Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Who am I? That's the great puzzle.

I feel like talking about my past to anyone who willing to listen.

About the way I am. The shyness, the spurts of depression I get, the lack of a social life I have. And my obsession with Radiohead

Going back to 8th grade, I was, for the most part, a complete loner. You could always find me in the library, reading. Reading about past Academy Award winning movies, actors, and actresses. Reading J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Reading, mostly, to pass the time. The library was my sanctuary, my refuge from all the peer pressure I felt. Sure, I had a few friends and some classroom acquaintances, but as the year went on, I began to shut almost everyone out. I already felt like an outcast at a school that mom and dad hoped that my day didn't include receiving a phone call from the counselor that I was involved in another fight. Hilltop Middle was no repeat of Correia Junior High School where I finally had to learn to defend myself from asshole bullies after getting picked on and harassed constantly, but the disconnect I felt at Hilltop between me and my peers was always there.

They were involved in random activities. I wasn't.
They hung around in groups. I was in the library.
They were into the latest trends. I could have cared less.
Some were beginning to date or hang out on the weekends. My weekends consisted of being on the internet, or being at the movies, or reading.

High school didn't change that trend, for the most part. I still felt like an outcast, but I had friends who took me in and accepted me for who I was. We were on our own, private island, near the vending machine, across from the A.S.B. One thing I did try, though, was asking out this girl I liked. We shared a World Geography class together with a teacher we both thought was a total prick. I asked her if she wanted to go to the movies on Friday night, she said yes. We agreed to meet up at 9:00 at the Regal 16 one Friday night. I showed up, she never did. It was devastating to me. From that point on, I never asked out another girl that I was interested in, out of one bad experience, and out of fear that I would see the same result. If there was a dance, I avoided it like the plague. If there was some girl I really liked, I thought that there was no way in heaven or hell that she would give me the time of day, that I wasn't some jock on a sports team, or some really good-looking pretty boy. That I was Jonathan Purcell Holmes, another fucking loser in this place where you were a somebody or no-one at all.

Contrary to my own belief, I was somebody. I was just know by virtually everyone else as Radio (my given nickname by my friends in P.E.) and the name stuck. I was also featured in the school newspaper with a sharp pallet for writing my opinions about this, that, or the other. It still didn't help with my self-confidence issues, or the fact that the invisible barrier was still hanging around me. Everything I felt: loneliness, my depression, a disconnect from my peers, my shyness - I kept to myself.

That was, until I discovered Thom Yorke and his band, Radiohead, and more specifically, track four from "Kid A."

"That there / That's not me. I go / Where I please...I'm not here, this isn't happening."

It was as if the song, "How To Disappear Completely" was telling me what I had already known, but what I could never accept.The song was telling me that there's a reason for the way I feel, the reason why that barrier constantly surrounds me, like a prison: I have no connection to the things my generation were trying to push on me. It all looked alien to me, bizarre. The trends; the stories of my peers posting pictures of wild, drunken nights at parties; the pop culture of the moment fads most everyone was into - most of it seemed completely stupid, vapid, and pointless.

It all made sense to me. I was.....different. I was in a world where I didn't belong, and didn't care much for on top of it all. I felt as if it was only me. I felt completely isolated. Alone. Like if I told anyone, that they wouldn't understand. Like this was my cross to bear. Eventually I did tell someone, or more specifically, they found out, and understood what I felt. That was later on in my Junior year, and I still had support in my Senior year.

These days, I just try and learn to accept where I am right now. And maybe that's all I'm capable of doing right now.

Sorry for ranting on and on like that, and thanks for listening.


Anonymous said...

Jonathan when I was 21 I was diagnosed as Bi-polar (big shock huh?)And while even today my highs are real high and my lows are real low there once was a time when my lows were suicidal.

I know all about Depression and I know it's real. I also know it's no coincidence my worst years were between the ages if 16-21. That's a time that lends itself to depression. Depression is a side effect of growing up.

RalphyFan said...

First, Count is right. The years you are traversing right now are always haunted and troubled for people who are genuinely thoughtful. Stay strong and keep the faith, as we keep it in you.

Second...in retrospect, anyone I know as an adult who is worth knowing has shared your experience, which is similar in many ways to mine. It's not visible to you now, but in the life that lies before you, the jocks will be flipping burgers and the popular girls scanning groceries, while people like you will be changing the world for the better.

Hindsight will show you that you were, and are, ahead of the curve, not behind it.

As Joseph Campbell would tell you...follow your bliss. That's all that matters.

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