Words that make me Cry

There is this song, or rather a cover of this song called “The Freshman” by Josh Murley that I listen to a lot. If you know me, you’d know that a lot of my playlist is made up of covers from “The Voice” and Josh Murley was one of the contestants. It’s the perfect song to listen to when I’m on a long bus ride and it just puts my body at attention and everything else seems to quiet down as I listen to the way he enunciates each word. Maybe it’s especially so because I’m in my freshman year. My favourite part would be the chorus.

“For the life of me, I cannot remember, what made us think that we were wise, and we’d never compromise. For the life of me, I cannot believe we’d ever die for these sins, we were merely freshmen.”

I love this song so much. I think it’s one of the few songs that make me feel like physical tears mean nothing and it makes my heart feel SO heavy. Maybe I’m being sadistic, but I love feeling sad over this song. I think that honesty often carries a sliver of sadness. And this song just opens up completely about being

This song just resonates with me because I think of all the mistakes we’ve made already, barely 20 years into our lives. How stupid and unforgiveable some of them are. It takes courage to even look back on them. And I wonder who ever even qualifies for Heaven? There are so many times in life where no matter what decision we make, we lose. If we were to be judged on those mistakes too, we’re all guilty for crimes against humanity.

This makes the fact that there are probably 60 more years to go so frightening.

Today in class, Women’s Literature and the Contemporary specifically, my Professor mentioned a story of Gogol’s overcoat. Basically, this guy Gogol wrote a story about this rather uneducated clerk who gets paid very little for his work. He is so poor that he gets made fun of by his colleagues for his overcoat, tattered and torn beyond redemption.

When the teasing gets too much for him he decides to save up for a new coat. He spent a long time trying and when he finally spends most of his savings on an expensive new coat, his colleagues are surprised. He grows more popular and his officemates throw a party in celebration of a new start for him.

That same night, the man gets robbed and beaten up by ruffians who steal his new coat. Of course, he is devastated. The next day, when he reports this to his boss, asking for advice on the situation. The man’s boss gives him a complete scolding, for wasting his time over something so trivial. The overcoat is now trivial.

The scolding is so harsh that the man goes into shock. Then he falls ill and dies.

At the end of the story, everyone in the lecture theatre laughs. I didn’t though. I couldn’t. And I don’t understand why anybody did. Is the world (Or at least my lecture theatre) filled with hypocrites who can’t admit to themselves that they’ve been striving  for the approval of someone else for a huge portion of their lives? (Because for majority of us, that’sounds what got us here) Or is this world just too apathetic to see that’s exactly what the protagonist of the story tried to do?

Effort, no matter where it is directed towards, no matter intelligent and successful ones or retarded failures, is not laughable. We have all spent parts of our lives pursuing things we know are useless, things that have no meaning. No matter if we tell ourselves that it is going to lead to something meaningful or  useful. Most of the time we comfort ourselves with the theory of parallel worlds- that everything you do leads to this point. And we look back at a satisfactory point in our lives and we say “It’s all worth it.” Well, history  is dictated by the Victorious. Gogol’s story just acknowledges the fact that pursuit of things wI think values dictated and defined by other people is a life lost. And people, being the hypocrites they are, find you laughable for that.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I talked to Jem about feeling comfortable being myself. Or rather, uncomfortable.I always feel insufficient, not enough, like people are judging me. And I realized- not caring isn’t a personality trait. But a habit. My confidence comes from my stubbornness, and I am conscious about that. So I’m just going to get used to the idea that no one is looking at me. No one cares if my shorts are too short or my dress is too figure- hugging. And even if they notice, they shouldn’t.

I cry easily. When I’m tired, when I’m angry, when I’m sad. But crying isn’t a bad thing. More than feeling alone, I hate feeling vulnerable, I hate feeling like a burden. I don’t want to call anyone when I cry. Whatever negativity I have, I don’t like projecting  onto someone else. People just need to respect that.

I said Everything I needed to.

I told Jem everything. Everything from why I threw that sudden tantrum and why I stopped going to Church. That I haven’t been feeling comfortable with cell for a long time, that I couldn’t answer late night texts and calls from people who rely on me, and that I want to stop feeling guilty about prioritizing myself. That I want to choose to prioritize myself.

He was very very nice about it. And that only made me feel a little shame about how little faith I had in him. The last time we saw each other I knew he was upset with me. The last time we texted we argued. And what I texted him about, I told him with the idea of throwing the towel in, of giving him the choice to break the friendship if he got upset about what I said. I went into it thinking, “I might regret this in the future, but not now. I’m too tired of this to even care about feelings and emotions, and certainly not about ones aside from my own. I need to clear out all this negativity uploaded onto me, because I didn’t ask for it. I want to reply someone late and miss a call or two without worrying that he or she might break down or commit suicide. I want to enjoy myself and be myself on outings without worrying about offending someone. And if I have to tiptoe around my friends, then I’d rather not.”

I was fully prepared to cut them out of my life if it meant I could stop feeling responsible for anyone’s life aside from my own. Recently another friend of ours has been so worrying and it’s really just bad timing. I’ve had so many essays due, I just got a B- and our devised piece for drama is coming up and I really am the least experienced and the weak link at this point. Not to trivialize someone else’s problems, but I’ve really been suffering from the lack of sleep and I really could use the average 3-4 hours a week I spend on texting and calling up to check on people, studying. And working on my acting which I swear is just feeling worse and worse.

Jem’s reaction made me realize that there were so many things I could have just told him about. If there’s anything I know about myself, it’s that I don’t trust people easily. Or rather, I guess their reactions quite accurately most of the time, and most of the time, I don’t trust those reactions, so I avoid them. Whether it’s by saying the truth or bottling up secrets, my priority was rarely myself. I want it to be myself now, so I’m letting it all out. And just telling Jem alone felt good. His reaction was merely the cherry on top.

Then again, timing is everything. I don’t think he would have taken the things I mentioned so easily if it hadn’t been in retrospect. And when I said I wasn’t going back to cell for a long time, I think he took that as a few more months, or until I have time.

I actually added that in as an afterthought. “I’m not going back to cell. At least, not for a long time.”