A simple example of how I feel is when I sat down at my computer and had no idea what to do. I don’t feel like writing my novel or articles, I don’t feel like listening to U2, I don’t feel like listening to other music (although I’ve put some music on for the sake of it), I don’t feel like reading any of the files I have, I don’t feel like playing any of the games I have, and, although I want to get online, I know that, once I get on there, there isn’t going to be much that I want to do. I just sat there, wondering what to do.
Extend this to school. Today, I realised just how much I dislike the group I’m in, but how much I’m tied to it, so much so that I simply cannot leave because I have nowhere to go. Sure, I could base myself in the library and read, but I need some company, at least sometimes, because I do like to talk as well. Sam, the lucky guy, has a way out – which I cannot speak of (sure, I doubt anyone who cares in the slightest about Sam’s impending announcement would read this, but I said I wouldn’t divulge what it is, and I am a man of my word), but at least he has a way out. I may be able to accompany him from time to time, but that’s most certainly not a guarantee, and, even if I could, it still would not be a sufficient way out because it would only be from time to time. So I’m stuck to this group I don’t like a terrible lot, unless I’m prepared to sacrifice company (for I doubt Sam would regularly want to come up and visit me in the library; he’d be busy and much more interested elsewhere).
Thing is, right now I’ve come to the point where I think I am prepared to sacrifice company. I nearly did it today, but there were two things that drew me back to the group, the first being sheer force of habit, and the second (unconsciously at the time, I think) being to confirm my own suspicions and dissatisfaction. Also, I guess there is a third – Sam happened to be around today and his company I actually want. But, looking at things quite factually and simply, I am not a part of and do not belong in my group any more. I have outgrown it. Whether I have moved away through changing morals, through maturing, through change itself, or whether it has moved away from me for whatever reason(s), I just don’t belong there and that’s the crux of the matter.
Allow me to try to paint a picture of the group, if I can. As you can expect, it is not going to be the prettiest of pictures, seen through my disillusionment, but here goes. Basically, imagine a group of teenage guys, not the most popular blokes in the grade for whatever reason, hanging around, laughing at their crude, rude, vulgar, lewd, or otherwise immature jokes, insulting each other from time to time (not really meaning it but taking pleasure and humour in and from it), and just acting like uneducated louts. The joke today was that Ricky, who is in grade eight (he sometimes ends up hanging round with us, don’t ask me to explain why), would yell at other grade eight girls that Patrick wanted to sleep with them. It got crude, it was immature, boorish, and I just didn’t like it. I don’t want to hang around a bunch of guys who think that activities such as that are riotously hilarious and possibly the best thing since sliced bread. It’s just not me. I like intelligent, educated discussion, and relaxing talking about … stuff that isn’t crude, vulgar, lewd, and the like. And I guess I’ve just drifted away. I’m not like them any more. Maybe I once was, but that was a long time ago, that was a different Andre, that was an Andre I would much rather confine to the garbage can of the past – it is not who I am now.
So I stood around, for the most part bored, but knowing I have no way out. Through no actions of their own that I can discern, I have been tied to this group, and cannot leave unless I want to risk loneliness. I need a way out. I cannot emphasise how much I want that. I’m going to get out. Tomorrow, if I’m at school. Next week at the latest. I’m going to risk loneliness. It’s not like I value their company anyhow, and I feel lonely enough as it is. I’ll just walk out and go to the library. I may meet someone or some people up there who are more like myself. Plus, the advantage of going to the library is that there are seats and tables, not bag racks that start to get uncomfortable after a while, and, especially important in the summer, there is air conditioning! Ah, the joys of air conditioning. When the temperature shoots past 37C (100F), the library is a great place to be – although the wall of heat that smacks you in the face when you go to leave isn’t the most pleasant of things. So, anyhow, I think I’ll leave. There, action, that’s just what I needed. Some of the disillusionment is going away.
SOME. NOT ALL. I must admit, I feel lonely. There’s this yearning in me for something more, but what this ‘something more’ is, I cannot define. Do I need to get closer to God? I don’t know, and, if the answer is yes, how? I haven’t really felt excited about my faith for quite a while, so maybe that’s a sign. I feel excited about U2, but not about my faith, and that doesn’t seem right. But I don’t know what to do to fix the problem. I can’t even fully nail the problem, or I can’t recognise that it’s fully nailed and keep on thinking I need to define it or investigate it more. I need help, but from who? I don’t know. I’m lost. Joy, joy.
But I’m not sure if that’s the ENTIRE reason why I feel lonely. I only have one friend, really, who I mainly only see at school, which is a particular problem for me because I value friendship and companionship. I will confess I’d like someone of the opposite gender to be with, but I don’t feel that’s as critical as my startling lack of friends. How did I become such a loner? Where did I go wrong? How did I go wrong? Did I even go wrong, or is society simply not compatible with me? Is it a combination of both? Why must there be so many questions, and so few answers? Why, why, why …?
I’m lost. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, and the phrase ‘I can’t live with or without you’ seems so poignant. I really would get out of my U2 bubble and listen to a wider range of their music, but now isn’t the time, because, currently, U2’s music means more to me than I think it ever has before. After I had a shower earlier this evening, I was listening to The Electric Co. (UABRS), and I started belting it out (if indeed one can belt something out silently so the other members of the household are not disturbed, and so that one’s throat does not become more sore). I sing this song whenever I’m angry or upset, and, as I was singing it, well, it was quite possibly one of my fiercest renditions of it ever – this anger seemed to be coming out of me, coming out from nowhere. I don’t know where it was from, but it was there, and this song, in that moment, meant more than any other song. Right now, just thinking of I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For seems so very appropriate, and one line of With Or Without You just hit me: “And I’m waiting for you.” Who am I waiting for? Why? Am I even waiting for a person, or for something (possibly something to happen)? My life is full of questions right now, but no answers. My life is full of confusion and lack of direction, but no path to follow. I feel like I’m drifting, wandering, lost in a type of woods, and I have no idea where I’m going, and I’ve lost all my bearings and all sense of direction. Again, U2’s music comes to me: “Uncertainty can be a guiding light” (Zooropa). But how can it guide me? I hate uncertainty. I hate being lost. I hate it so very much. Give me friendship, give me security, and allow me a moment of selfish indulgence when I say “give it to me now.”
In a way, I feel quite selfish rambling on like this. There are people with their lives falling down around them, and all I can do is whine and moan about my life, which, in comparison to theirs, is probably rather good. But we get used to the life we lead and don’t want the quality of it to drop or anything, and I feel something like that is happening to me. I used to fit into my group, I used to be satisfied and content, but now I’m not, now I’m actively removing myself from security and what I know, and uncertainty is crashing in upon uncertainty, and so I’m whining and moaning about it. It may be selfish. Anyone who accuses me of being selfish is probably quite justified in doing so. But I’m doing it nonetheless, because I’m dissatisfied, disillusioned, and lost, and I want something more. Take me out of this place, to the higher ground … (Any good U2 fan may spot shades of Beautiful Day and Promenade in that previous sentence)
Maybe I should just remember part of Beautiful Day;
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel it somehow
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
Don’t need it now
Some people may determine my faith obviously is in trouble because I choose to quote U2 instead of Scripture, and because I can quote U2 much more readily and easily than Scripture, but this all returns to my struggles with faith, the uncertainty I’m being hit with, and what I’m being troubled by. Honestly, I just need someone who can help. I just need … sometimes I’m not even sure what I need. Uncertainty can be my guiding light …
Why don’t I just shut up now? I’m sure you’re all sick of me and my whining. Let me put you out of your misery at the next full stop.