The unspoken rule of college is claiming seats for the semester. Once somebody consistently sits somewhere, that’s their seat. And the earlier you show up on the first day, the more likely you are to get your preference. I prefer to have a visual sight over most of the classroom because I’m always prepped for threat. I have a easy escape if I can see a threat coming before it can hurt me, and I’m always closest to the exit. Sitting in the second row of my Communications 101 class room, I can’t see everyone as I would usually prefer, but now it’s because of a threat .
I know he is just sitting there directly behind me. Not doing anything at all, just existing, taking notes, talking to our mutual classmates on either side of him, but each time I have to look at his face an icy river flows through my veins and I clench my fists. I feel like I make a pained face and wince away turning my body into itself. It’s just his face. I don’t even know his name.
My therapist gave me this analogy: “You’re seeing something that looks like a grizzly bear, it’s big, furry, and had claws, but it’s not a grizzly bear its a raccoon. Maybe it’ s a grizzly bear but its behind a fence, and it’s not the same one.”
I know this. I know it’s not a real threat. But my body is trying to alert me to something that looks like the threat that hurt me before that I didn’t take notice of. Slowly, I’m unraveling the past that has made others around me notice the same things. They notice I am very capricious and dual-natured, both loving and apathetic, cold and happy. It seems strange, but through deep analysis, I figured out why and how this dual-nature came about.
I did this little survey called the Jo-hari window, it has the user pick 6 characteristics that they think I possess. I picked 6 as well, these fall into one of 4 boxes, the “Known to self and hidden from others” box. If they pick one of the words that I also picked, it goes into the known to others and to self. If they picked words that I didn’t pick, it goes into another box, “Not known to self, but known to others.” If consensus grows on certain words they become highlighted against the others.
Sitting back, I know that the reason I can be both loving and apathetic/cold is because I keep my emotional distance, but I care deeply when I feel allowed or safe to do so. Sometimes I don’t notice I’m totally emotionally detached until I say something so unempathetic in a situation that requires at least a hint of empathy. I lash out without thinking because I have no emotional forethought.
To conclude this daily life post, I also want to address the antithetical ideas that surround my duality. I also am so emotional. It comes in many waves, spurred from things I can’t predict sometimes, and if recognized as a trigger of emotion, swell up and spill over even more; as if they were all the sudden given approval and allowed to overwhelm me. Maybe this recognition just seems at first like a swelling and then crashing wave, and maybe I’ll soon adapt to be the sand, able to withstand the constant crashing, and able to change with the rising tide.
I wont wince away anymore, cringe internally and externally. I won’t avoid it, but face it all.
My dreaded, and also exciting, search for colleges and now applying for them has been so exhausting in so many ways. The horrors of touring giant colleges with my crazy parents who never get along has been very real. My first campus tour last spring at UMass Amherst wasn’t totally a disaster but it was rough, and at the end of the day all I wanted to do was call my boyfriend and cry all night. So I did, while sitting in the empty tub of the hotel while my brother played video games on the bed. I didn’t particularly like the college. My mother had attended there for 8 years, and she hadn’t even visited the college before throwing herself into the application process, she had just wanted to get out. But the cement covered valley with its high risers that stuck out harshly against the barren landscape didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t want this ginormous campus to be my home, it felt too much like a evil institution like in all those dystopian movies I watch. I felt incredibly alone in the crowd and lost in all the commotion of schedules and 100 kid lecture halls. Even though the tour guides said the only 100 person classes they had ever taken were their first semester ones, it didn’t assure me that I would find my place at UMass. No, this place wasn’t for me.
I toured one other college that I got infatuated with, Hampshire College, or as my parents called it while going to UMass: “Hamster College” since all the weirdos went there. I felt like the curriculum was really me. Yet again though, I found that the barren fields, and awkward buildings that I was getting lost in were making me feel unwelcome. But mostly it was my tour guide telling me to “Get off my high horse and realize you aren’t special.” That was a very big blow to all my philosophical beliefs. He recommended I read a bunch of books about the insignificance of my existence and people’s lack of ability to be different from one another. I looked down onto my pin that I got from the college. It had a picture of a sheep and an red x across it. Don’t be a sheep. Don’t follow. Be a leader. Be a world Changer. Be different. Be special. That was the college’s motto, and I wondered how a person could go to a college with that motto but come out saying “No one is special.” It made me doubt some credibility. I still like Hampshire, but I have some philosophical wars going on.
