that I need an external push to get my life going.  I’m still so unsure of myself and what I want, but he did give me good advice (as usual).  Our conversations always turn philosophical and i love that.  He’s the only person I can have that kind of conversation with.  We’re eerily similar and I’ve never been as open with anyone as I am with him (even now, 4 years after breaking up).

I told him how I blog about my problems, and how it’s helped to just get my thoughts out of my head.  He wants to see this site, but I’m (naturally) a little hesitant.  There isn’t much I wouldn’t share with him, but most of these posts are written during extreme emotional upheavals for me, and I may not necessarily feel the same way anymore.  I’ve also mentioned him in previous posts.  I’m not sure how he’d react to that, and since he’d be reading this on his own, we couldn’t actively discuss anything.  I don’t want him to have the wrong impression.

I’m also afraid that I would start censoring myself if someone I knew was reading it.  This blog mostly helps because I can let every thought out with fear of judgment or offending anyone.

So i don’t know if I’ll show him this.  Maybe in a few years and I can distance myself from who I am now.