Day 7780 | Day 7815 | Day 7821
I drink a lot these days. Sometimes as a social activity, sometimes alone to numb myself to the world for a few hours, but mostly because I have nothing else to do. The school I go to has a very small campus and I have few friends and fewer social activities I'm comfortable with. My recent uptake of homebrewing as a hobby has also provided me with hundreds of bottles of alcohol on the cheap, giving me the motive, means, and opportunity to binge drink pretty much whenever I want (which is often). It's unhealthy.
Two weeks ago I discovered my housemates were using what I could only guess was cocaine. The drug culture had been alive and well in my house throughout the entire year but hit a new level with the start of the semester in January. What used to be a habit of smoking pot a few times a week turned into the habit of smoking it a few times a day. This came along with all the stoner friends of my housemates and the constant excuse that they are unable to pay for anything because they're out of money. When small bags of white powder started showing up, I knew it was time to get out.
So I moved to the only place I could for no charge: back into a dorm. Incidentally I moved into the same room in which I spent most of sophomore year deciding whether or not to kill myself. The door squeaks exactly the way it did two years ago, the leaf in the vent still flutters when the heat goes on, and there's still some asshole bouncing a basketball in the hallway for hours each night. Oh yes, the nostalgia is hitting hard in these last few weeks of college.
It is, in a word, lonely. "Our social circle kinda imploded sophomore year," Nick says. Well, if you ask me it more atrophied like the cast of a sitcom running far too many seasons after its prime but the sentiment is the same. And that trend is reaching its logical conclusion—five weeks before graduation and though people won't admit it, we're all unconsciously deciding which friends we're going to work to stay in contact with and which ones we'll let drift away. Because it will be work. Say what you want about Skype, texting, Facebook, and email but it's simply easier to maintain friendships with those whom you interact with on a daily basis than people you're lucky to talk to once a week. I'm realistic (or perhaps cautiously pessimistic)—I've picked three people who I'm going to try to keep in my life but even then I don't really have faith that we'll be able to maintain our friendships. Like those high school girls that swear they're going to be best friends forever, I half expect to fall out of contact with these people on the order of months after graduation.
And while they're planning the next step in their lives around graduate school and job offers, I find myself directionless and paralyzed by anxiety. It's not that I expect those things to just be given to me: all of my friends worked hard, incredibly hard, to get the opportunities they're now reaping the rewards of. They have drive, I do not. I don't crave material wealth or the intangible bragging rights that come with 'being a success'. I neither expect nor want to work a job which gives me existential 'fulfillment'. I don't want a family or any of those generative impulses that propel so many others through hardships. I don't want much of anything. My friends are on a path of some sort; they may not know exactly what they're doing but they have goals, plans, and the motivation to achieve them and my lack of these things makes me feel, at the least, childish by comparison.
For the last few years my dad has regularly nagged me about my plans for the future: "I just want to help you figure out what you want to do with your life."
Nothing, Dad. I want to do nothing with it.