Hanging On, Holding On

It’s been quite a busy week! Yesterday I had a quiz for Dynamics and a midterm for Computer Organization, and today I have a midterm coming up for Algorithm Design and Analysis. Tomorrow, I have a project draft due for Statics, and then it’s followed by another project due on Sunday for Circuit Theory. All of this is of course on top of my preexisting background workload. Needless to say, it’s felt as if everything just happened to fall on the same week, swarming me all at once with its menacing weight overhead.

I’m hanging on, and I’m holding on, but that’s not in reference to school, and that’s not in reference to the title of this post.

By some strange paradox or perhaps self-contradictory nature do I find myself oscillating between closing off from the world and opening up to the world; the details of me, the intricacies of me, are either vigilantly guarded or freely given. An extension of the self done, deep down inside knowing (albeit afraid to admit) that they are staked in the pursuit of emotional fulfillment and profound, deep human connection with others on a plane that cannot be quantified by words, however leaves me vulnerable to those who may take such openings to use for their own personal gain, amusement, or whatever other reason.

I’m hanging on, and I’m holding on, because I’ve been in a dark place these past nine weeks. I’ve been struggling and stumbling and wandering alone through the dark and through the thick and through the dangerous and meadowy corners of my mind, of my being and of my identity and of me. There aren’t words to describe the turmoil I’ve had to go through these past nine weeks. Someone from afar, requiring only superficial observancy, may arrive at the incomplete conclusion that these experiences will fuel character development – to which I retort: to whom is this so-called “character development” beneficial to? Do you even understand the meaning of “character development?”

These two very important questions are raised not to attack, undermine, or discredit the silent observer, but rather to encourage deeper-level questioning and understanding. I say again, when you refer to “character development,” what does it mean to you? And no, don’t give me a surface-level Hallmark answer like, “It’s being a better version of you,” – I implore you to dig deeper! What does it mean to develop in character? What does it mean to “be a better version” of oneself? Why does it matter, and to whom does it matter, and to whom is it beneficial to? Ask these questions, and think about them, and do not be satisfied until you truly understand just exactly what it is you’re saying.

So yes, I’ve been in a dark place these past nine weeks, and there’s no justification I could think of that could see a potential upside to that pain I’ve been subjected to. I’ve been in the process of healing for some time now and I although hope this to be false, I’ve noticed my process of healing gone malignant and cancerous like a metastasizing tumour embedded deep into me. There’s no outcome from this where I emerge as a stronger person, but the opposite – I’ve been shattered, tested, and beaten so terribly that my own subconscious psychological responses to the experiences I’ve been through result in a debilitating response to both internal and external stimuli. The sum product of these adversities doesn’t seem to be growth (which I again ask you to contemplate the meaning of deeply), but instead, debilitation.

I want to be proven wrong. The possibility of that comforts me, and is truly, right now, the only force keeping me continuing to wake up in the morning. I want to be proven wrong, and so I am hanging on, and I am holding on, so, so tightly, for my dear life. I’ve been in a dark place lately, and it takes the full force of all my remaining optimism to persevere despite the fact that the much larger part of me has already conceded.

That’s been me.