While I’m Still Awake

Well, I’ve been trying to go to bed for the past hour and a half with no success, so I may as well write about what’s keeping me up.

I’ve been feeling this weird sense of powerlessness lately, like I have no control over anything in my life. I feel like I’m drifting, and I’m really not sure why.

If anything, I’m more tethered this year than I’ve ever been. I’ve started dance, speech and debate, and chorus. Besides that, I’m in the middle of my fifth year in my school orchestra and I’ve started this blog. I’m part of communities and activities far more than I’ve ever been before.

Recently, I’ve been having a lot of mini-existential crises, mostly of the if-we-suffer-so-much-why-do-we-exist variety. I mostly just question myself in circles and end up exhausted by the end of it.

I had no power over Anne’s mom passing. I had no power over my parents getting divorced. I have no power over other people’s opinions or ideas when I want so very desperately to make people come around to my way of thinking. I try not to admit it too often, because it makes me sound like a control freak.

But I am a control freak.

I’m a control freak with no control over anything.

Sometimes when I’m in an argument, I just want to reach inside the other person’s mind and force them to agree with me. And that feeling scares me. Thankfully, I’m not a mutant with mind control powers, so nothing ever actually comes of that desire.

I used to think I have control over my grades, but I actually don’t. No matter how hard I can try, I can’t get above a B+ in geometry. Normally I wouldn’t care, because I hate geometry, but the teacher is very nice and I feel like I’m letting him down.

I used to think I had control over my own emotions, but I actually don’t. I’ve always had mild anxiety, but now that I’m actually aware of it it opens up a whole new world of worrying and possibilities and things to worry about.

I used to think I had some semblance of control over some of the things that happened to me in my tiny, insignificant life. But apparently that’s not true. Things happen to and around me and I have no control or power over them and that scares me, it really does.

Sometimes when I feel like this I find myself wanting to turn to a higher power, but there’s no higher power that I have the strength to believe in. I find it impossible to believe in a supreme being that allows terrible things to happen to people on a daily basis, that allows human beings to destroy themselves all the time, without so much as a whispered word of assistance.

Sometimes I’ll pray. I don’t know who or what I’m praying to, or if my prayers are heard. Sometimes I think of how no one will ever hear the full extent of my thoughts besides me, and that freaks me out. What happens if I die? Will anyone every truly know who I was?

I have no answers to any of my questions and that scares me. I used to have everything all figured out. I would graduate high school with a 4.0, go to Harvard, meet a guy along the way, become a successful lawyer, publish a book, have 1.5 kids, become the president of the United States, and then die happy, successful, and fulfilled.

I don’t know if any of that is going to happen. Besides becoming the president. Obviously that’s in my future.

I want to know the future. I want to know everything that’s going to happen to me. But that’s not possible and god do I wish it was.

Even the things I’m thankful for—my family, my friends, my privelege—I have no control over. I was born with my consciousness, in my body, in my time—why?

I remember once a friend told me that with just a wave of God’s finger, she could’ve just as easily been a child soldier, or a sex slave, or any other number of things.

I don’t know if she meant for me to think about what she said all that much, but I’ve thought about it a lot since then. I must be me for a reason, right? I’ve got to have some purpose on this planet, something that I’m here to do.

But I don’t know. I really don’t.

Sorry to wax so philosophical so late at night—or early in the morning, depending on where you are. Either way, it’s been awhile since your last cup of coffee.

Anything been keeping you up at night? Got answers to life’s big questions? Let me know in the comments.



    1. Thank you

      Yeah this post was…an intense one for me to write. This was my absolute low point of my entire school year so far. I had pulled away from my family and my friends in a way that I just couldn’t understand. I think writing this post (and then reading it over later and realizing just how terrible I sounded) really helped me to work through whatever it was that was happening to me.

      Thank you for your comment and thank you for reading.

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