Hey Jude

St. Jude

See, the title of this post is “Hey Jude” because St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes. I’m clever that way.

I’m in kind of a bad mood (big surprise, huh?). You see, I got the acceptance letter in February. The term was only 12 months long and began in May. So I immediately set about finding some way to pay the nearly $100K that this degree would cost me that didn’t involve loans. After months of searching, I settled upon taking out a shitload of loans as a means of funding my education. Now I’m two semesters into a three-semester program, and I have taken out enough loans to bury myself in debt for decades. I was really hoping this wouldn’t happen. But frankly, I haven’t had much time to look. My program moves at such a fast pace that I’ve been too busy failing my classes and getting kicked out of apartments to search for a scholarship. Now I’m on break, and am trying to find one that is available for this spring and has an application deadline that hasn’t passed already. As it turns out, there are a couple. As soon as the semester begins, I’ll probably also look for a work-study job as well to at least offset my expenses. At this point, I can’t help but feel like a lost cause. I’ve applied for some small-time scholarships before and in a few cases have been genuinely proud of what I turned it, but I haven’t gotten anything yet. Jimmy Stewart knows how I feel.

I think I’ve figured out what to look for in my next apartment. In the one I’m getting kicked out of at the end of the month, I was always bugged that my bed didn’t have a headboard. That might seem like a silly thing to complain about, but one thing that I’ve always enjoyed doing is reading in bed. Since the head of my bed did not touch the wall and I would have to rearrange the entire room to make it so, I could not brace a reading pillow against anything and comfortably sit up in bed. This made it difficult to spend a few minutes reading before turning the lights out and especially hard to turn on my computer and spend several hours dicking around on the internet on the morning when I woke up too jittery to go back to bed, but too tired to get up. That’s a pretty major part of my life right there, but I told myself it didn’t matter, that there were bigger things to worry about and that as long as I had a roof over my head, I shouldn’t complain. Remember how I said my string of failed living arrangements feels like a string of bad relationships? I guess I should learn that being able to sit up in bed is, as Tina Fey would say, a deal-breaker. Some people can’t date somebody who is too tall, unemployed, or who smokes. None of those destroy the prospect of a relationship for me. My needs are simple, but they have to be met.

I try not to be too picky, but maybe I should start being pickier. If I know what I want and don’t compromise, people will be more likely to take me seriously. My problem is that I always pick the wrong thing to compromise on. I recently received feedback on my final paper in a class that drove me insane all semester. The professor criticized me for not answering questions that I damn well did answer and not delving as deeply into a topic of which I think I showed a comprehensive understanding. Suddenly, I don’t feel so bad about failing all of my quizzes. It wasn’t my fault. I earned this, whatever “this” is.

Labels are not inherently evil. People must accept that. A name is a label. It can be dangerous to try to categorize people by their age/gender/skin color/sexual orientation, but sooner or later, a person must decide what groups they belong to, and figure out how exactly they’re going to deal with it. I’m so sick of hearing gay Republicans excuse their support of a blatantly homophobic party by saying that “being gay is only a small part of who I am”. That’s only true if you don’t try to isolate it. When you go around kissing up to people who want to strip you of your rights based on your sexuality, it becomes a very big part of who you are. If you really want your sexuality to feel like a small part of your personal identity, stop trying to isolate it from the rest of you. Log Cabin Republicans (basically gay Uncle Toms) often say that they’re more concerned with whether or not they have a job than with whether or not they can get married. I’m not. In 29 states, it’s legal to fire somebody just for being gay, so pretending that those two are completely separate is idiotic all by itself. And truth be told, I think the hard times in my life–when I have dealt with unemployment, financial difficulties, and borderline homelessness–would have been much more tolerable if I’d had someone to count on for support, cuddling, and yes, sex. It’s a loneliness that cuts deeper than just about anything else, and gay Republicans are some of the loneliest people in the world.

If you want to be who you are, you have to first figure out what you are. That’s not something that can be circumvented; the only solution is to move through it. If you’re doing it right, that will inform the person you’re trying to be. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go laugh at some dick jokes.

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