*Disclaimer: the following is an airing of my pent-up feelings. If I name names and you don’t like what I say about you, don’t get so butthurt over it. I still love you. Maybe… *
I’ve never wanted to crawl into a hole so bad before in my life.
I know I may act all chipper in front of the camera and say everything’s fine, but the truth is so far removed from that.
The truth is, I’m depressed. Have I always been this way? No. I have had moments when I was happy like any other person.
Does being depressed make me a psychotic bipolar schizo? Wrong again.
The reason I don’t like to air my feeling of discontent as much as I used to is because I don’t want people (my mom especially) to worry if I have “that thing your father had” or that I’ll simply kill myself.
Rest assured, I am NOT, I repeat, NOT SUICIDAL. Have I had suicidal moments? Yes, back in college and the couple of years afterward.
The reason I didn’t go through with it is because I know it would have been a burden on my parents to bury me and to have to deal with the grief of losing their first-born son, someone who they thought up to that point, had it all together. I couldn’t do that to them. Not in this lifetime or the next, if there is such a thing.
So what do I do? I keep on living, trying to make things work, reasoning with myself that maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe things’ll work out like they always do. Not always in my favor initially, but in the grand scheme of things.
Why Are You Being Such An Emo Bitch?
There are several reasons, most of which are pretty stock and unoriginal. Go figure.
The truth is, I’m just tired of being in the Navy. While I have made some really good friends during my time in, I feel so lonely out here.
The transitional nature of the Navy makes it hard for someone like me to make friends since they’re just gonna leave in a year or so anyway, so it feels like just when I really get to know someone beyond their “one time in boot camp” and pre-Navy stories, they up & leave for greener pastures elsewhere. It makes it hard to personally invest myself in anyone, and therefore while I’m generally friendly towards people, I keep my distance.
Maybe that’s why I’m so attached to my friends from my high school/college days. I know that, for the most part, they’re not gonna up & leave very far from where they are, so we can still hang out IRL when I come home on leave.
Call me selfish or stuck in the past or whatever, but I need some manner of stability in my life. While my Navy friends & myself may be coming & going, it’s nice to know that at the end of the day, my friends back home will be there for me when I go to visit. Gives me a warm fuzzy.
Don’t confuse stability with monotony. I get that enough from my folks back home. I love them to pieces, but damn can they be a bore to listen to after awhile! Sometimes, I just put myself on auto-pilot since all conversations are “Something something new laundry person quit. Something something So-&-So did this & that. Something something can you believe it?”. I feel bad for putting them on blast like that, but it drive me up a wall sometimes, you know?
Anyway, back to the whole Navy thing. My folks and some of my close Navy friends want me to stay in, do my 20 years, and get out with a paycheck for the rest of my life. While that sounds like a very stable way to approach things (money for the rest of your life is nothing to take lightly), I can’t imagine staying in for that long. I couldn’t live with myself if I did so. While I certainly respect others who want to pursue this career path, it simply isn’t for me, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Going Back To College
I always viewed the Navy as my stepping stone for going back to college & getting my life back on track. I never wanted to make a career out of it. Making E-5 last year, however, had me questioning if I should stay in, at least for a second enlistment for shore duty. But then I remembered why I joined in the first place and I recommitted myself to getting out & going back to college.
I’ll be hitting my 3-year mark on June 24th of this year, so only a month & some change away. Once that happens, I’ll apply for an early-out program that’ll let me use 100% of my GI and Post 9/11 Bills.
Although I would like to pursue another major, in order to keep myself marketable, I’ve decided to just keep my current major; information systems. In order to make things interesting for me, I’ll also be pursuing a minor/certificate in Japanese. While it may not be the most marketable thing in America, I’m doing that mostly for fun & for my post-graduate job; teaching English in Japan.
In addition to taking advantage of study abroad programs while I’m in college to explore Japan on my own terms, I plan on moving there after college to teach English. There are several ways to go about getting such a job, but I want to try out for the JET Programme first.
Getting Closer To 30
Another realization that has been creeping ever closer in my mind is that I’ll be turning 30 in a couple of years. I’m currently 27, so I still have 3 years before then, but it still bothers me.
The reason being is that I thought I’d have my life figured out by this point and that I’d just be focused on what I found out my life purpose, my goals, my aspirations, my passions were.
