What’s It Like Being You?
The candor was infectious. It spread back to the beginning of your life. You tried to tell her, as well as you could, what it was like being you. You described the feeling you’d always had of being misplaced, of always standing off to one side of yourself, of watching yourself in the world even as you were being in the world and wondering if this was how everyone felt. That you always believed that other people had a much clearer idea of what they were doing, and didn’t worry quite so much about why. You talked about your first day of school. You hid in the woods until the bus came, you saw the bus leave and then went home and told her you had missed it. So Mom drove you to school, and by the time you got there, you were an hour late. Everybody watched you come in with your little note, and heard you explain that you’d missed the bus. When you finally sat down you knew that you would never catch up.” Bright Light, Big City by Jay McInerney
So, as well as you can (here or otherwise), what’s it like being you?
I think the question is difficult, as our definition relies so heavily on those around us, our roles and responsibilities in relation to others
As close as I can get? “to continually ask why”
It’s pretty good, actually. I’ve never experienced a problem with acting envious, or with articulating and supporting my views, because my self confidence is so inexplicably complete that such things don’t even make sense. I’m never lonely, but I’m always bored. Occasionally I feel out of place, but this can be remedied by acting as if I’m not.
So perhaps we miss the bus once in a while. But if we keep our eyes open, theres always an express coming around the corner, or around to the bus station on the next street. As long as we catch enough express buses, its always possible to catch up. For if we didn’t believe that it would be possible to catch up, we wouldn’t even try.
What it’s like to be me.
I can relate to this post. I like the “miss the bus” metaphor — I have been feeling like that as of late. I’m a 23 year old college sophomore. After taking a hiatus from school working as a personal trainer I decided I wanted to do something a little more fulfilling, and now I’m studying to get into an Ivy League law school. With the exception of my peers who have also “missed the bus” I’m surrounded by 19-20 year olds. The temptation to fuck around is everywhere. It’s hard when I have to choose between a night studying and a night with some good pussy. Sometimes I feel like a damn puss for choosing the books over a good night out.
Why try? I could blow this whole thing off and start partying again. Part of it is because I feel like I missed the god damn bus. It’s also because I know I’ll come out the other end a fuckin’ winner. It’s faith my friends.
It’s hard. It’s fully-fledged love masked by a horrible fear of rejection. It hurts a lot.
@ Eric Staples
I have to ask why going to an Ivy League law school will make you a a fulfilled winner?
I know a few who have gone and they are all successful in a monetary sense, but there isn’t much more I can say for them in terms of fulfillment or “winning”. They are rich. That is all that Law School has given them and it has taken away a lot in return.
Whats it like being me?
Two years back, I was accepted into one of the best high school colleges in the world. It had the IB program, and a boarding school system which involved inviting over sixty students to the same campus. Teaching was the best I’ve ever had, and my peers were selected from the creme of the crop. They were the best of their respective countries.
What happened? I blew it. I met a girl, who I thought was the sweetest girl ever. At the same time, I was feeling a little lonesome because I haven’t been able to speak to my sister for ages, and my sister and I had a really close bond. We went out for about six months (which is a long time in a 17-year old’s life). Then, I discover that she’s a complete lying bitch who was vindicative and plain mean. We got into trouble for being too sexually close on campus with the teachers, and so she tried to fabricate a whole story to the teachers, which would somehow ‘get us free of trouble’. Of course that didn’t happen, and during the process when she talked to teachers, she made up complete lies and bullshit. When I started to get sick of this masquerade, she started to threaten me, saying things like “My family is rich and powerful, and we’re going to bring you and your family down if you don’t do this with me.” Crazy psychotic bitch, huh?
Anyways, I wind up going to a teacher, who was serving as my mentor in the school. Teachers are actually quite a respectable decent lot in our school, and are quite nice and fair-minded and actually respect you quite a lot. I told the teacher the truth. It was bad enough without the lies. I was so sick of all the lying this twisted bitch had going, and just told the teacher everything that had happened. (Yes we were guilty) What happens next? She tries to get me into trouble by making wild accusations that I was physically abusive and that I ‘pushed’ her into sexual activities. I know its strange hearing it from one person, but if you knew me personally, you’d know that I’m a very nice person who wouldn’t push anyone to do anything. All this she made up on the spot after she realized I’d gone and ruined her little masquerade.
