Seven facts about me everyone should know

(1) I do not give out compliments. I just don't. It's not that I'm trying to be rude, but I just don't see the need. Conversely, I cannot take a compliment. Whenever someone says something nice to me, I am the picture of awkward. This goes back to when I was 15 and I decided that I would stop using the word 'love' because I thought it was overused and lost all of its meaning and significance. Similarly, I think people pay each other compliments just to feel better, and not because it's true.

So, I decided back then that I wouldn't use love unless I meant it (I've since rescinded), and I also decided that I wouldn't compliment someone unless I meant it. So, believe me when I say that any compliment I pay, you have to amplify a bit. If I tell you that you look nice, you're fucking on fire you're so hot. If I say that you did a good job at something, then you blew the freakin' doors off of it. That's just me. I can't give a compliment.

(2) I have a rule for everything. I realized this when F pointed it out to me. I started to say something about the proper way to do something and he stopped me and ran back into the room saying, "Wait, wait, I want to hear the rule for this!" I realized then and there that my superego is the 600 lbs gorilla of my psyche. It extends far beyond rules of etiquette. I have rules for the proper way to read the newspaper, the proper way to store clothing, whether to recycle and what one should recycle, when to smoke, proper e-mail etiquette, how to read a poem, and other topics. In fact, I have an opinion on the proper way to do most anything. I have had to actively suppress this urge to give my opinion, especially when F gave me his business card and asked me what the rules of business cards were (his cards broke most all my rules).

(3) I completely hide my emotions. It is very difficult to get a read on me, not in some vague trivial sense, but I'm talking huge deals. Like I was suicidal for a day or two and no one even noticed. People piss me off to extraordinary lengths and have no clue. People accuse me of being angry when I'm tired, happy when I'm depressed, bitter when I'm remorseful. There are only about 5 people in the world who manage to see through my layers upon layers of defenses to who I am. Everyone else just sort of operates on the assumption that I'm this happy-go-lucky sort of individual. As an example, I have a friend who I was planning on cutting out of my life entirely. That person's saving grace was a Christmas card. I know someone else who will probably never know how much our friendship has meant to me, and I'm fine with that.

(4) It is remarkably difficult to get me angry. But once someone gets me mad, I stay mad. And I never let go of grudges. I mean, really, I was social with my ex and my friend who basically undercut me in order to go out with her. And this guy, I stuck with him when his previous girlfriend and him broke up. I was a good friend, and he royally screwed me over. But man, I was waving hello and inviting them to things. Getting on my shit list takes a lot of effort. It's one thing to annoy me or irritate me, but getting me angry, that takes work. In this world, there are only 2 people that I hate. And I dole out forgiveness like I'm gunning for sainthood. But once someone crosses the line, that's it.

The funny thing is that most people have no idea what will set me off because I don't show it. There are more than a few people in the last few years who have pissed me off to a major level and it's not like I ever did anything about it. It's difficult to know what will set me off because there's so very little that does.

But my opinion of people certainly brightens and dims without any indication. I have a friend who came up short on a bill, leaving me to pay an extra $10, and I don't think I'll ever confront that person, and I doubt I'll ever have a favorable opinion of that person like I did before. Another person, I confided some pretty serious shit to, and that person more or less blew me off. I didn't say anything, but I spent the better part of a month deciding whether I ever wanted to talk to that person ever again.

(5) I am angry with God. I was told this by a priest during my last confession which was over 5 years ago. I came to realize that this priest has a level of insight into the human soul that is unbelievable, because he was dead on. I am remarkably angry with God, because I feel like my life is without purpose. I feel like my entire life is spent pointlessly without any effect or repercussion on anyone, muchless humanity in general. It's a sobering realization to think that I could be erased from existence without so much as a hiccup. And the part that truly pissed me off was that in spite of this pointless meandering existence I lead, I'm not allowed to end my life. How wholly unfair. It's pretty much the only reason I haven't killed myself.

But I go to church like it's my job, and I do spend time in prayer. I feel very grateful for what God's given me. I'm remarkably fortunate. But still, it's hard to look at all this good fortune, knowing that most of it is stuff I could do without, and the stuff I do want in my life is all deficient.

(6) I am extremely paranoid. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I had a psychotic break sometime soon. I have a lot of paranoid thoughts. I worry that someone may be following me, or that one of my friends is actually trying to betray me, or a girl I like is actually making fun of me behind my back. I worry endlessly about what people think of me. I spend a lot of time trying to rationalize away my paranoia, but the problem is that it's ended up being right a good number of times. Part of dispelling an irrational belief is realizing that it has no foundation in truth. It becomes exceptionally hard to dispel an irrational belief when your previous irrational beliefs (like that your girlfriend was cheating on you, that a girl you liked was mocking you behind your back, that one of your friends was just humoring you but actually resented you) have been proven to be true.

