Bad at Time

Tick tock, goes the clock. When will it stop?

I’ve never been good at time. I’m the person who can’t estimate how much time has passed even with the sun visibly moving, the annoyed customer who signs the wrong date next to her signature and has to redo all the paperwork, the friend who is reliably unreliable when it comes to arriving punctually. I don’t like being this way, and I only have vague ideas on how to fix it. And besides, maybe I like being bad with time. At the very least, I’ve become all too comfortable in the skin.

I wasn’t always like this. I used to keep a calendar every year, from a young age. Eventually though, and I’m not sure how or when, I just stopped hanging one up on the wall. I preferred to let the days pass by on their own accord, without my conscious knowledge of it.

But you can’t reasonably live like that. Let me explain why. Have you ever heard the phrase “live each day like it’s your last”? It’s terrible advice, because most days aren’t your last. We are forced to live life in consideration of the next, which, honestly, is something I rather like. It’s not as if I look forward to each and every day, it’s just that we operate in such a lifestyle in which we will have many, many days to go.

What I mean is, I can’t live a life where I just let the days pass unconsciously and not plan for the next. Yet, I still do bad things. Sometimes, I just lie in bed all day, and I do think to myself “if today was my last day, who really cares that I went to class or if I sent those emails? I’d rather do what makes me happy, which is to sleep.” It’s such an ugly mindset, but it’s the skin I’m comfortable in. I believe I made a choice, and continue to make the choice, to be so terrible at time. It is not what I want. I want a conscious life where I consider each day to not be my last, or at the very least, don’t ever think in such a haphazard way. Shouldn’t each day be an investment into the next? If so, why am I up at 2AM writing this, rather than acting according to what the consequences for doing so will be tomorrow?

Being bad at time is perhaps my biggest flaw. My Kryptonite. If I was a superhero, and you, Reader, were the villain, the way to get to me would be just to say “I’m not going to destroy all of the city right now, but at approximately 9:00AM tomorrow, so come back then!” Such a specific measure would freak me out, and you would gain ultimate power because the person who was supposed to save the day slept in. Well, maybe she woke up, but she thought to herself, “if the world is ending today, then I deserve 5 more minutes.”

I’ve heard people say that if a person is late, that means they think whatever you’re doing is not important. I’m not sure I totally agree with this, but the point is that not being on time is an entirely selfish act, and that’s something I agree with.

So far, it seems like everything I’ve written is just me saying “look, I’m self aware!” I am, but it doesn’t mean anything. Honestly, I wish I was oblivious. If I was oblivious, I wouldn’t be so skilled at being apologetic and forthcoming when I miss a deadline. I wouldn’t be so careful and exhibit higher than needed excellence in other areas. Thus, I would prove to be exactly what I am–regular and lacking competence–and no one would give me responsibility. Even if they did, I wouldn’t take it because I wouldn’t estimate that I could change.

Let me expand on that, Reader. I pick up something because I estimate that I can change. That I will work harder to have a better grasp on time. I will care about this enough, that at least for this, I will be good at time.

It never happens though. I always fuck up. To be clear, it’s perfectly okay to fuck up sometimes, but it’s not okay to make it a trend.

I am terrified that as of recent, I may have taken on a certain amount of responsibility I simply don’t have the capacity for because of how bad I am at time. So, what does that mean? Should I quit? I’m scared and unsure.

I wrote in the beginning that I have “vague ideas” on how to fix my flaw. They’re vague because when I get down to it, the real fix is “sheer will.” I am not sure I have overcome anything so significant in my life with sheer will, but I don’t see another way, and, as I mentioned, I just can’t live like this.

There may be something deeper that has to be cured. I have to stop making up excuses. I have to stop having nothing in me. I have to stop being depressed.

There it is, isn’t it? The real skin I’m operating comfortably in: depression. My nemesis. I’ve tried different things on it, but deep down, I really don’t know. I don’t know how to fix it. I think I’m broken forever. At the least, I can’t imagine a life without this thick depression.

I began writing in this space as a means to document “recovery.” What recovery? It always comes back around to this.

