Friday, March 25, 2011

The Home Stretch

The Wolf Ears in Spring
With only a month left in the semester I feel like things are starting to come together, slowly but surely. Of course, I don't really have anything to base that on, considering that I am still waiting to find out what I made on my most recent tests in Biology, Psych Research Methods, and Ergonomics, and I am behind in my work in Accelerated French (bien sur!). And the fact that I am hoping to skirt by on the generous province of my professors' grade curves probably shouldn't be seen as positive evidence of personal progress! Nonetheless, I have made a few small steps in the forward direction. I was finally able to register for classes for Fall 2011, and I made first contact with one of the psych professors regarding PSY 499 work. I still have to fill out an application, so there is no guarantee that I will get accepted to the professor's lab, but my optimism (unfounded though it may be) is giving me a little bit of an emotional boost for the time being. At least getting a response back from a professor is better than the last month of silence I've had to endure!

The one letdown of the week, however, was learning that I will not be able to work in the tutorial center for the university. Apparently, they don't hire tutors for humanities, though nowhere on their website do they mention that fact! As a result, I went to a 30-minute information session only to learn that if I want to tutor I have to be proficient in math, physics, or chemistry! Maybe it is for the best, since they apparently do not give their tutors very many hours each week, and you have to actually pay to take the training course for tutoring. In other words, by the time you actually tutor you would probably only break even financially! The woman who ran the information session even indirectly admitted that fact when pressed about whether one has to pay for the training course. That is fucking brilliant! A part-time job that only manages to pay for itself! Wait until the Conservatives and Corporate Tycoons hear about this one! Fuck you Capitalism! Fuck you right in the face!

You know, despite all of its quirks and odd misdirections, I do feel like I've found my place in life, to an extent. Sure, I'm not God, or the President, or the head of a vast corporate entity with the financial leverage to bring down the US economy and force the nation to bow to my will, but I think I'm where I belong. All those years that I sat wasting away in that dungeon of a radio station production office wishing that my life had taken a different turn are starting to pay off in a twisted sort of way. My life has, for the most part, been a long quest to fix myself; to repair the years of damage done to me by a parent who only had me in order to satisfy her own needs. While I don't claim to be fixed yet, I think I'm in the home stretch.

The first few years of my adulthood were about realizing I had problems and deciding how to deal with them. Getting kicked out of a religious college was the wake up call. At first I ran. I went to therapy, but didn't put my heart and soul into it, instead wishing for a "quick" fix that never came. I hoped to find a woman who could solve my problems, but of course that didn't work. I ended up in radio because of a random comment by a beautiful young woman whom I desperately wanted to be proud of me, though I knew, even then, that I didn't stand a chance of having her love me. I was still putting my needs to the side and trying to satisfy a woman, the very thing which caused my problems in the first place!

In retrospect, radio was sort of a penalty box for me. It took me out of the game long enough to give me a real chance to think about what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do if I ever got back to life. Radio put me in the place and the mindset to meet Ex, and I needed Ex to bring me to NC State. I had been hovering at rock bottom for far too long. And losing Ex was that necessary step too far, the one which, as any recovering addict will tell you, is the point where you have known that you need to change for awhile but now you have absolutely no choice but to act. You either change, or you put the gun to your head and pull the trigger. As a couple of good friends can attest, for a little while I was extremely close to making the wrong decision.

So, what does this have to do with NC State? Well, even though the initial decision to go back to college and try again was a horribly misguided effort to try and earn back Ex's respect and love, the choice of major and the direction that I am putting my life in now is totally and completely mine. For the first time in my life I am making decisions based on my own desires, and I am actually being rewarded for those decisions. In other words, I am developing a positive feedback loop. And even though I am surrounded by beautiful young women every day at school, I can't impress or satisfy them in anyway. I'm old enough to be their father, so they won't give me the time of day. And because I can't satisfy any of them, I don't even bother trying! I can actually be completely and unabashedly me!

I am reminded of the lyrics of the song "Home" by Depeche Mode:
And I thank you for bringing me here,
for showing me home,
for singing these tears.
Finally, I've found that I belong here.

Have fun and keep living life... and go home.

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