Friday, September 23, 2016

I found myself in our study room on a Friday night, digging through my backpack and pulling out folders and notebooks and schoolbooks, asking myself if I should be productive.

Mind you, I claim to be a person who never does homework on Friday nights. In all of the years I’ve been in school, I have never wanted to do homework on a Friday night, and I have never done any, even when I really should have.

But recently there has been something whirring in me, clicking, turning, churning. I think it’s the thing that drives people to anorexia, perfectionism, anxiety disorders. It's the thing that drives people into bondage.

I’ve been craving control.

And it’s not just this instance in my life that has caused me to realize this--aching to do something productive on a Friday night doesn’t qualify me as a control freak, although some might classify me as weird--but other things as well. The inexpressible feeling in my chest that wells up when people--whom I might actually consider friends, if not friendly acquaintances I’ve known for four years--subtly or subconsciously reject me in favor of others; the almost overblown anger and frustration I feel whenever I hit a ball out during tennis matches--an anger that hasn’t reared its ugly head as much as it has this season; the murderously sinking feeling I get when I don’t achieve the grade I want; the guilt I feel when I’m not writing or reading during free time.

There’s the tiredness in my legs after I walk a lot during lunch, trying to get forms in and signatures signed and generally keeping myself busy so I don’t have to think about my social life. There’s the wave that hits me when I get home after a long day and I think, In spite of all the things I control, I’m not happy or joyful.

I’m just tired.

And yet I chase after control every day. I control what time I go to bed every night, thus affecting the time I get up every morning (between 5:30 and 6am). I control what I wear and what I do, what time I leave for school, what I study for and what I don’t, what time I leave school, when and where I do my homework. And even though I always get a satisfaction out of doing things, it’s always ugly. It always leaves me craving more.

All the busyness, all the activity--it’s me compensating for the stuff I don’t feel like I have in my life at all. At the core, I’m lonely. There have been some changes to my school friend dynamic, and, in a sense, I feel like I’m back to where I was freshman year: caught in transition.

Except the difference now is that I’m a senior. I’m supposed to have things figured out. This is the year that’s supposed to be the “most fun”; this is the year that everything is supposed to be good, that everything needs to be good.

But it's not.

I don’t want to leave high school with a bad taste in my mouth.
So right now I’m waiting and praying, praying and waiting. I can’t control the change, but I’m not going to let the change control me.

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