When will it stop? Tick tock, tick tock.


Ridiculous Ramblings from Inside a Suburban Starbucks

I guess I’m going to be that ridiculous person who writes in a Starbucks.

Earlier this summer, I quit therapy, which forced me to quit seeing my psychiatrist (you need to be doing therapy in order to see a doctor at the student clinic). So, I’ve been kind of alone. I’m not sure if I made the right decision when I did that, but it was rash, it felt freeing, and I was tired of sitting on a couch where nothing got accomplished.

My old psychiatrist reached out to me to let me know he was leaving the center and asked if he should close my file. I wasn’t really sure. I didn’t think my care was over. Maybe I had thought I was just taking a break. The doctor let me know he had a private practice I could see him at. Today, I went there.

My anxiety has been high. Last night I had that terrible feeling, like something was really wrong. I haven’t had that feeling in ages. I used to have it all the time, and I would think something was wrong with Bo. I had abandoned him, and now something catastrophic was happening. So, I would always reach out. Just to make sure he was okay.

I couldn’t do that last night. I knew my family was safe, so there was nothing there. Bo is long gone from my life. He exists more as an idea now than as a human being or old friend I know well. I’m not sure Bo would have cared if I sent him something asking if he was okay–probably not, he would have been very decent. However, I felt it was just something I could not do anymore. So I just sat there, in my own anxiety, melting into a puddle of adrenaline.

I watched a documentary that was on TV, and it made me cry, even though it wasn’t the most emotional thing I had ever watched or new information for me. I wanted to fall asleep, but my mind wouldn’t let me. I had to stay awake, in case something was wrong.

But there’s nothing wrong, I was just being irrational. I told a few people I loved them over text and went to sleep. When I eventually went unconscious, I had terrible and realistic dreams.

After my appointment today, I did feel a little better. I walked for a bit and got to a Panera Bread, where I had something to eat, and browsed funny Reddit subs. I listened to suburban moms meeting for coffee in the morning talk about their children and Disney Princesses and society and Stranger Things. I listened to suburban divorced dads meet for lunch and talk about ways they are trying to lose weight. It was all very comforting. There was a mall–one of those where older folks go for walks. I walked around. I like walking. I got ready to go back to campus, but I didn’t want to. I get so tired of campus and it’s hullabaloo. I found this Starbucks, and got a water and a bag of whole grain, yet entirely too salty and buttery popcorn. I’m not a big fan of Starbucks, but at least they have great WiFi. I did some homework. Now, I’m writing this.

My hormones have been racing spiking lately. I feel horny, or I sweat too much and smell ridiculous, and I’m getting some small bouts of acne. I even have been having some cramping. None of this has really happened since I’ve been on birth control, so I couldn’t say what the source is. Perhaps my body has adjusted to the birth control, and now I’m fucked up again. Hormone spikes during my period have been a big source of unbalance in the past, and I don’t want to deal with that.

I don’t think I’m completely sad or unmotivated anymore–I’m just lost and feel lack of control. This could have to do with me being close to graduation from college, but it is not like me to let those kind of things affect me this way. No, I think I am just growing and this is another portion of my growth stage, of my coming of age, which will not stop with something like college ending. I’m not saying that my educational career finally (finally!) finishing is not going to bring about emotion, but that I feel odd in a way that doesn’t relate to that. I constantly think of my life as a timeplot, plotted according to a vague variable of “feeling.” I am having ups and downs. There are thresholds we may hit along this. This plot goes on for the period of my being alive.

I can attest that I am deeply afraid of moving back to my hometown–which is the plan post graduation. I feel like I will lose all the progress I have made. That none of this journey will have any point. That the timeplot may as well come to it’s end.

If I had to pick one title for my identity, I wouldn’t be a female, or a minority, or a queer person, or a Muslim, or a daughter, a friend, or anything. I would be an artist.

“He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life. He was alone and young and wilful and wildhearted, alone amid a waste of wild air and brackish waters and the seaharvest of shells and tangle and veiled grey sunlight.”

-James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man