Senioritis and Love

And here I sit, making my reflections after a busy Tuesday evening, listening to some cute and fantastic (literally) song (Fields of Gold). It's become official lately: I am in the throes of reverse-senioritis. What I mean is that this reservoir of four years of independence and freedom is trickling out before me day by day. I'm not one for being rebellious and taking my independence to extremes, but there is something about college life that (it would seem) is hard to create elsewhere...it may have something to do with living within a few blocks of most of your best friends.

And I am constantly reminded that this time is drawing to a close for me. True, I have several months to go. But from past experience I know how fast time flies, especially in mid-semester when one's mind is full of thoughts of projects and homework and exams. I have even likened it to the old phrase, "My biological clock is ticking." Before I know it, I'll be 30, working my way up in some lovely computer engineering career, and asking "Is there nothing more?"

All right, so it may not be that bad. I'll always have my faith to motivate me to strive for more than just the working world, and to provide perspective. Unless I have some large change, though, even my faith is a struggle at times, a struggle between belief and doubt. But God enables me to maintain my faith in the midst of doubt, as has become apparent through the years.

But in all good things in this world there is just a drop of badness, it seems. In the "good life" of college (or any span of time), there is the realization that it won't last forever. In my faith, there is doubt. In the enactment of faith (church and other things we always hesitate to label as rituals), there is sometimes a question of whether the ritual has lost its spiritual aspect. In love, there is the nagging question of if it still exists. I remind myself of Solomon at times.

Now, being a guy (amid much controversy to the contrary, yes, I am in fact a guy), I have been quietly distressed about the lack of, shall we say, a soulmate? Throughout my years at Iowa State, and in Cedar Rapids before that, I developed many meaningful relationships, and many more faces smile at me as I walk by, even if they don't even know my name. This is all well and good, but there is always a subtle search for more. As I am so fond of thinking in my self-pity, "I am everyone's friend, and no one's best friend." I must qualify this. In high school, I tried to gloss over this, but no more: that whole hormone thing affects me too. I have guy friends. Happy. I have girl <space> friends. Happy. But removing the space, if you know what I mean, is one thing that college couldn't teach me. I don't mean to say in as many words, "I'm sad because I don't have a girlfriend," because that sounds too...trite, too simplistic...too utterly selfish. But in essence, that is the overall generalization of my thoughts at many a moment.

Well, I think I spend too much time thinking about this. So while other people go out on dates and dances and get engaged and all that, I sit and think about it. Lately, I've realized that I can be social too. And maybe I'm not completely ugly either (although that's never been verified). So why is it that I am always the polite listener to everyone else's love stories, with none to share of my own? Is it my inhibitions (me? ask someone out?)? Is it the fear of rejection? Or is it the weight of past experience, experience that shows me that I can reach the verge of involvement, but always manage to get shot down in some fashion, usually several steps before any hope of a reality sets in. I always seem to speak in parables about these things, because even in writing I feel a bit...squeamish...about these things. Even you reading this probably think I'm a whiner for saying any of this. Well, I am. So what else is new? I tend to write things down when no one else will listen to what I have to say, so my writing is just the leftovers of my in-person whining. This is also why I am squeamish: I sense that this is exactly why I am here writing this sad lonely tale: because I whine too much. Perhaps this is a self-fulfilling prophecy of some sort.

Anyway, here I sit, late on a school night, writing about my lack of love life, not really looking forward to the day when I will leave what seems to be the best place to interact with people, and enter the "real world" with its corporate demands, its distance, and apparently, its loneliness. Yes, I know. I'm just being impatient. And I'm learning to be more patient. There are just times when my growing patience takes a day off, and I end up with blotches of writing like this one. Tomorrow perhaps I will suck it in, and learn once again to "Not Care" and to keep the better part of my love safely inside myself, where it can't make anyone think I'm weird or whining. That way, only I will know the love that I think I'm capable of. I can say, "they don't know what they're missing" but that doesn't really help any. As someone once said, "Love isn't love 'til you give it away."

And then, finally, I'm reminded of the advice that love isn't all it's cracked up to be..there are quarrels and fights, and commitment and responsibility, and all that sort of thing. I wonder though: is that true, or is that just something to make me feel better? It's easy for someone who's "taken" to advise one who's not that "takenness" is not all that it appears to be. But it's also easy for me to long for something for the sake of longing -- in some selfish fit of "it's greener on the other side," even if that green is green mold or something, and not grass. Boy, now I've really lost all sense of point to my writing. Well, that's all I'll say for tonight. Love is an interesting topic, and I always like to talk about it, even if my thoughts on it are full of contradictions and bitterness (hence why no one seriously asks me about it, I suppose).

Sep 19 2000