|Better it is to live alone. There is no fellowship with a fool; let one live alone doing no evil, being care-free, like an elephant in the elephant forest.|
At that point, I was fed up with myself. I couldn't stand the cycle I was living in, and I truely felt I had become selfish. Selfish, in the sense that others would be interested in my thoughts, my opinions.. And I would try to escape conversation or make it fully one sided. I would learn about and enjoy other people, but they were given no chance to enjoy me. Instead I kept to myself, teaching myself how to flip butterfly knives I picked up earlier in the year. I was enthralled by the way the twin handles and blade flipped through the air..
Regardless, day in and day out, I was letting myself waste away. My cell phone battery was always dead, and I would rarely remember to charge it.. And when I did, I usually had two or so voicemails from my friend "Bogey" wanting to hang out. I was self indulgent and pitiful. Ironically enough, despite my want and need to change, the realization of what I had become made me feel like I was stuck in a loop.
Fall Quarter ended, and I let Winter Quarter classes fill up.. So I was out of school for a while. It was December, and my birthday was just around the corner.. But for the second time in my life, I really didn't care. My parents got me a Ideazon Merc Stealth keyboard as an early present, which I got to use at a LAN party with a different group of friends. Then my birthday rolled in, along with swarms of needles dancing in my head.
I remember still being awake at 8am the next day, tortured constantly over this one thought of mine. My 18th birthday was the last time I had hung out with my best friends with a full heart, and after the passing of my 19th that thought absolutely crushed me. In the course of a full year, we had only hung out 4 times.. Despite how I was told nothing would change.
Just then I remember my door opening and being greeted with "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU STILL DOING UP?!", and responding by grabbing the closest thing to me and chucking it across the room.. Change flew everywhere, and I went to sleep on a bed of coins and a damp pillow, feeling completely broken... In a normal state of being, a completely overdramatic scenario. But imagine your mind playing tricks on you, making you feel like you had nothing left. The fact that I couldn't explain why things happened the way they did between me and my friends ate me alive. I had never felt like such a waste before.
Later that week I got word from my father that my grandpa was looking into having me visit him and my grandma in AZ in January. He used the excuse of having me go to "help [him] with the computer". Like any situation of the sort, I felt guilty and decided I should just go. Besides, it would give me time to calm down and get a stronger grip on things, right?
Christmas came and went, and to be honest, I don't remember much of it at all. But I do remember leaving with them to Phoenix with Molly. And let me tell you, it was pretty entertaining handling that dog through the airport. Sweet dog, just very silly. Imagine.. Every single time you make any form of reflection on the ground, she jumps to eat or pounce it... That's Molly. She just goes crazy. Anyway...
I ended up having a great time, despite my low expectations. I got to know my grandparents better than I ever had before, and instead of groaning at the thought of spending time with them... I'm excited to see them.
Aside from getting to know my grandparents, as well as the city of Gilbert, AZ... To my surprise I got an email from one of the two friends I had been thinking about. I couldn't believe it. I was getting an apology, and it broke my heart. This apology I was convinced I would never get. I was convinced that human beings follow strict patterns and everything stays the same. I suppose that's the problem with being driven by logic. Not everything can be explained, because humans are living beings, and completely capible of breaking free from cycles and patterns. At last, I felt at rest.. Finally making amends.. I started to feel as if I could move forward again.
The thought didn't hit me until I got back home, but I started thinking "Wow, I'm so glad they asked me to go".. And overall, I was just very thankful I was still thought of. Because of how I bonded with my grandparents, there is no one I want to make proud more than my grandpa.
In a weird turn of events, I ended up going back to AZ two more times. Crazy and certainly expensive.. Three weeks, three times, in three months. The second time my family came with, and the third time I came with my cousin. It was about the second time that I discovered Overclock.net, and was warmly welcomed by txtmstrjoe and the rest of the Socket 939 club (much thanks to all of you, as well as others who have welcomed me). Instead of Xbox case mods, I had a new hobby called overclocking and became deeply interested in getting the most out of my hardware. Among other things, the magic of case modding had a lure I couldn't deny.
March rolled around, and I had a girlfriend. She was sweet. Hell, I had even developed a bit of a chuckle again. She was a year younger than me, and I did anything to make her smile. I even taught myself how to animate in flash so I could give her a birthday card showing a rocket train flying over an exploding rainbow.. Something only we would understand. Unfortunately, there were things that went on behind my back that I started to notice, and it ended in a mess. Anxiety hit me in full force, and I was miserable for a while.
I remember trying to find a way to visually depict the way anxiety looked to me. I think the album art to Misery Signals' Of Malice And Magnum Heart displays it the best. Misery Signals is what I started listening to for a while, then back to Nine Inch Nails.. But this time, The Downward Spiral. Eventually I got a new girlfriend again, and it felt like everything washed away.. I could laugh normally again, and in every way I was convinced she was perfect.. And she was my sunshine. But last November, that changed as well. I was torn, yet now I'm okay with it...
Part of the reason why is because some of the words I've read here on OCN's blog section.. Some of you I have made a strong point to thank as well.. But one of the biggest factors helping me right now is the very point behind this blog-- There's more to the story of the elephant.. And having read the text surrounding it, I can't help but share it. If I could share this complete quote with the friend that originally shared it with me, I would.. As in midst of my struggles, it has brought me peace. My hope is that someone else will read this and delight in it as well.
Take delight in heedfulness; guard your mind well. Draw yourself out of the evil way like an elephant sunk in the mire.
If you get a prudent companion who is fit to live with you, who behaves well and is wise, you should live with him, joyfully and mindfully overcoming all dangers.
If you do not get a prudent companion who is fit to live with you, who behaves well, and is wise, then like a king who leaves a conquered kingdom, you should live alone as an elephant in the elephant forest.
Better it is to live alone. There is no fellowship with a fool; let one live alone doing no evil, being care-free, like an elephant in the elephant forest.
When need arises, happy is it to have friends; happy is contentment with just this and that; merit is happy, when life is at an end; happy is the shunning of all ill.
Happy is virtue till old age; happy is steadfast confidence; happy is the attainment of wisdom; happy is it to do no evil.
"With determination we all must live on. We've all learned things from those days.
I know that we all have grown-- Even I now feel a calm like I have never known."
All comments welcome.