I thought I had a pretty good handle on who I was & what I like & what I want to do with my life, but as time goes on, I find that notion drifting farther & farther from the truth each day. I still like playing guitar, watching anime, learning more about Japanese culture, exploring new places, making videos about my discoveries, and so on.
However, this feeling of inevitable dread makes me question every facet of myself, from my interests to my appearance to my mannerisms.
I’m in my late 20s now, no longer my early or even mid-20s. I’m still young, and yet, people expect me to act & dress a certain way. They expect me to act like a stuffy old grown-up. That’s just not my style; not me.
It’s hard for me to relate to people anymore. If I talk to the younger early-20-somethings, their mentality is too immature for my taste. All they wanna do is get drunk and get their dicks wet. Nothing wrong with a drink or two and the company of the fairer sex, but I don’t wanna base my entire life on that. There’s too much more to me than that.
The older-20+ crowd is a little bit better, but their mentality is often that of someone in their 40s and up, which still make it hard for me to relate to them. They’re mostly married, and while I really want to get married someday, the truth is that I’m painfully single so I can’t relate to their married lives. Some even have kids, both singular and plural. Yeah, they’re getting to that age where they’re just popping them out every year or so. I see it on Facebook all the damn time. I also want to be a father someday, but I don’t have kids currently so I can’t relate to parenthood problems.
So I’m stuck in this limbo of not being a party-going pussy-pounding sonovagun OR being a family man. It’s not a fun place to be, let me tell ya.
Between the fucked up support system and the crippling loneliness, I don’t know what’s worse.
Sure there’s Facebook and other online methods to communicating with my friends and family, but that only goes so far. It’s good for conveying messages, but is quite limited to sending out genuine emotions, beyond the kind you put on a smiley emoticon ;-) :-D :-)
Seeing My Girl/Friend Go Across The Country
I feel so disconnected, so lost.
I thought I had a good handle on myself when I got out here to San Diego, but ever since Sam, one of my best friends, left for Norfolk last year, I’ve been secretly in shambles.
She meant a lot to me, and my dumb ass didn’t want to get serious because we’re both in the Navy, duel-military relationships usually don’t work out long-term, and we could get orders to commands across the country, and hell, across the world even. Which is exactly what happened.
She’s since gotten herself a boyfriend, and he seems nice, so I’m happy that she’s happy.
Everywhere I go in this town, I’m constantly reminded of her. The time we went here. The time we went there. I can’t escape it. Maybe that’s why, despite the INCREDIBLE scenery of San Diego, I’ve grown to hate this place.
Staring At The Rising Sun
Aside from living in Japan, living in California was one of my personal life goals, and I’m happy to say that I’ve achieved that. However, it all seems so bittersweet and it makes me question whether or not I will feel that way about Japan someday as well. If I would get burnt out on the places. The faces. The culture. The attitudes. I don’t know what I’d do with myself if that were to happen.
Japan has been my personal escape for years. Whenever life’s burdens and pressures would be too much for me to handle, I would always think of Japan. The sakura trees in bloom. The castles from long ago standing tall against the flow of time. The massive cityscape that seems to be a living breathing organism. The beautiful gardens. The loving & sweet nature of the Japanese people, especially the girls with their long black hair and small button noses and large almond eyes that pierce my soul and leave me feeling naked yet warm and comforted from head to toe.
Of course, this is a super-idealistic view of Japan, I realize that. But you have no idea how many times I was able to bring myself back from the deepest & darkest of depressions with these thoughts of Japan. I had to fight back tears as I remembered those times and then put those thoughts into typed words. Seriously.
The Only Peace Is A State Of Mind
I came to the realization not too long ago that to fix my feelings of disconnect, I need to go out there in the world & try to find myself again.
It won’t be easy, and it won’t be brief. I’ve come to realize that finding myself isn’t so much a destination but a journey. I just come to a point where I feel comfortable and branch off from there until the neverending yearning for more in life arises. Then, I go back on the hunt for myself again.
I hope you guys will continue to journey with me, and I thank those of you who’ve stuck with me thus far. Being by myself while looking for myself is such a lonely journey, and sometimes I need the support of others to help me keep going, you know?
Until next Time, Space Cowboys…