Friday, January 13, 2006

Sleepless in Edmonton

And now here I am... wide awake. It is 12:48 a.m. and in precisely 6 hours and 12 minutes my alarm will go off, beckoning me to join the day.

Somehow I always connected being tired during the day with being able to sleep at night, thus breaking the cycle of tiredness. Reality in the past month, however, has proven otherwise. And here I am. Wide awake and completely exhausted at the same time, but helpless to do anything about either.

The accounting battle is half won. I am now in a class with the prof I want, but in the wrong time slot. It wouldn't be a big deal, really, because it will be the same exams, so I can attend the other lecture. There is, however, the bane-of-my-existence group project to worry about. We need to select our own groups of two or three. Right now, the friends in my other class have a group of two, and if someone would just drop out so there was a spot, I would be the third. Life would be perfect. (um, yeah... I mean the group project scenario would be perfect.) At this point in time, I'm going to see if I can just go with them because we have the same prof. If I can't, it will be like an assigned group, only worse... if things go badly, I will have brought them on myself.

On Friends and Small Talk and that First Awkward Hello

This is all quite bizarre. Four months ago, I didn't know a soul in the Business faculty. I made small talk with the person who had the great fortune of sitting beside me in each class and from there, many great friendships were born. Then the assigned groups started and I got to know many, many people. And they were all great, and it was such a great opportunity.

But then this semester started. And suddenly I feel shy and awkward around those I don't know and it's strange to me because I was in the same boat, only worse, four months ago.

How can we get exclusive and closed-off when we are in a place that is safe? Today my friend Debra and I were sitting in ORG A 201, and the prof handed out playing cards to split the class into groups. Rather than venturing out on our own, Debra and I both grabbed the same number so we could stick together.

And how is it that although in the past, fewer encounters with others have been awkward than have ended in friendship (and acquaintance-ship), I still cling to the familiar? Take Debra for example. Four months ago, I plunked myself down beside her in our first BUS 201 class, introduced myself and began asking all the standard questions that I ask when attempting to make small talk. I expressed sheer delight when I discovered she was in the same cohort as I, and from there, we sat together all the time and soon started hanging out. In less than two months, we are going on a road trip to Phoenix together for Reading Week. (Plug: if you are interested in coming, we may still have spots...

In our first conversation, I can't say I felt an immediate connection, but we just worked at being friends, and now here we are. Friends.

And there are dozens more in the range from acquaintance to friend that I have met from simply taking the time to say hi.

But now, at the beginning of this semester, it feels all awkward and new again. I always forget that this is the first stage of what eventually becomes a meaningful friendship or a future business contact.

Which leads me to realize yet another area where what I believe fails to intersect with how I act. What a crazy mixed-up life I live.

On Blogging

Blogging is quite strange and bizarre to me. Here's the thing: I sit down and write out these brilliant (we'll pretend), insightful and incredibly introspective blog postings. In my mind, there is a great anonymous public simply waiting for my pearls of wisdom, keen wit and intelligent wordplay (to use three cliches in one sentence).

But the truth is, I think only one person reads my blogs - my sister Rachel. (Hi Rachel! Here's a plug for her blog:

Of course, the fact that I just posted a link to her blog would suggest that I actually really think there is an anonymous public reading this blog. And the occasional comment from some random person miles away would suggest that there are people who stumble by my cyberspace abode from time to time. (Oh, and random people, I like you, so keep leaving me comments and links to your blogs. I do check them out when I can't sleep, am bored or in the midst of procrastinating.)

In addition, my blog address is posted both as my MSN "personal message" and in my email signature, so virtually everyone I know could potentially access it. But, I write as though they don't. Even though my friend Robyn emailed me a comment about the happiness post. (Hi Robyn!)

Blogging is strange and bizarre. It is completely selfish and I post this stuff to cyberspace thinking that someone out there might actually be interested in reading it. And not only do I post intensely "personal" stuff, I don't even keep it short! So, even if someone did want to read about my great life and learn great nuggets of truth from my fingertips, I can't imagine that they would make it the entire way through.

So I think I write to no one. It is a controlled exercise in processing the things on my mind in a controlled fashion. Kind of like a journal, but public. Which makes it completely unlike a journal. Because if I were to write about the deeper things on my mind right now... well, I wouldn't. That would just make me way more vulnerable than I care to be. Especially not knowing who really does read this.

The conclusion, so far, is thus: blogging is like journal writing, but not as effective because I can't be as thorough as necessary.

Yet it is entirely therapeutic and satisfying for me. I think we all like to imagine that we do have an adoring anonymous public hanging on to our every word. And since this imaginary mass in anonymous, we will never be proven otherwise.

The other therapeutic thing about it is that this blogging allows us to take the things we are thinking about and apply them to a much broader scale. If I were to simply write about being frustrated about not getting into the class I want in my journal, I would focus on that - brainstorming ways I could convince the faculty to let me in the class, etc. But because I'm writing with an audience other than me in mind, I have the ability to take my situation and apply it to something much more broad and ultimately get to the root of the issue.

So that's that. That's my take on blogging. I really enjoy it.

Now, if you do find yourself reading at this point, do post a comment.

Or not. I still like the illusion of an adoring, anonymous public.


jpunk5 said...

not that annonymous

Julie said...

Hey there cousin... I can't believe you actually read that entire entry...