I want a new drug, Huey Lewis.

October 1, 2009

I remember how going off to college was such a system shock to me. I had left my home town feeling really pretty knowledgeable to begin with (adorable). But I, of course, had had these set psychic parameters under which I had operated, and I really didn’t even know they existed. I thought I was pretty in the know. I mean, I’d read some books. I’d been in love. I’d seen a boy naked. I’d smoked 4 cigarettes. Shit, son. I knew life.

Felt infinite; was actually remarkably sheltered. That’ll happen.

That’s youth, though, right? Or at least the big fish/small pond phenomenon that follows a liberal upbringing in an otherwise Mellencamp-esque small town. And I can just recall how I spent my years away at college—and especially my first year—like I literally could almost feel an expansion of the mind at times. It felt physical. A perceived expansion. I’m not talking about getting smarter. I’m really not sure that boning up on reasoning, problem solving, and the logical order of things was the effect that college had on me, aside from being able to tell you mathematically how much caffeine intake is equal to relative parts retained information. And, resultantly, that cramming doesn’t equal long-term memory retention. No, I refer to world view. That whole “broadening your horizons” thing—this is a realistic description of the occurrence. I’d come upon something completely new and wonderfully upsetting to my previous existence (this wasn’t hard to find), and I’d sponge it up and let it change everything. Over and over again, like an excitable tot on Christmas morning, opening present after present and mentally arranging the way they were going to change the terrain of her play area.

I can remember these moments vividly, and I can still feel the little budge in my psyche, if I concentrate hard enough on these individual occurrences. What I find difficult is to have more of these moments now. My horizons have been expanded. A lot. A whole lot, for anyone who is not familiar with the liberal approach I tend to apply to, well, everything. I’ve been exposed to a great deal and have kept a very open mind, and that seems to have served me well. And you know, in the last year, I can say that I have grown exponentially on a whole host of fronts: the intricacies of complex relationships, the intricacies of very complex relationships, self-awareness, the mechanics of emotional well-being, and my ability to take in the city at a rate that doesn’t make me hyperventilate or foam at the mouth too much. But these have all felt like downhill momentum from quondam lessons learned. I would like to find something to feed my craving for a new major expansion; I would hate to feel it’s all settling down.

So I keep looking for classes or books or something that will spark a great big, cataclysmic “WTF? I’ve never thought of that before!” in my spongy, spongy head. I haven’t found anything that seems to be promising yet. I don’t have a religion to speak of, so a manifest destiny on that particular front would certainly shake my fundamental core sufficiently, I’m sure. I just haven’t found the spiritual direction to take. Grant me a vision! I don’t know. Any suggestions for ever altering my current psychological state are most welcomed.  Note.


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