Before I started writing this, I googled “what I should write about” and the gist was to write how you feel. There were suggestions about writing about a moment where you learned a life changing lesson that still resonates with you to this very day. Since I haven’t started writing my autobiography (yet), I will save the valuable life lessons for such a project.
As I alluded to in my previous post, four months of quarantine is less than ideal way to spend your time, especially when those four months consist of taking super important college courses and your summer. I feel like I’ve been “on” for the last year of my life. Fall 2019 was my first semester in University (better late than never) and just the registration process brought its share of uncertainty and dread. Luckily, my counselors and academic advisors eased the transition from the familiar community college environment to the “big time”. I honestly imagined Uni as a long winded hypothetical that I had little intention to entertain. Once I decided to pursue journalism, however, a refreshing reality began to set in. The hypothetical materialized into something that I wasn’t dreading, but actively pursuing.
Long story short, the fall semester was the most successful term of my academic career, both on the academic and literary front. Though I’m proud of my grades, I genuinely felt like I improved as a writer, learning how to be more critical and observant of my work. For the first time, I considered the reader more than literary flashiness. Anyone can use big and flashy words, but if it veers into pretentiousness, what’s the point? Don’t worry, fellow reader, I’m aware how ridiculous this sounds coming from me.
I also fell back in love with reading. I spent the last day of the first week going to the campus library to check out A Game of Thrones since I was a huge fan of the show but was burned by the last season. It was a perfect book to read at for a lapsed reader since I was already familiar with its content. It had enough similarities and differences from its show counterpart to be an engaging and captivating read. I am currently on A Storm of Swords, loving every bit of it.
Longer story short, the winter break and Spring semester did not offer much in the way of a time to “stop”. Throw in financial anxieties and family tragedy to make a stew of uncertainty. Sprinkle that with the shit show that is 2020 and you’ve got yourselves a buffet of self-loathing that serves nothing but the freshest cuts of emotional vagueness (remember what I said about pretentiousness?).
I also moved into a new city that is a far cry to what I had been used to virtually my whole life. Any drive to anywhere now likely involves getting on the freeway, which is far to begin with. Gone is the convenience of having a grocery store and pizza place within walking distance. Because of this, I dread going out, in a pandemic no less.
Still, the upcoming semester is a month away, naturally bringing lots of uncertainty. I am not overly fond of online courses, especially the ones pertaining to my major. Also, I have no earthly idea how the one in-class course is gonna go. More than most states, Texas has had the worst luck trying to combat a pandemic in part to shrewd and thoughtless business decisions.
I find myself in an empty house, as I often have throughout this year. I don’t know what I’ll be doing after I finish writing this. Maybe I’ll go for that jog or complete a meditation session that I have been putting off for far too long. We’ll just have to wait and see.
-Kevin Andres Diaz