“Life, ideally, I think, should be like the Minuet or the Virginia Reel or the Turkey Trot, something easily mastered in a dancing school”, Kurt Vonnegut, Slapstick.
This quote has stuck in my mind since I first ready Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick a few years back, maybe because it’s true, or maybe because I wish it were true. Why, I ask myself, isn’t life just that easy, why is it not something that can be mastered quickly with practice? Why does it keep throwing curves that I don’t know how to hit, that I don’t understand. Lately, I don’t even understand myself.
I haven’t been myself this weekend. I haven’t been myself for a while. I am a generally outgoing person who goes through phases of introversion and extreme independence in which I desire a lot of alone time. I brushed my feelings off as being one of these phases; with the onset of many life and schedule changes, I thought nothing of it. For the past two days, I can’t seem to leave bed. I can’t leave the house, let alone my room. I live with my boyfriend and a roommate, the roommate often having people over as he is an extremely outgoing person with a very loud personality, and I find myself very withdrawn from him especially. Currently there are two people over to watch football, a sport that I hate but have been able to tolerate many times in my life. I can’t leave my room. I feel paralyzed and stuck, wanting to be one place, but not finding the strength to get myself there. I fear that my boyfriend doesn’t understand what I’m feeling or going through, but then again, neither do I.
We found out a little over a week ago that my boyfriend’s mom has cancer. The day he came home crying and told me was the same day that my grandmother finished her last treatment of chemotherapy after fighting pancreatic cancer. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe in God, but whatever thing is taking credit for what happens in this life, I was angry with it. How could this be happening? I cried as I held him when he told me. I’ve never seen him cry before. I felt devastated after just experiencing four months of my grandma’s illness and recovery, and now it’s back to square one. How can this kind of thing keep happening to people that don’t deserve it?
I don’t know where to go from here. I’ve considered that maybe I’m empathetic, a person that can literally feel the emotions of others. I’ve considered everything. I’ve never experienced any kind of social anxiety in my life before, but the thought of walking down the hall into a room full of people is terrifying me at this moment. At the same time, I can’t stand another minute of being alone with my thoughts.
What are life and my mind trying to tell me right now? I believe in certain cosmic forces and vibes and signs from the world, I just don’t know how to read or understand these feelings I’m having. I need to find the answers soon.