Friday, November 11, 2011

The Exisistential Implications of Living At Home

Because this is my first time living at home full-time since highschool, certain parts of my brain seem to have reverted to various states in my psychological development. For instance I often have dreams about missing the bus and being late to school. What you should know is that I never took the bus in high school because I went to private school and there were no buses. I never took the bus in middle school because my father worked at the school I attended. I rarely took the bus in the later years of Elementary school because my school was on the way to the school where my father worked. So what is the deal, brain? Can't you dream about being late for work? Must I dream of the schoolbus, an image so essentially linked to my early childhood? What gives?

People from high school to whom I haven't spoken in years have also begun appearing in my dreams. I run into them in a random place and they tell me that they have always hated me, or that I really hurt their feelings but won't tell me what I did. In one of these cases I followed up in real life on facebook and asked the person if they have ever hated me and they said no, but I resent the dream none-the-less.

Another side effect of living at home, or maybe of just having too much free time, is that I seem to be revisiting my hyper-existential phase, circa 2004. I'll be lying in bed listening to audiobooks with one hand on the opposite shoulder and I'll start thinking things like "wow my shoulder feels weird. Everyone has shoulders. Mine are just MY SHOULDERS. That is weird. How weird is it that I even exist. Tooootally weird. I wonder if everyone else thinks its weird that they exist, too. What if they don't? What if I'm the only one who thinks this way. Oh god. OH GOD.  What if I think too hard about this and go crazy. What if I'm already crazy and I'm going to wake up in a padded room?..". Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera. This was my default mode when I was a sophomore in high school and that was fine. I really didn't have anything better to be doing with my brain but these days I have to get sleep so I can wake up and be good at my job and it's just not convenient to be worrying about how weird my shoulders are. And if I happen to start thinking about my cardiovascular system, or my lymphnodes, or even my bladder? Forget about it.

One important thing I've done this summer is get my hair back to what I think is my natural hair color. In 8th grade I bleached it out completely white and dyed it pink and I never really stopped dying it from that point on. Then this summer I decided I was going to revert. I'd been doing dark reddish brown for about a year so I had to bleach it again and then dye it darker and then wait for it to grow and then try to match my roots and so far I think I got it right. As big life changes and my adulthood loom I'm  trying to improve the things about myself that are a product of bad decisions made in the past (there is more to it than hair but I don't really want to go into all of that). Not that having dyed hair is such a bad thing (I usually look awesome no matter what so it doesn't really matter) but to me it represents all of the inauthentic behavior that I've exhibited since I came into basic self-reflective consciousness (for most girls this is around 12 or 13). For a few years now I've been feeling particularly at ease with who I am and my hair was the last remaining indicator that I have any possible identity issues. That was a bit of an aside, but my point is that in the midst of my success at focusing in on my authentic self and taking the steps I feel are necessary to get to that state, it is really fucking annoying to be having dreams about missing the bus to elementary school at night, and thinking like an adolescent ding dong in my downtime. At least I have a boyfriend. Who knows what kind of mess my brain would be if I had boys to worry about. I'd probably forget that I was 23 and start finding 17 year olds attractive again. Gross.

The good news is that I am much better now at many things, such as cooking and mixing cocktails, than I was last time I was living at home so I have a few things to fall back on when I feel myself starting to think about everything in terms of how weird it is that it exists. Also, I took  Into to Philosophy, Intro to Psychology, and a Literary Theory course based on the writings of Husserl and Levinas so I pretty much have my intellectual bases covered if I really need to delve into the specifics of shoulder weirdness.

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