Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Drowning in the Middle of the Ocean

I'm finding it excruciatingly hard to write this, seeing as tears are flowing out of my eyes at an alarmingly fast rate.

I don't know what to do. I'm so lost. I don't even know where to begin to verbalize how I feel.

My heart skipped several beats this morning when one of my professors said, "Find a partner or a group of three to work in." I like to pride myself on being an outgoing and enthusiastic person. But now I would like to add an asterisk to that statement: *Only when I am comfortable in my surroundings.

I knew nobody in that class, except this one girl who I met like once my Freshman year and this guy I awkwardly tried flirting with like once my Freshman year. Point goes: I knew nobody in that class. So I'm sitting there and a wave of panic washes over me. I am thinking all of the worst thoughts: "What if they don't want me in their group? What if nobody wants me in their group? What if I turn to form a group and they already have a full group?" My heart was racing and I could feel my palms getting very clammy. Honestly, I'm not sure what courage washed over me, but I literally swallowed my fear and turned around to face the girl behind me. She, luckily, did not have a partner and we partnered up. Talk about luck...

One hurdle down, two to go.

Onto my next class, and possibly my most challenging class. If I thought I was going to die of cardiac arrest earlier, boy did I set myself up for a treat... It is rare for me to be completely clueless in a class even after doing the readings. Every Monday and Wednesday, I head on over to class in the beautiful School of Law and I sit around a round table with about 15 other students and the professor where we spend an 1 hour and 20 minutes discussing [insert political philosopher here] and [insert argument here] and whether or not [said argument] is applicable to today. 

This is by far the most interesting class I have ever taken with possibly some of the smartest people I have ever met, but class after class, I am at a loss of words. I am unable to formulate a statement, possibly because I'm afraid I'm going to say something extremely stupid and not on the same level as the other students, also maybe because I have no idea what to say and how to answer his questions, but some part is definitely due to the fact that I am terrified he has forgotten how to say my name and if I did have something profound to say, he would be scrambling for the correct way to pronounce it. (Silly, but is it really? I find that I'm saving myself from public embarrassment.)

 The way I do the readings, I always find a summary and some (very minimal) context on the history surrounding the text. Then I read through the text and think of questions to help guide my reading. These questions are elementary in nature, but I have no idea how to conceptualize anything in the reading so that I can graduate to possibly a middle-school level of understanding.

So, after class, in an attempt to try to reach this new level of understanding, I went to my professor's  office hours. I caught him as he was leaving his office and our first exchange made me want jump out the window and run so far away from here and life. 

(Sidebar: I had stopped crying, but recounting this exchange is bringing a new set of fresh tears to my already red eyes. This is one of the only days that I am not wearing makeup, so maybe intuitively I knew that I was going to bawl my eyes out. Although... My makeup is water proof and I have gone swimming in it and even played an intense game of volleyball in it and it still looked perfect. Anyways, I digress.)

I had been practicing what to say to him for the past couple of days, and each time I practiced, it did not get easier, but harder because with each repetition, the would-be conversation would become much more of a reality. It was finally time to deliver the speech. So, I run into him and luckily I had not eaten anything because the nerves I had were strong enough to make me puke. 

You know how I said I was terrified about the name pronunciation... Yeah. It was a valid fear. He did ask how to pronounce my name and I felt my heart sink because if the silliest of my fears came true, what would stop my legitimate fears from coming true too? That marked the downfall of the oh-so carefully and meticulously practiced mock conversation I had between me and him (although in these mock conversations, his face was the face of Matthew Gray Gubler because I might or might not have been watching Criminal Minds while these conversations were taking place.) 

So, we went to the courtyard to talk about why he "never heard from me" due to the fact I sit in class with the most blank face you can ever imagine. Sometimes, when somebody cracks a joke, my mind is still processing the last argument made that I don't understand the joke because I am trying so hard to relate the joke (which I still have not actually registered as a funny statement at that time) to the broader theory. Luckily, I did not word vomit but I also was not able to seamlessly articulate the problem I was facing in the class. Here's a question! Which is worse: articulate word vomit or inarticulate fragmented thoughts? Did you guess the second option? If you did, you're correct. Wanna guess which option was me? DEFINITELY THE LATTER OPTION. Wanna guess how I felt? [Insert adjectives synonymous with crappy here.] Yeah.

Through lots of hand motions, pouts, sighs, and borderline tears (Thank GOODNESS for thick framed glasses,) I was finally able to get out what I had to say and we talked about different lenses to approach the readings with. So, I'm going to try that for our next reading and see how that goes and report in to him.

And to top off the crappy day, checked my exam for another class and I pretty much failed it. I studied hard or at least I thought. Going through the exam, it was a lot of silly and stupid mistakes that could have been avoided if I spent an extra minute or two rereading the texts. Guess who will end up going to a bunch of office hours for the rest of the semester? ME!

Reading this at face value, it's hard to understand my true frustration with myself. I've never been one to reach out for help (no matter how bad the situation,) but I honestly felt like I was at the point where I was gurgling water and needed some assistance before I finally go under. I'm trying a new outtake on life by letting myself be a little bit more vulnerable and being able to speak out for help.

Let me tell you, it's scary. I almost cried because of my pride and lack of humility when talking to my professor, but I feel so much better. Plus, I think with this new look on life, I might be saving myself therapist costs (which just means MORE BAGS AND SHOES FOR ME!!!)

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