(7) I don't talk to anyone about what goes on in my life. Sometimes, I'll call S, or I'll track down F maybe, but otherwise, I keep everything to myself. I've become an intensely private person, because I've come to the realization that I'm not really sure I can trust anyone with my emotional wellbeing except for those with a decent track record. And this is rather amusing to me, in that ironic kind of amusing way, because I would love to share myself with another person. I would love to have someone I could really confide in. But honestly, most people wouldn't know what to do with me. I had a friend who honestly just avoided me for 2 months after I spilled some emotional baggage. I had another friend who offered me a terse e-mail whose content can be summed up with the words: so, are you better now?

Two things I have to do before I die

The thought occurred to me that I may be single for the rest of my life. This has actually been invaluable. I thought the whole point of being okay with myself was that this realization shouldn't scare me as much as it does. I have to admit, it scares the shit out of me, because it sort of infringes upon one of the two things I'd like to do before I die. We were talking one day about things that we'd like to do before we die, and when rubber met road, I decided that only two things are really critical. Everything else, like going to the Vatican, having children, all that stuff, it was a wash. There were only really two things that I thought I absolutely had to do before I died. And the sad fact is that I've made no progress on either front.

What are these two things? What the hell, I'm in a sharing mood. (1) I'd like to make a difference in someone's life, a real difference. Not some bettering the world bullshit. I'd like to have a situation where I made an honest to God difference. I can't say that's happened yet, and I doubt it'll happen any time soon. (2) I'd like to know what it's like to love someone with all your heart. Y'know, it'd be nice to have a girlfriend and all that jazz, or even to reproduce, but what I want is to know what it's like to really love someone. These are the only two things that I feel like I need to do before I die.

And I'm sure that some of my friends would say, "How can you say that you haven't made a difference?" Well, it's actually quite easy to say. And easier to believe. I really haven't. My life has been exquisitely selfish. I figure that one day, I'll take a bullet for someone, and that'll be that. As far as love, I've no fucking clue. I really have no idea what it is to love. It's an entirely meaningless word to me. I'd like to know what love is, not lust or crushes or infatuation or friendship or obsession or any of that shit. Balls to the wall 100% love. I haven't the faintest.

Awards and accolades

There was an awards ceremony at school. I went because one of the med school coordinators is changing job titles (a fun game at my school, as this has happened to just about all my favorite folks at school), and I was somewhat sad. As much as we butted heads, I really owe her a big debt of gratitude for her help with my personal statement.

I was thinking though about how it's been such a long time since I've won an award. I'd like to say that I'm envious of the award winners, but I'm not really. Awards don't mean that much to me. I can't take a compliment at all (I've been contemptibly rude upon receiving compliments before. Someone thanked me for doing something, and my reply was that an idiot could've done it). What's more, the work I do isn't anything I'm ever particularly proud of. The thing I do envy is that someone thought of those people for those awards. Y'know, there was some earnest appreciation going on, and it's always nice to be appreciated.

I don't think I'm appreciated at all, but then again, I don't do anything that deserves appreciation. So it all balances out. Well, maybe that's a lie. I did get a call a few days back, thanking me a gift I made, a very earnest thanks. And y'know, I have to admit, I felt a little pride. And maybe that's the thing. Whenever I used to win praise or awards, it was all stuff I was supposed to do. I was winning awards for doing what was expected of me. There's no pleasure in that. But that gift, I made it because I thought that we should have something to remember our times together. And to be thanked so earnestly for doing that, it's hard not to be a little proud.

I've only ever won one award or recognition that I was proud of. I won an award in 8th grade, and it wasn't for intellectual prowess or some ability or skill. It was the most coveted award the school bestowed for exemplifying everything the school stood for. It was an award for being a person the school could point to and say, "This boy here is the reason for our existence, to mold a youth into this kind of man." On that day, and on that day only, was the only time I've ever felt truly proud.

All nighter

I haven't pulled an all-nighter in years. Years I tell you. I can't remember if I did during 1st or 2nd year of med school, but I certainly did tonight. It was... fun. It's been a long time since I've had a good time like tonight, or today, or whatever. It's made me realize that you can come at the same problem from entirely different directions.

It's also made me realize what exactly constitutes a great friendship. Y'know, it's such a marvel when you figure out what it is that draws you to other people, and what draws them to you. You don't have to be false, or even try. You just are, and that's it. No pressure. No worrying. It is the ideal state of being. And it makes me wonder sometimes why I feel such a terrific need to torture myself over loneliness and crushes and past romances and all that other stuff, when I know, I know I have a legion of fantastic friends who are there for me when I start to falter.

And the best friendships, if one has to choose, should definitely involve a bottle of scotch.