There’s something oddly comforting about studying.
A hot mug of coffee, Ben Howard wafting from the laptop sitting on my baby blue comforter, the light of my desk lamp focused on my French book.
It’s like I’ve tricked myself into thinking it’s a cozy fall day. (But the fan circulating in my un-airconditioned apartment reminds me that it’s a hot summer’s day in Los Angeles.) Still, so comforting, so pleasant.
I inched carefully along the aging brick sidewalks on M Street, narrowly avoiding smacking passers-by with the large lens of my Canon Rebel. I scrunched my nose up tight and stared intently at the red bricks beneath my worn black combat boots.
Trying to mask my urge to fight back tears by giving the occasional yawn.
I could feel the panic setting in.
My dorm was a mere 15 minute walk away. I wasn’t sure I’d make it this time. I forced my mind - unsteadily - to focus on other things. My final photo project was coming up soon. The pictures I had just taken really had come out well, and I thought I could actually be proud of them. Mentally flipping through the slideshow in my head got me back to Munson.And just in time. The stuffiness of the room, the stale smell, the desolate lack of natural light, the brain-rattling sound of the construction site next door — it did me in.
It was that pull out your hair, curl up in a ball and sob kind of feeling. Claustrophobic. Hopeless. I was overwhelmed by my emotions. My life, this room, my “friends,” my MIND. The past year had cornered me, and aside from the fresh breath of air that was my tranquil, sunny summer, it had sucked the life out of me.
My optimism trumped by the harsh, unfriendly reality of my environment; my energy zapped by the attempts to cling to my optimism.
I felt completely and utterly defeated. I could barely remember a time when I didn’t feel fatigued beyond resurrection or when my stomach didn’t permanently ache. When I didn’t have to wind myself up to leave the confines of my dorm room, or when having fun didn’t require so much effort. And that in and of itself was depressing. As if i needed anything else to weigh me down. In my mind, I was at the point of no return. I couldn’t think of any way to escape my brutal and unforgiving mind. I was exhausted through and through. And I was only 19.