My Second Third-Year

Not everything goes as planned. Sometimes, you don’t just get knocked off course, you get knocked off and then the path you were on before, well, it gets doused in kerosene and lit up like a rock concert and then hit by a tsunami, which, while it puts out the flames, also destroys any markings that may have been left on said path and you are now injured and wandering aimlessly in the dark.

Last year, I got really sick. Like, really, really sick. I was physically incapacitated and mostly bedridden for around 6 weeks. I lost over 20 lbs, mostly of muscle mass. I lost friends because they were afraid of getting sick and I couldn’t go see them and had to keep cancelling. I had to drop 3 of my 5 classes, meaning I did not finish my academic year. In fact, I was still arguing over grades and petitions in August.

Then, to add insult to injury, my grandpa died. My grandpa was a huge part of my life. I’m an only child with very little extended family. I lived with and then next door to my maternal grandparents for the vast majority of my 21 years, so when my grandpa died, it was like getting an organ torn out. Violently. Even though he was 88, nothing seemed to touch him. He’d survived so much and it seemed like a remote possibility that he’d ever, you know, die. He was part of the reason that I wanted to go into public service, and with him gone, and the state it’s in currently, I started questioning that and getting even more lost than I already was. Quite frankly, I’m probably still not over the loss, but that’s okay. Right?

All I had wanted to do was get away for the summer, to not be stuck in a small town where it seems like every knows something about you and hates you for it. But alas, there I was again, working the same job, in the same place, with the same people. In a way, it was probably good for me. I was still in denial about my world crashing down (oh yeah, totally gonna graduate in 1T4 still!) and being home provided me a safe place in which to recover, a sense of stability without which my downward spiral would have undoubtably been more downward. Heck, more spirally, too.

So, I tried to get back on par with my former self. I got a trainer for the summer (I love you, Jocelyn) and got my strength back and then some. My mile time is still suffering, but my endurance is better than ever and I think that speaks to this experience as a whole. I may not be getting there as fast, but I can keep going. I started reading again and trying to do the 6 weeks of school I had missed in 3 weeks while working 40 hours a week. I started eating real food again, not just soup and protein shakes. Mmm, steak.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing, though. June was spent in an alcohol-induced haze, I made some poor life choices with regards to crushes (it was crushing, ha), people I thought were my friends weren’t, I lost all my data on my computer, iPod and cellphone, and so on and so forth. I was angry and confused and stagnant. Even though I was getting better, I was upset that I had to catch up to where I had started, whereas everyone else seemed to moving up and onwards. I was frustrated and took it out on people I actually care about, like my parents and my close friends.

I’m going back to school to start what should have been my last year. Instead, it is technically my second year as a “third year”. I don’t have a plan, I don’t have my books, hell, I don’t even have a place to live yet. But it’s okay. Other people are in the same boat I am. Like, exactly the same boat. I was in David’s Tea today and I heard a girl talking to another, about how she was sick last year, and how she has to stay another year now, and about how it’s okay, how it’s going to be okay. I have friends who are helping me out and understand that life happens, I have a broader view and a more accepting perception of the world, I have technology that actually functions now, and I have a fresh start, sort of.

Things aren’t going as planned, but maybe it’s a good thing.

Cheers. From my stopover in Switzerland this summer on my way to Kenya.

Cheers. From my stopover in Switzerland this summer on my way to Kenya.

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