Next stop was Salem State University. It was smaller and sweeter and newer than UMass. The library was way cooler and the facilities rocked. Even the dorms were better than UMass Amherst’s. I was impressed with the peppiness of the guides and welcomer’s and the enthusiasm and honestly of the admissions adviser who spoke to us. Then we went to another lecture for the “undecided”. This was a disaster. Absolute cacophony of horridness. The man speaking to us must have been having a mid life crisis of some kind since he just ranted about politics and when he was actually on topic I asked a question about something and announced I was home schooled. He said. “Well, college will be a culture shock.” and a few other comments of similar views. I was so insulted I almost left the room. I simply do not understand how a college professor could be that ignorant. Educate thyself and read some Socrates.
I’ve toured BC, Suffolk, Merrimack, and Bowdoin since then. Bowdoin was another catastrophe, but the college was pretty. I won’t tell this story since it was such a strange day. I also hate the person I liked at the time. (I wrote another post about him, but it got deleted accidentally) Now I am applying to an arts and communication school, Emerson. I’m applying for Writing, Literature, and Publishing, crossing my fingers they accept me!!!
Here are my college essays:
Q: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family Settling down on a name was hard for my parents before I was born. My mom wanted something interesting, different, not the Sarah, Emily, and Elizabeth’s of the world kind of name, she wanted it to be a creative and interpretive thing. My dad wanted exactly what my mother didn’t. He wanted tradition continuing to honor ancestors. I was going to be Alice Marie, May Eddie, or Willamina. Don’t get me wrong, Alice Marie, May Eddie, and Willamina are beautiful names, but I am not an Alice, nor May, and even more so, I am not a Willamina. Samantha suited me for a while, but it felt uncomfortable. I felt like it was a whiny, nasally noise people were yelling at me across the baseball field, up at bat, and then when I got hit with the ball a thousand times it was cooed out by my couch and that silly Tyler boy who still is lovesick for me today. “Samantha, are you OK? You get to walk.” That’s all I was doing, walking through the pitches, taking the hits, never swinging into a ball and hitting a home run then racing across the field for a winning game. I was standing in the outfield, waiting around, picking boogers, and staring into the sun, asking it, “Why do they call me Samantha? Who gave them the right to call me something I never signed up to be called?” As I grew up I liked to play make believe, and I would take on my make believe names for years. I was Mike (4-5 years old), Isabelle (6-7), Amber (7-8), Crystal (9-10), Landia (10-11), and then I found something I fell in love with. Zanthia. I wanted that to be me. Zanthia was beautiful, Zanthia was complex, Zanthia didn’t whine, Zanthia didn’t sit in the outfield, Zanthia hit home runs, Zanthia was a good friend and team player, and Zanthia was a Queen. But also, Zanthia wasn’t a stuck up girl, she was a transforming butterfly, she was becoming something she didn’t even know could be. Zanthia was ready to take on the world, or what she’d like to call her fairy kingdom. I decided to be Zanthia. Just like in the Bible when Saul realizes he was wrong about life and turns to God and is renamed Paul, Sarai and Abram realize they are called for something more and are changed to Sarah and Abraham, I was changed from Samantha the listener to Zanthia the fair haired. I claimed myself as my own, more than just claiming my body and personality, I made my identity. My parents may have needed to have a starting basis on what to call me, but I knew Samantha wasn’t a tattoo that was going to last forever on me. Samantha was little leagues. Samantha was playground talk. I was now the Queen of the Fairy Kingdom and Queen of Me. Zanthia.
If you could title your life anything what would it be? : I consider my life a building work of art. The hardest part of being an artist is naming your art. Sometimes stories are easily explained in a banner (headline) phrase: “Don’t Do Me Wrong”, “Love Me Do,” and “Good Girls, Bad Boys”, but some stories need more of a lead-like or thesis title, which a lot of punk rock songs use: “This isn’t a fashion statement it’s a deathwish”, “This mirror isn’t big enough for the two of us”, “Here’s that song you wanted”, or “Where can I stab myself in the ears”. The only reason I do not name my songs like the untitled versions of Shakespearean sonnets is because I am simply not allowed to. As a singer songwriter I’ve been forced to take my beautifully self titled songs like “I Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This”, or “My Soul’s Seasons of Drought”, and “Build Yourself A Home Inside My Heart” to be cut down to “Home” which does it no justice to what the song is actually about and is easily confused with the famous country song. At certain points in my life, namely ages 11-14, I would’ve liked to title my life: “Sometimes I Scream Aloud”, “Failure to Assimilate”, and “Would It Be Weird If”. Now I am almost 18 and many things have changed since my preadolescence and I can say that “The Uselessness of Trying To Be Human” is among my top three titles. The other two are: “My Reputation: An Apology” and “I Tried The Best I Could To Write You Songs.”
Totally doesn’t apply to this post, but I like this gif ALOT: I love you Roozbeh <3;)