Looking forward, looking back, looking in

I finished high school last year, and almost immediately stepped onto a plane and flew out of the country!

And for the past two weeks I’ve been back at home, looking for a job, catching up with friends…

Oh yes, and wondering what the hell do I do all day?

Seriously, this is a major fucking dilemma! I went straight from full time education to full time traveler and volunteer. I don’t know what I do when I’m just at home.

The down time was nice for about, oh, an hour or so, and then I got bored.

So, I’ve been baking a lot, drawing a bit, playing a bit of guitar when the fancy takes me. I’ve read about ten different novels and spent an obscenely large amount of time on the internet. Imagine a pyjama clad wild eyed teenager crouched in front of a computer monitor madly refreshing facebook over and over again waiting for something ANYTHING to happen.

It’s a baby bit embarrassing.

Don’t worry, this slow decent into madness is about to be squashed by employment, as today I found myself putting on clothes and going outside and talking to people!!!

I did a trial at my new job, in other words, and it looks like I’m in.

The odd, fog like state of perpetual boredom however, has given me a lot of thinking time. A bit of self analysis, if you will. Some reflecting and inner trawling through the masses of emotional debris I’ve accumulated over the years. It’s good to blow out the dust from time to time, and i haven’t gotten my feather duster out in a while.

One of the discoveries I’ve made on one of these expeditions into the untouched and potentially bizarre, is something that I’ve learned from my months of living out of Australia and being out of high school.
I’m a person who is very unsatisfied with the present. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, should it be exploring a new city of watching the same YouTube video again for the fifth time. There’s just something about right now that’s unsettling somehow. Nothing ever feels as good as anticipation, and things change when you remember them. The looking forward and looking back to things that happen are what I like the most. It’s right now I can’t deal with.

I’ve experienced a lot of new things this year, and I was always happiest when I was looking forward and imagining these things. Looking back is always worse for me, because I tend to veil everything in a bit of a pessimistic light no matter how good it was supposed to have been. What I find though, is that as much as I like doing new things and keeping busy, it’s also terrifying.

I’ve gotten into the bad habit of, instead of feeling excited or happy or sad or afraid of anything, I just feel very very nervous. Like, hands shaking, voice catching, oh my gaaawd nervous. And the only way I can get over these nerves is thinking that soon, this will just be a memory, and all I have to do is do it.

This gets rid of the nerves, but it replaces them with a weird feeling I can only describe as numbness, and it’s almost like everything that happens in the present I’m seeing from a step back. Not an “out of body ghostly woooo” kind of a thing, but more like a sense of detachment.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, but I do wonder if by detaching from the present moment, I might be missing out on something bigger. Kind of like reading a book and watching a movie at the same time. You can’t get a sense of either if you don’t give it your all.

My dad was telling me before that he thought I was the kind of person who likes to be on the move. While this is, in some ways true, I do disagree on the details.

I’m a person who likes having something to look forward to, something more then now.

Every country I visited, I looked forward to being there and I enjoy looking back and remembering, but while I was there, what occupied my thoughts the most was where it was I was going too next. Last year, at school, I was usually thinking about the things I would do this year, and now, I’m thinking about next year when I make the move to university.

Looking back is hard, but it’s better then being right now. Looking forward and imagining everything that could happen, that’s the best part.

I wonder if that’s the reason I enjoy stories so much. Books, plays, writing, musicals, art. Because it takes you away from the present and away from yourself.

Wow that sounds SO depressing.
I didn’t mean it to. It really is the thing that makes me happiest, being in a state of planning and imagining. The doing is hard, the memories are often difficult and much more complicated then what first you might think. But looking forward, that’s untouchable.

So, yeah. This is the kind of waaaaay too complicated emotional baggage that gets dragged to the surface when you spend too long on your own and without something to do.
The moral of this story? Doing things is important. If nothing else, it takes steps towards keeping you sane.

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