Balance

New York is cold, but I’ve been through worse. It’s not something you can’t get used to. Speaking of getting used to things…

I used to be able to get eight hours of sleep every night without fail. That changed very suddenly late in my undergraduate career, and I’ve been trying to get it back ever since. A few years ago, I made the mistake of thinking that since I was, at the time, averaging between seven and seven-and-a-half hours every night, all I had to do was close that small gap and I’d be fine. Of course, it didn’t work out that way. Problem-solving is never so linear, at least not for me. I have to sort of scramble around for a while, then lie around consumed by indecision and self-doubt, and attempt a bunch of things only to suffer a series of humiliating defeats before I actually get anywhere. That’s my experience, anyway. And today, I find myself in an eerily similar place to that of a couple years prior. I generally get enough sleep, but wake up very early in the morning and spend the next couple hours tossing and turning. Frequently, it takes me nine hours or more to get enough rest. That is a problem, but I’m not sure what’s causing it.

Part of the issue might stem from a combination of lethargy and anxiety. In just under four months, I will (hopefully) graduate from this program with a masters degree. I don’t know what I’ll be doing then, but I’d better figure it out soon, as I have to start paying some of these debts off immediately after graduation. I’ve just been put on a sort of academic probation, and after meeting with an administrator whose title I can’t remember and my adviser, I see that they are quite confident that I’ll graduate. (I’m only, like, 0.07 points below the required G.P.A., anyway.) I don’t entirely disagree with them, but I can’t help but feel like the next few months will just have me going through the motions. I’ll try to find a part-time job just to give myself something to do and make a little money, get my grades up, and commit myself full-force to my career search. It all seems so simple, doesn’t it? I am reminded of my last semester as an undergrad, during which I spent all of my time watching movies, reading, and doing just great in all of my classes. It was too fucking easy, and if you think that I’m needlessly whining, consider that the summer and fall that followed were way rougher than the spring that preceded them. I don’t want a repeat of that. I don’t like repeating myself in general.

We have workshop assignments this semester. What that entails is essentially doing a group project with about ten or eleven other students with a faculty adviser to guide us. In the summer and fall, we took one piece of proposed legislation and examined it from just about every possible angle. Now, we are doing unpaid consulting work for a real-life client. The stakes and workload have greatly increased, yet everyone seems confident that we can all pull through. That’s what’s bugging me. Our team manager is a woman who I’ve talked about on this blog before. She rubs me the wrong way, but isn’t exactly a bitch, just a bit narcissistic. I don’t even dislike her, necessarily; I just think that she has a bit of a need to be the center of attention. When I found out that she would be managing my group, I was annoyed, as I prefer my authority figures to be a little less eager to be in control. She was in my group for the last two semesters, has many of the same friends I do, and generally spends a lot of time in my proximity. It feels as if somebody (the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I suppose?) is trying to force us to work out our differences together, which I wouldn’t mind doing, but would rather do it on my own time. Yet I know better than to go against the Monster. I almost feel nostalgic for my summer semester managers, whom I butt heads with, but who, in retrospect, aren’t so bad.

Oh, fuck off.

Oh, fuck off.

There are people I know with keen, innovative minds, people who, when I argue with them, have me using up every tool in my arsenal just to hold my ground. The aforementioned female is not one of them. I used to be one of the “gifted kids”. I was never arrogant enough to think that I could naturally rise above everyone everywhere I went, but now that I’m at an Ivy League school, I feel like I’ve gone almost too far in the opposite direction. Now, I’m having to strain just to pass my classes. If that has happened to me in high school, I would have shot myself. I’m not the overachiever that I used to be, but I definitely think I can achieve more than this. I’m still single, a fact that I bring up incessantly because it’s never stopped being true.

Most debates that I have are over false equivalencies. By this, I mean that I am tired of balance for the sake of balance, of the notion that no matter what the facts, both sides must be a little bit right and a little bit wrong. I’m right most of the time, and when I point that out, people tell me I’m wrong. See the irony? Yes, I make mistakes, but they’re rarely, if ever, the mistakes others accuse me of making. In other words, I would like to decide for myself when I am right and when I am wrong. It seems like the least I can do.

This video is funny.

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