Saturday, March 12, 2005

i should be happy

it's the weekend, i have great grades, a wonderful, supportive husband, and everything i need (and some stuff i don't). but i'm not. i don't know why. vet school is such a ---- what? i'm at a loss to describe it. it's mentally ------- i really don't know how to say it. i'll try this. i feel like the diaphragm on a microscope sometimes - you can narrow it down and narrow it down until you are closing out all but a tiny fraction of light - a bright, hard speck. or you can open it wide - to let as much light pour in as possible. i feel like a microscope diaphragm - by the time friday rolls around, i want to be as closed and focused as possible. i want to be with jim - at home - and away from the world. i find interacting with people so much - on top of all else that is demanded of me - to be physically and emotionally exhausting. by the time friday rolls around, i have become so paranoid about my flaws and shortcomings as a person - so convinced that no one truly likes me or cares about me (other than jim and my family) - that i sort of shut down emotionally. i hate myself on fridays - i guess that's what it boils down to in the end. and it's absurd. not that i should hate myself - but that i spend this much time thinking about myself. but in the end - aren't we all inside ourselves all the time - with nowhere else to go? in the end - no one can truly understand us - because we are ourselves - and no one else... is that coherent? i cannot put my finger on the source of my unhappiness. i could attribute it to the lack of sunlight, of a balanced diet, of exercise and normal social interaction. but i think it's beyond that. i think milton had it right - the mind is its own place - capable of making heaven or hell right there in its grey and convoluted confines.

i think i have some weird view of the world that isn't shared by the people with whom i spend most of my time. i am constantly and frighteningly aware of the fact that a semi truck could come along and clobber me at any moment. i never allow myself the luxury of feeling safe. being at home, in my house, can lull me into complacency and safety. but there is no place that is safe from death - for no walls can keep him out. so i live with the ever present specter of my own mortality lingering nearby. as a result, i try to embrace the moments as they come - to take true and full delight in the simple pleasures of a good life. and yet, vet school seems to be crushing me down under a huge weight - regardless of this constant awareness of death. it's almost like vet school is sucking vitality out of me. that by doing this, i am shortening my life by years and years. we joke a lot - at school - that by the time we are fourth years, we will be grey and wrinkly and hunched over and bitter. it's only funny when there are other vet students around. and yet, when i'm alone, i start to wonder if it's slightly true. maybe i'm being overdramatic and i should stop whining. after all, i'm mentally capable of doing almost whatever i want with my life. many people have dreams that can never be attained. and all i do is whine.

in the end, i guess it boils down to my simple inability to get out of my own head. to turn down the internal monologue to a manageable and more friendly level. i think that donna tartt (in 'the secret history') had it right "It is a terrible thing to learn as child that one is a being separate from all the world, that no one and no thing hurts along with one...Even more terrible, as we grow older, to learn that no person, no matter how beloved, can ever truly understand us. Our own selves make us most unhappy..." it's depressing. but it's true. that's why i hate friday nights. at least during the week, my mind is submerged in the more mundane details of living a life - getting laundry done, studying for tests. on the weekends, i am free to roam internally - focus on all the unanswered questions, the flaws, the annoyances, the short - to be totally and completely self-involved. god, sometimes i get tired of hearing myself.

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