I’m writing as a way to procrastinate. I don’t want to do this paper, but it will get done eventually. I just want it to be done now.
I wonder if in the future, students could just use some type of technological device to have their brain probed for answers instead of taking tests and writing papers. There might be ethical issues with that approach. I would do it.
I would do a lot of things. But I’m here. At Oberlin. And when it gets dark here, I have to remember to get more Vitamin D, or else my neurons will get fucked up. Wikipedia claims that there is no substantial proof that Vitamin D does anything relating to depression. My Black mentors say otherwise. I think I’m gonna go with my mentors on this.
Sometimes I’ll go to events at Oberlin that talk about famous people or books or websites that Obies like, and I’ll look them up and see that so many people who are not “intellectuals” in the “college-degree” sense believe that all those people and books are pieces of shit. One of my professors recommended that I read a book called The Shaping of Black America by Lerone Bennet Jr. And I loved it, I thought it was a great look at American history. But then I look Bennet up (again on Wikipedia) and I see that many historians think that he is a bad historian and makes facts up. I get confused sometimes as to when people at Oberlin and the things they like are just misunderstood and too ahead of the game, and when people at Oberlin and the things they like are just fucked up and wrong. It’s a daily battle.
At one point it was a daily battle to get out of bed. I was tired of people. People bothered me. I never knew where I stood with them, and even when I felt like I knew, I still felt unsure. Like all of a sudden they would just be so difficult to talk to. I chalk it up to me being really old early and preferring to spend time with older people, so it’s hard for me to relate/get along with people my age. But college is the time in life where someone can spend time with people in their age group on a daily basis. Guess I screwed up then.
I used to think of myself as a screw-up. I made a lot of mistakes and I could be pretty careless and clumsy and all-around awkward. A lot of those things haven’t really changed, but I feel better about it now. But sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I were cooler. I don’t really know what that would mean, but I know that it would mean I wouldn’t be who I am now, since I’m a nerd.
In middle and high school, people used to call me Urkel from Family Matters or Jordan from The Bernie Mac Show. Jordan was an annoying character, so I hated being compared to him. And I didn’t think Jaleel White (who played Urkel) was attractive, so I hated that comparison as well. I guess those were the representations of Blackness that I could live up to.
I took a Buzzfeed “Which Black Best Friend Are You?” quiz. I was so scared that I would be Lisa from Saved by the Bell. She was very pretty and a great fashion template, but she did absolutely nothing. Except for that one episode where she got with Zack and after that episode everyone acted like that never happened, but still, no substance. I got Lavender from Matilda. I don’t think she says more than 20 words in the whole movie, and one of her biggest moments was when Ms. Trunchbull tried to literally ram her into a door, and Matilda used her powers to levitate her out of harm’s way. It was a “white savior” moment. That’s all I am?
I can be a Black savior. Why couldn’t I? I like helping people feel better. But maybe some of the people I want to help aren’t worth saving. Or better yet, maybe I’m not the one to save them. Maybe I’m just gonna be in their life for a moment, and then we move on and they live their life and I’ll live mine. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. Part of life is learning how to deal with that. And I’ve had some experience with that after my mom died. My life is still going on.
That’s why I hate feeling stuck. I’m so aware of my life, and I hate feeling like it’s being wasted. And sometimes, I feel like all that I’m doing is a waste. Not in a “college is bullshit” way, just in a “maybe I should have been doing something else with my time” way. I don’t think I know anyone who is actually happy with their life. I wonder a lot what that would look like.