Some notes from September and October 2019.

People often say having sex under the Button is the quintessential Penn experience. I disagree. I think contemplating suicide on the rooftop of FroGro is the quintessential Penn experience.

The other Wednesday, I flew to SF for an on-site interview. The next Wednesday, I have a phone interview for a job that I applied for in SF. One of my friends had already accepted a return offer in New York. My other friend will probably end up in New York as well. Here I am, the odd one out, wanting to be in SF while all of my friends want to be in New York.

Of course, I want to be in New York as well. I would, preferably, like to stay close to my friends. But, given the fact that life is uncertain, I am reluctant to have faith in the idea that things will end up “working out,” whatever that means.

I’ve been acquainted with the idea of loneliness recently. I have always been acquainted with loneliness, of course, but, lately, I’ve begun to think about loneliness in terms of aging.

It is no surprise that older people experience loneliness. I read a while back that loneliness, inadvertently, is one of the biggest causes of mortality among older populations. But, in terms of what that meant in my life, I had always conceived of it as a problem that I will deal with later. But, now, it seems that it has come time for me to deal with this problem.

The nature of my loneliness for so long has been the product of desire. I want friends, but I don’t have friends, which is why I feel lonely. I still want friends, of course, and I still don’t have that many friends, which is why I still feel lonely. But, now, there exists a degree of intuition that had not previously existed. The problem is not so much that I do not have friends because I am unlikeable but more that I do not have friends because I am fundamentally unlikeable. See the difference? One is a personality defect that I can address; the other is a character flaw that I cannot.

Friendships, by nature, need to be maintained in order to withstand time. Similar to PPE, the passage of time reduces the strength of our friendship. And, if these friendships were to be continued to be utilized, then they would need to be maintained, hence “catching up.” Friendships that are not maintained are reduced to their salvage value, which is a mere “Let’s catch up over coffee sometime” on the streets, which most likely will not be followed through. It is at these points that friendships cannot be continued unless through the purchase of another complementary asset, such as a newfound mutual interest, which allows for maintenance of an existing friendship.

Overall, such a process begs the question: Can I amortize my friends the same way I can mark assets down for depreciation?

I keep spreadsheets to keep my life organized. I have a spreadsheet to plan out my classes as an undergraduate. I have a spreadsheet to plan out the companies I will apply for during recruitment. This is how I imagined adult life to be: a series of spreadsheets.

The other day, on my flight back from SF, I accidentally threw away my melotonin pills because I had stored them inside a roll of toilet paper.

This morning, on my bus ride to New York, Lana Del Rey’s album came out. It was an album I have been waiting for for some time.

I found heaven in a mixed two-piece, some tostones, and a can of Dr. Pepper. At least, for a couple of minutes. Then, I couldn’t sleep. My stomach also hurt. That was not a good decision.

Dr. Pepper is not a good doctor. Dr. Pepper causes obesity. 

I don’t really know what I’m paying for at EDM concerts. Mostly, it’s just loud speakers and colorful lights. Is that what EDM is?

Sitting here, watching Zedd afar in the sunset, all I could feel was a sense of longing.

Zedd was the first EDM concert I had gone to. It was during Spring Fling of my freshman year, which was coincidentally the only Spring Fling I had ever gone to. After his concert, I became obsessed with EDM quite quickly, which is why I am here at Electric Zoo right now. He is also a representation of all that could have been for my college experience, especially all that didn’t happen.

I like to reference the concept of Amor Fati whenever I get asked, “Why did you choose Penn?” during interviews. I talk about how my experiences at Penn have shaped into the individual that I am right now. But, sitting here listening to “Beautiful Now”, which was the first song in EDM that I had ever heard live, all I have come to realize is that I am not beautiful. I am not the person I had set out to be all those years ago, and I’m not sure if it’s for the better. I am quite a shell of all those aspirations that had given me hope before. There is so little that I value anymore. Is that what beauty is?

Now, hearing the same songs that had developed my love for EDM, all I could hear was what could have been. The time seemed to have passed so quickly. The clock seemed to have moved so slowly. All that I have left now are memories (or perhaps, more accurately, the lack thereof?). I can see why Zedd uses so many ticking samples in all of his songs. That really is the sound the permeates through it all. The ticking. Followed by the silence. The ticking is all that is certain.

What has happened to my life
When the same winds fly
Did the voice stop calling
Forgiven to the sight
The world stopped reaching
The eerie lands stop sensing
That it was all not alright

I wonder if it is all too late. I don’t like the person I have become. Is it too late already?

All my friends are so successful. All of my previous romantic partners are so successful. What happened to me?

It’s a thought that I’ve been having a lot lately.

When I was in 7th grade, I received a prank call after basketball tryouts saying that I had made the team. I didn’t make the team.

Likewise, I just received a Super Day after I messed up the first round. I wonder if it would be the same.

It was around this time I used to call people during my freshman year. I don’t know if it was actually at 9:53 PM or not, but it certainly seemed like 9:53 PM when I used to call people. It seems so long ago, that 9:53 PM. It’s no longer 9:53 PM anymore. But, within all of those times that have passed, it seemed like such a long moment… 9:53 PM.

It is 9:53 PM again, and I have no one to call. There are so few people to call. It is only in college have I come to terms with indifference, but it still feels like I have missed out on some part of my life, even if the reality indicates that I have no missed out on some part in my life.

Perhaps it’s more of an intuitive response. There are many aspects of my life that I wished I could have experienced more. But, as per the nature of want, we cannot have what we want, or else we would not want what we want. It is quite a sad idea. That be that.

I don’t know what to think anymore. All that lays ahead is exhaustion. I’m not even looking for love anymore. I am so different from the person I was a mere couple of months ago. What happened? I have little idea. I barely even recognize myself anymore, and it has only been a few months since I did recognize myself.

The world is so silent. So silent is the world. The sound of crickets.

All I want to do is to go to sleep tonight.

All I want is to have a job that doesn’t make me want to kill myself.

All I want is to lie in bed looking into an ocean view holding someone I love.

I just want this to be over. I want my life back. I just want this to be over.

What was my life, anyway?

I haven’t written in free-form in so long I could feel my style changing beneath the tips of my fingers. What is this?

I’m stressed about recruiting… like I have been for the past four years. 

It’s interesting. I don’t know why I’m stressed. I already know that I am going to be a failure, so what is the point in stressing about it? I suspect it’s one of those contradictions of stoicism. It’s like death: even though you know you are going to die, it’s still stressful to think about your death. Except, I usually want to die, so there’s no point in to fear dying.

I am going to end up disappointed. Why do I even want things? It will just make the disappointment worse, eventually. It’s sad that I have only developed career aspirations recently. Well, I’ve always had career aspirations, but I haven’t always known what I want to do with my life. It’s quite sad really. It seems that I have discovered too late to work towards realizing them but early enough of my career aspirations understand exactly how I am going to be a failure in the coming months. So sad. 

What am I stressed about? There is no point in being stressed. What am I stressed about?

My interviewers keep on asking me why I study both English and economics. I tell them it’s because I want to be well-rounded. But, more realistically, it’s because I know I’ll never be good at anything, so it’s better not to commit at all.

existence affirmed by the other

desire to not exist

desire to not encounter the other

I don’t feel qualified in feeling the sadness that I am feeling. There is a world that is going on around me far sadder than I could even fathom, and I am sitting here feeling sadness as if I owned the emotion. I don’t own sadness, though. I hope that I can believe myself when I say that I never thought that I did, but I can never know with myself.