Love in the Time of College

A lot of very weird and interesting things keep happening, but I think that’s because I live a weird and interesting life in a weird and interesting world. As it is said somewhere in Doctor Who, “Ice can burn. Sofas can read. It’s a big universe.”

When I have the time to sit down and think about it, which is rare, I’m honestly terrified of the life I’ve walked into, and I want to go back and live in my parents’ basement (that’s a joke, by the way, because my bedroom was in the basement but I’m only eighteen so it’s not ridiculous that I live there yet). It’d be easier, so much easier.

What helps is to remember that my parents did this once. In fact, if I could zap myself back thirty-five years and walk five minutes to the north, my dad would be in his dorm room, eighteen years old. (I love being an alumni child.) Thirty-five years and four hundred yards ago my dad was doing the same thing. My parents used to be like I used to be, and then they went to college and had to take care of every little thing by themselves, and I imagine they got overwhelmed once in a while with all the little things that go into existing as a human being. And yet there they are.

What also helps is to remember, although this is more difficult, that my peers are doing it now. They are also learning to exist on their own. It’s hard, but I’m not the only one who has things to learn. That helps – it helps a lot.

Love is an interesting thing though. Especially now.

I’ve talked many times on this blog about how much love means to me, and I’ll say it again. It’s what gets me up in the morning. And not just romantic love, though that’s important too, in its way and in its time. Love, for people, universes, and maybe even God, is what pulls me out of bed (well, that and the deathly fear that I’ll lose my scholarship). I’m still kind of working on the God part though. Anyway, love is my prize, to paraphrase Avicii again, and as usual, there are a ton of love-related thoughts percolating in my brain. Unfortunately, most of them, like me when I stop to think about it, are terrified – of losing it.

The thing about love is that it requires people. People are very important to love. You know, love people, use things, and never confuse the two? All that jazz. Can’t have love without people. But what happens when those people get cranky, or are too far away, or are fading into distant-er parts of your life? What happens to that love then?

Derek and I have stopped talking to each other. Intentionally, I might add.

I know. It threw me for a whirl too. And I was kind of angry. I still don’t quite know what to think about it. It is a human tendency to rewrite the past, as I well know, but I’m not sure if I ever loved him – if I ever showed him love. I have no idea. And that is plain sad.

When I wrote the big rehash of my talk with Matt and ended with that Shannon Hale line that I love, “Thank you is nicer than goodbye, anyway,” Derek remarked that he wondered what the day would be when I told him thank you instead of goodbye. I got very angry at him and told him not to talk like that. I guess he was less naive than I was about the end of this friendship. I suppose I wanted to believe that love does, in fact, last. Well, that just hurts. Anyway, the point being, Derek and I tried very, very hard to love each other, and it failed eventually nevertheless. I don’t know what to think about that. If this is what life is, it scares me.

Hannah and I have been sending messages back and forth occasionally, though her communication is limited and we are both busy. But sometimes I find myself afraid that we are drawing apart. And that scares me too.

And sometimes my littlest sister texts me about nothing at all and I can’t find it in me to appreciate that she just misses me and wants to show me love, because I get annoyed.

And my mom will message me over Skype asking about tiny details that I know she doesn’t actually desperately need to know, but just wants to be in contact with me. And that bugs me too, even though I know she’s just showing love.

My dad and other sister surprised me by coming to Pocatello for a few hours today, and it was great, grand and wonderful. I wasn’t annoyed. Maybe because they talk to me less while we’re apart? I don’t know.

It’s funny. Only a few months ago I was bitching about how nobody ever showed love because we were all too afraid. I turned into that person with Derek, and I’ve become too afraid to accept it (as it is) from anyone else. I’m suddenly clutching at everything, trying to squeeze. It just brings pain. Most things, it would appear, are the consistency of sand and will slip through your fingers. And that hurts. All of this hurts. I’m suddenly not loving with open hands anymore.

Perhaps it’s because I’m insecure about my place in this new environment (insecurity will mess a person up). I suppose I’m concentrating very hard on the details of existing, like eating and showering and sleeping and doing my laundry and homework and dishes and remembering to Skype my mom and finding things to do on Saturday nights, and not worrying so much about the quality of my interhuman relations. (Oh, shut up, spellcheck.)

Either way, I am going to try harder to love with open hands and be content with the universe as it unfolds. I suppose I have a thing or two to learn from Doctor Who yet. On the other hand, that was the point of the paper I turned in on the Epic of Gilgamesh the other day – to see things as they are, not as you would like them to be, with theatrical conclusions showing how every event is interconnected, but as they unfold, however that may be.

Even if it involves two of the best human beings I have ever known falling away from my life. Therein lies the hard part. But life is a river, always moving.

Speaking of rivers, I was watching the first few episodes of Doctor Who Series 7 today, and it was the episode where Amy and Rory finally leave the Eleventh Doctor’s company. Just for the record, there are SPOILERS ahead starting right now. So, the Weeping Angels – the statues who can only move while you’re not looking, and whose primary function is to whip you back in time, let you live until you die, and feed off the energy left by the gap you would have filled – have taken over Manhattan, and they defeat them properly and everything, and then they find the TARDIS in a graveyard. They have no idea why (it happened once before during the episode but they didn’t know then either). And then as River and the Doctor are encouraging everyone to get into the TARDIS, Rory pauses to look at a gravestone. In Loving Memory, it reads, Rory Arthur Williams. “But Amy,” he’s saying, “that’s me…” when one surviving Angel taps him from behind, and he is thrown decades into the past.

Amy, of course, is heartbroken and very distraught, and the Doctor tells her he can fix it if she’ll just get into the TARDIS. But after some intense deliberation she decides no, she is not going to. She is going to let the Angel throw her back in time too, because she wants so desperately to be with Rory.

This is a tough moment for the Doctor, of course, because there is only the smallest of chances that she will even be in the same time period or place as Rory, because then he’d never see her again. She’d be stranded on her own with no guarantee of finding her husband. But open-handed love shows itself again, and the Doctor lets Amy blink. Moments later her name appears on the gravestone.

Now of course this is a theatrically orchestrated conclusion and they did find each other and lived happily ever after and blah blah blah. But for the Doctor, this is not the theatrically orchestrated conclusion he was looking for, and he has to accept it, accept the universe as it unfolds. Because, for him as much as and possibly more than anyone else, life is a river. (Get it?)

(Side note: I’m really, really afraid to watch Matt Smith regenerate in real time. No pun intended, because this is actually serious business. When I watched Nine and Ten regenerate, Ten and Eleven were already established and I knew it would be okay. This time I’m terrified. Then again, life is a river.)

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One thought on “Love in the Time of College

  1. The parting of a friendship does not signal a failure of love. Some things happen because people change, or are at a place in their life where they are bumping heads too often, but that does not diminish any value of love. Our friendship was full of love, and saying it failed is like saying you regret that friendship. And you should never regret the past, nor events that shape you in such incredible ways that our friendship shaped me. Erika, I still love you. Not in a high school crush sort of way, but in a genuine sort of way. And even when I am hurt and angry, I still will love you. And even if we go our separate ways, I will still love you for everything. If this is the end, I don’t want any animosity between us Erika. I don’t want us avoiding each other and keeping bad feelings up. So if you ever want to talk, you know how to contact me.

    -D

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