Of course, it was my fault too for not realizing what a complete slut she was. (For reference, during our relationship, she also went out with another guy for a month, apparently ‘raped’ [she says] by the guy, but continued to talk to him and be his friend. I don’t know much about rape cases, but I know that most girls, wouldn’t talk to people who had just raped them.) After our relationship ended when I realized how twisted she was, I found out that she slept with two other guys within two months.
Yes. I went to one of the best schools in the world. I’ve definitely missed the bus this time. I’ll have to catch a helluva lot of expresses to catch up with this one bus that I’ve missed. In about a month, I’ll leave this school to go on to university. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get through life without this psychotic girl stalking me whenever I go (Yes, She stalked me for about a week. It was so bad that the teachers noticed and placed a school-imposed order for her to stay away from me, but thats another story). If she turns up at my wedding when I’ve found my true love, then of course I’ll have told my love everything, but it’ll be just like a bus from the past, finally catching up with me.
Pray to whatever celestial teapots there are that won’t happen..
Thank you to all who read this post. Its anonymous. Yes I know. I can’t risk it getting out because this girl is truly insane, and I’m still living in the same boarding school as her (only a few rooms away..). I just had to get this statement out of me. Thanks again.
I’m generally of the opinion that I’m the dumbest person in the room- any room.
I talk exactly half as much as I listen and read twice as much as that.
I’m fully convinced that great things are done by people who don’t have all the answers (which means I need to stop looking for them).
I think a mathematical equation is in order.
Self-destructive personality+overprotective and emotionally unstable mom+tough-as-nails-dad+strange, sheltered childhood+hillbilly, alcoholic high school experience+lots of hospital visits=one complicated dude.
I used to be chronically depressed, obese, and socially anxious. Now I’m usually happy, I’m in really good shape, and I’m comfortable talking to pretty much anyone I meet.
I’m proud of the fact that I straightened out my bullshit through honesty, self-awareness, and hard work. No medicine, no Joey Porsche primadonna BS (I was one fat kid…used to be pretty self-conscious), and no criminal record despite the fact that I’ve done some really, really stupid things. So, at the moment, being me is pretty fucking awesome.
(Excuse me for the chest-thumping but hey…you did ask.)
United World College? I can relate. What I really wanted to do is go to a school that is filled with only the most intelligent people around. I’ve since realized that, in the end, such a utopia is impossible. Every time something good comes along, on cue, people pollute it (for example, by sending their kids to a school).
So what did I do? I started to take out my disappointment through manipulating people and being as passive-aggressive as possible. And now people like me better than ever. Weird.
I like being me.
I strive to be the best person I can be, and I am in control of my life and my emotions. Aside from sleepwalking through my tedious final year of a useless degree, I’ve never been happier.
The same question to you, Ryan Holiday.
I’m an enigma, one always pressured by society to do things that are expected. My race makes people think of “successful” professions, engineering or business, and so my path has been a rocky one, always assailed by this external pressure. I was raised as a “gifted” child, going through all the highest forms of academia (AP classes, Magnet programs, etc.) up until college, but always suffered from living in another’s shadow. My sibling is incredibly talented (perfect scores on the ACT, SAT, near on the MCAT) and on the path towards success (Med school), so despite my best efforts she easily outshined me.
Despite all of this, I’m trying desperately to “catch the bus” in my own way. I’ve realized that I’m no good at the expected pursuits of mine, so instead I’m seeking out knowledge in subjects that interest me. Like the metaphor above, I’m taking the alternate path, the “car” instead of the “bus”, and even if it gets me there a little late and brings me to a different place, at least I’ll have enjoyed the ride.
Do you know the game where a piece of paper is attached to your forehead so that you can’t see the name written on it, and you’re supposed to ask yes/no-questions to the people around you to figure it out? Do you hate it because you always feel like everyone’s hints lead into different directions and you never have a goddamn clue besides the feeling that you probably don’t like who you are impersonating? I do, and I’m about to just rip off that damn paper.