I’m having surgery again tomorrow, but unlike last time, I’m not afraid because I already know what to expect. Nonetheless, I’m not particularly thrilled about it, although it will be better to go through the surgery than to avoid it.
The surgery I had before, and the one that I’m having again, isn’t super serious; it’s purely a dermal procedure to ensure that I don’t have skin cancer and that I don’t develop it from what’s been considered atypical. Despite this, the fact that I have to get surgery “to be safe” and “to check” for these things has confronted me with mortality more than before. Then, a month after my first surgery, my cousin was killed, which was devastating in itself while also further contributing to these thoughts about mortality.
I finished a book called, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, today, and Paul’s thoughts about death and what gives life meaning was incredibly powerful and inspiring. I Was Here by Gayle Forman was insightful about these ideas that I’ve been grappling with lately too. Perhaps I’ll make a separate post with passages from both these books that have provided some perspective. Grief therapy and my best friend that has experienced loss recently as well, have been helpful to me too. Anyway, in the wake of my surgery tomorrow, especially after finishing When Breath Becomes Air, I have been incredibly introspective.
I’ve been feeling like I’ve been struggling with connecting to new people. In particular, this one woman who I’ve mentioned before…I met her online and we’ve become friends. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty I feel toward her that has caused me to be closed-off, but what if I’ve just…hardened? Last year was tumultuous in regards to people whom I considered friends. It’s possible that after all those fall-outs, that I’m tired of investing in people only to be disappointed. It’s possible that I’m scared to emotionally connect with someone and to want to connect with someone. Historically, I have not been this way at all…granted, there isn’t anything wrong with being wary and cautious around new people, but I’m unsure if how I’ve been feeling and handling my social life has been healthy. Unlike my previous years at university, I haven’t made many new friends this year. I’ve met new people but I haven’t pursued any relationships beyond being acquaintances. Partly because for once, I feel like I have friends at school but also because I feel so tired of meeting new people. It’s exhausting in many ways and frequently disappointing..which saddens me at the same time. I’ve been preferring to be alone more, despite actually having people to hang out with at school.
None of these habits suggest that I’ve been isolating myself, but compared to how I’ve behaved the last two years…being closed-off, not making new friends, and preferring to be alone are a little worrisome. On the other hand, perhaps I’m choosing to focus on myself more than before. For the first time since my junior year in high school, I’m not emotionally nor romantically attached to anyone. I’ve been feeling this way since I came back from Europe, and it’s been fabulous. It’s also been boring, but when I tried online dating this fall, that became too exciting, in an anxiety-inducing way, so perhaps I prefer boring right now. Which may be why I’ve been behaving in a more..isolated manner. Maybe I want to be a little boring so I can take care of myself…plus with all my complex thoughts and questions regarding mortality…it’s all a bit heavy to deal with.
I’ve been thinking about speaking to a therapist one-on-one again…it may be helpful since the trial for my cousin’s case is closing in February and I’ve learned some stuff about the accident that has made the loss more painful. I’d like to talk about that as well as all the health issues that have arisen in my family: mine and my mom’s.
Aside from all these concerns that have been boggling my brain, this semester has been the best. I’ve been more at peace with myself than in the past…way less anxious and stressed..calmer. I’ve been practicing yoga some mornings and my mom has gotten in holistic practices that she’s informed me about. They’ve generally been pretty helpful. Additionally, when I do socialize, the interactions are more meaningful than the intoxicated hangouts I frequently had last year. I’ve gotten closer to my sister, my cousins, and I’ve been pursuing new projects.
Although I’ve been feeling more at peace, I can’t help but wonder how much of it is a facade. My junior year is halfway through, and I feel incredibly lost regarding my future. I feel a bit disillusioned with my job and it’s been my worst semester academically. I’ve been having a reoccurring fight with my mom, but I’m too afraid to address the root of the issue (my complicated feelings about her after my senior year in high school..we’ve “forgotten” about that whole year). I have developed some horrible anxiety about anything to do with cars, especially crossing the street.
So…I guess this blog post is to help me…understand and care for myself next year. And also tomorrow…before, during, and after my surgery. We should always be taking care of ourselves.
I’m unsure if I will post again before the new year…so if I don’t, I hope y’all have a great new year! I personally loathe the holiday (it’s super anticlimactic) but this year, since I’m twenty-one now, I’ll be heading to the bars so it should be fun. Please share how you’ll be celebrating!