Gotta Write

So I just have this urge to write something for the world—more to the point, something for my friends and family—to see. I live so much of my life in this fake little world called School and Grad School Apps and Stress. Yet sometimes I yearn to escape from that prison and live!

Finally I got my project done (almost on time), and now the top imperative seems to be go on a date. Or, more specifically, get to know people; but, since I’m really quite bad at that, it tends to just get distilled down into this one concrete but usually unmeaningful step called a date.

Because, the truth is, there are lots of cool girls out there, lots of girls I would like to get to know better. Yet somewhere along the way I seem to have drawn in on myself, become antisocial and awkward. It goes like this: I meet a nice girl and think, I should ask her out. Pondering the implications of that, I conclude that I must have something to do on a date. You know, go to a movie, get a milkshake, carve a pumpkin, whatever. But whenever I think of those things, I instantly realize that I’ve done these things before, and that 90% of the time it turns out to be a poor way of getting to know somebody, usually involving conversations in which I have to keep my brain at full throttle trying (with limited success) to guarantee that there aren’t any awkward pauses, where both of us just sort of sits there and thinks about how we can’t think of anything to say. Then I come home feeling tired and wishing that I had some better way of doing things.

So what about the hypothetical 10% that I seem able to really get to know? Well, that statistic is, believe it or not, made up (like most statistics, right?), but in recent years the ratio seems to be much less favorable. Actually, I’ve been realizing recently that I’ve had a hard time really getting close to anybody lately. Maybe I’m just too tired, too set in my ways, with too many scars on an old, wounded heart that’s been around for a while. But it’s not just with respect to girls. Of course I have varying degrees of friendship with roommates, for example, and with others, but so much of me is hidden, even from my family and my closest friends. It’s not that I don’t want to share any of myself with people; it’s just that somehow I never feel safe enough, always afraid of something.

And so I write. Most of the time I just write because I don’t seem to have anyone to talk to, even though I know that there are lots of people who would talk to me any time, but I just never feel quite comfortable enough calling people up. But by just writing some of the most interesting parts of me are left forever imprisoned on paper.

I’m a smart guy. I’m a college graduate, I did great on the GRE, my academic and professional prospects are bright. And yet, in the things that matter most to me, I am a fool. I feel stymied, bogged down, trapped, stuck. My desires just don’t seem to translate into actions that are likely to bring those desired circumstances about. I love to dance, yet I never do so.

I would have warm and loving relationships filling my life. I would more often feel alive, like when I listen to a beautiful, mind-opening piece of music; or when I ride a bike super-fast down a hill, or do well in a frisbee game. I would more often be free from the onslaught of a relentless, inquisitive mind. I would… I would… I would…. And yet, I experience most of my life as staring at words on a page, thinking about economics or algorithms.

How does one recover from emotional cardiac arrest? CPR??







5 responses to “Gotta Write”

  1. Bruce Avatar

    You’re not the only one, Josh. I often feel the way that you’ve described. In fact, I think that this blog entry would have been quite at home if I had copied and pasted it verbatim onto my blog anytime during the past few years. It’s frustrating to have so much to offer, and no one to offer it to—and you certainly have a lot to offer. Someone, someday, is going to be very lucky.

    I don’t presume to have any brilliant answers, but thanks for casting the question so clearly.

  2. Mishi Avatar

    You should find a girl to run with 😉 Maybe even in the rain…

  3. Alanna Avatar

    Josh, you conniving opportunist,
    Way to give me an excuse to get to know you from a different perspective. 😀 There is loads of meaning embedded and entwined around this post. You really are a deep thinker. I think in part, I knew that, but you’re right sharing part of ourselves is frightening. There is always the risk that in sharing we will be misinterpreted or severely hurt. On the mission, my APs described it as placing your heart out in it’s fullness and being willing to take the risk of it being stomped on. From my meager experience, the same imagery applies entirely to any type of relationship, but particularly dating.
    Must you so effectively put words to emotions that are surprisingly familiar to me. Let me be frank…..if in person, I scare the heck out of you, I apologize profusely, because as my hometeacher, you have given me soo soo much. and met my needs on more than one occasion. It means the world to me. In addition, I hope that with a standing invitation you will not feel loathe or afraid to call me, E-mail, or whatever, whenever. You can ask Nate Crenshaw. Four days ago he called me at 2am in the morning and I answered without any animosity fully willing to talk as best I could for as long as was needed. 🙂 there’s more to that story.
    Please know that you are wonderful. I would love to discuss any of what you wrote with you more. Smile for now and pray for understanding. He listens. Truly since I read this so belatedly, much of my advice and conjectures mean little since this was three months ago.. 😀
    One snippet of interest. hope the link works.


    1. Josh Avatar

      Hey Alanna, you definitely don’t scare the heck out of me!
      Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Alanna Avatar

    glad to know it. 😀

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