Unsolved Mystery

The 20s are all about figuring yourself out. The biggest mysteries in life are us, ourselves (that's we as humans). Why do we do and say the things we do? We have motives and intentions that are our driving forces. The thing is we may not always be in touch with those reasons. There has to be reconciliation between not only who you actually are and how people see you, but how you want to be as well. Putting yourself back together may quite possibly be the most difficult thing you ever have to do. My big question is how and when did I become an unsolved mystery?
This morning I took a good long look at myself in the mirror. Staring into your own eyes may or may not be the weirdest thing ever. I don't know what I was looking at, maybe to see if my reflection did something out of the ordinary. I could have sworn I saw the other me flinch when I didn't. It was something out of a scary movie except I would not be the token person of color to be offed first (oh no not in my own room). I looked into that mirror and saw not only age but change. I saw coldness. I saw myself - melancholy, frustrated and exasperated. I look nothing like myself (whoever that may be). In other words, I am a shell of my former self. What happened to the boy I used to know. My smile was nowhere to be found, the bright glimmer in my dark brown eyes shone no more, and all my imperfections were blatantly glaring right back at me. It was something out of Black Swan (I cannot stand Natalie Portman, her acting style or her multiple celebrity doppelgängers - Kiera Knightley and Mila Kunis). Who the hell am I? When did I become this person I barely recognized but more importantly, how and why? The mystery of my fall to perpetual paranoia, gloom, and inquisition was about to be cracked. (But actually though, I put myself on my own case - like who does that, isn't that some kind of massive conflict of interest #teamwhatevs).
Let me take you back to yesterday and we'll work our way back up until these moments (classic CSI: NY retrospective case study). The last day of classes for fall 2013 was upon me. I spent my morning in the RHA office going hard in the paint like some psycho-T type of stuff (Tyler Hansbrough where you be - Raptors life) on emails and then I made my way to my final class of the semester, physics. I sat with my old friend/suitemate, Jimmy, and soon we were knocking out evaluations and hardcore peacing out of there. I made a quick stop to visit my fraternity brother/advisor Lane in his office in the physical sciences building (the place reeks of intelligence) before meeting up with a new friend, Elisabeth for a lovely chat. We got our warm drinks on and dove right into getting to know one another and connect over our shared relationship with God. It was actually really refreshing to talk about my spirituality, pray in public, and discuss the Bible (it's a really good book ... get it - I'm trying to be funny, laugh at me reader). For an hour I was doing nothing more than being present and sharing my life experiences and thoughts with another person instead of being pulled every which way (Molly, the doll from the Big Comfy Couch has nothing on me). The silence was broken with a classic call from my buddy Mac with the news of that prevented shooting at University of New Haven. With that again my phone was blowing up and I knew it was time to go. Back to my building for the reckoning meeting with my RHA advisor Drake. After verbally swashbuckling the basic things like performance, executive board & general body relationships, future plans, we got to the thick of it where I confessed what's been troubling me all semester. The mystery was about to be solved.
This semester has been both the best and the worst all time. I spent the entire semester in a perpetual state of internalized hatred and outward suspicion. After countless bias incidents, and microaggressions that come with my identities as a person of color and not-so mainstream guy, the issues of how I saw myself took their toll. Add my super involvement and people wanting something from me, or needing me to do things for them, but not me as a person. Never have I ever been closer to self-harm or wanted to disappear from existence completely than now. Combine that with some of the best acting skills known to man (if I do say so myself) - as in being okay to a certain extent but compounding things and being unable to let go of other people's transgressions against me. I would never ever say that I needed help or wanted to talk but would expect people to read my non-verbal subtext, and then get mad at them for not. I couldn't think of pretty much anyone I actually liked anymore, and my so-called friends were wholly oblivious which made me even angrier. Then people would talk about me and not to me (don't do it, it's what gets to me the most) and then do things without me (probably cause my ass was in hyperactive rage mode 24/7). I think the thing that pushed me over the edge was literally going days without hearing from people, as in if I wasn't texting people to initiate conversation (as in me perpetually playing the good-listener/fix-your-life friend role but never reciprocated) then it was radio silence. My emotionally unstable self took that as I didn't matter to me and that people didn't care (what other conclusion would you come to?). This whole time I'm literally just talking, sweating, panicking and tearing up all at the same time. I was talking to myself, having a debate with myself (forgetting anyone else is there) and a kind of nervous break down with all this double talk of being critical of everyone else but unfairly harsh on myself. I left that meeting unwound and truly beat. No rest for the weary, so it was off to RHA end of semester dinner where I was all of a sudden light-hearted and bringing the best of my special brand of story/joke-telling (notice this is literally moments after having been a mess - see the problem). We did dinner and grabbed dessert before heading back to campus. The mystery wasn't quite over yet.
