As I begin writing this, it's 1745. I was supposed to be in class on the other side of town at 1730, and it's a ~25 minute drive plus a 10-12 minute walk to get there. I'm dressed for lounging around my apartment, so add another few minutes to get dressed to go out in public, get the binders I need and my laptop, and get going.
I'm late, the kind of late where it's easy to just say fuck it and not go to class, which is what I've been doing for the past several Wednesday nights.
Tonight, I'm going to go, even if I get there for the last 30 minutes, and stand outside the classroom waiting until class is over. I need to talk to the professor and let him know I'm alive. I've exchanged emails about my situation with PTSD this semester, but I haven't done much work for the class. That's why I don't want to go to class. I don't want to walk in the door and have everyone look at me like "Hey, who's the new guy? It's way past the deadline for adding classes." (This is most likely a complete fabrication that my mind is making up to keep me from actually going to this class.)
I've really been struggling with being these days.
Being a veteran, whatever that means. I haven't been to the local vets group office since early summer, and haven't participated in any of their activities. If I see something from VFW or American Legion, it goes straight to the trash. I'm kinda annoyed at the USO-- I donated $25 around this time last year, and they've sent me at least that much worth of full color, heavy stock, glossy crap asking for more money. In that regard, I'm a grumpy veteran.
I've found that contrary to what everyone says, it's hard to relate to Iraq and Afghanistan vets sometimes. Maybe a lot. We're all supposed to have a common bond, but recent veterans I've met don't want to talk about it. Desert Shield and Desert Storm happened in a different time. It was basically a surprise, the threat of chemical weapons was very real, and the mission was different. Every country who could send troops or supplies or money, did.
The media today goes nuts over 30,000 troops moving around. When Desert Storm started we had close to half a million, and....
Anyway. I digress.
Most of the vets I know here are getting ready to graduate soon. They've long since decided that they've had enough of this college stuff, and they want to get out of here and get a job and get on with life. That used to be me, but I discovered that having the next few years of your life planned out is bullshit, because God knows what might happen. Now, I have no idea what happens after graduation for me. This relieves some stress, but it also may have a factor in what's going on with me feeling disassociated.
If you don't know where you're going, how can you get there?
I'm scared, because so many times when I've had a plan that was working, something happened to mess things up. It doesn't feel right to have a normal plan of action and matriculate through college. So I'm having trouble "seeing" myself as someone that's doing that.
It makes sense, then, that the side of me that's a student is feeling disassociated lately. I am a student, but I'm not being a student. (Kinda zen, eh?)
So, back to this class that I'm now almost an hour late (plus travel time) for. I have decided that I'm going to go, and talk to the prof even if it's only for a few minutes. It doesn't matter what we talk about, it matters that I got past a stuck point. That's what this is all about, really. There's all this other bullshit going through my head about what other people think, and in reality none of it fucking matters. It's keeping me here, spinning around in place, and it needs to GTFO.
I am going to turn on some Van Halen, get myself cleaned up, get dressed, grab my stuff, and go to class. I'm not decided on whether I actually go into class when I get there. The door being open would make it easier, but I'll worry about that when I get there.
Small steps. Just getting to the classroom door will be a victory, and I have a cold beer in the fridge to celebrate with when I get home. Speaking of Van Halen....