Remember the facts of this case, it was the last day of the semester so at my school that means the naked bike ride (belligerently drunk college students running nude in the freezing cold). I hadn't intended on going, especially after my campus wide email admonishing students of its potential dangers and those of binge drinking. Sam, Dae-Dae and I decide to go, because it's whatever, so we make our way over there and observe the debauchery. After I while I notice it's not as rowdy as before, there's fewer people and that more people are keeping their underwear on. I had this rebellious moment and just started stripping to my undergarments, thank goodness my boxer-briefs were solid and not ratchet as hell. All of a sudden, Sam and I are running one lap and we make it back to our clothes and move on with our lives. I immediately regretted it, literally the only non-white person and stood out like nobody's business. We eventually left and ended up going to Denny's with Mac, Connor, and Ben. We were doing our social thing and somehow we ended up on me being egotistical. Then I asked everyone to describe me and I got "tyrant; mean sarcasm; self-centered and moody." So I'm thinking, really - but actually though, these are my friends hardcore going in on me saying that essentially I'm nothing more than a selfish bitchy bully with a superiority complex. They brought up the incident right before Thanksgiving break where I was triggered and they went to the movies without me. I didn't text people back and was a bad friend because of it. My response of my perspective of not being able to respond in a respectful manner, and feeling blatantly disregarded the one of a few days where I was not okay was immediately invalidated as outrageously selfish. By the end of our impromptu "roast" I was more than pissed off. I stayed up for a while thinking about what Drake had said about me not accepting people's affection towards me because it's not exactly what I want, how I want it. It was a rough night of thought and debate between hating everyone and wanting to be alone, or forgiving them for what they didn't know that they had done. I'm a complicated person and an unsolved mystery.
This post is long, I'm aware, but this story is important, at least to me. This brings us back to the mirror this morning. After looking at myself for more than half an hour, I made the hardest decision I've ever had to make ... to forgive myself, and moreover my friends for not being there for me (and being unaware of it). I reread all 30 of my blog posts chronicling this semester and saw how often I mentioned certain people and I realized how much they mattered to me. I had to let go of my expectations for all of them. They will not be who I want them to be. No one is like me and no one spends their time thinking about every interaction they have with people or about other people like the way I do. I had to choose to accept what people were offering me, their friendship - their unique friendship. My expectations of myself of being a friend, that is to be there for not only the fun times, but the tough times, be the one to have the hard conversations with people, and explicit on if I actually cared or liked someone as a person. Doing everything in my power to express to people that I value them is something only I do and can expect myself to do. People don't do that, obviously which has been the entire problem for me. I'm not lowering my expectations, I'm disbanding them. I'm taking what people are willing to give me, I can hope for them (that is to actually communicate to tell them) what I need as a friend, but be okay with the fact that not all people will be able to be more than just good-time buddies. I can't go through life expecting people to support me like I support them because it's unfair to not only them but myself at the same time (I would always be disappointed, and unappreciated). I have to stop trying so hard and just let things happen. I have to let people care, however they can and not disregard their efforts to express their friendship towards me. So is this case closed, did I make up my entire semester long ordeal (probably a quarter of it, but everything I felt was real, and definitely people did mess up along the way in their own rights) but I have to own the responsibilities of what I did, how I acted, who I was and the repercussions of it all as well. So, I'm doing what I never ever freaking do, apologize (it's kind of problematic in this case after the emotional duress of my college experience, but whatever). I'm sorry for my attitude. I'm sorry for not being fun all the time. I'm sorry for being distant. What I'm not sorry for is not only who I truly am, but the kind of friend I am - I don't care of it doesn't sound humble, but my friendship is the kind people search the world over for. Case closed.
The 20s is all about solving the puzzle that is you. It took a couple tough talks and group verbal beatdown to check myself, but I'm back in business. Don't worry, the next blog post will be a lot more upbeat because me as a person am. The heaviness is gone and the warmth is back. Look to me to be smiling more often and obnoxiously reckless in cracking jokes. I'm aware this post is the most passive-aggressive thing ever but I'm a work in progress, these things don't happen overnight. I will however be checking my assumed personality, look to see me more softspoken, and reserved (it's the trade-off you'll have to make). This unsolved mystery has just been solved (where are the Hardy Boys when you need them).
My blog post question for the day is ... have you ever not trusted your friends, why? Yup, apparently this is my life struggle to be constantly testing people's loyalty without ever cluing them in on it.


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