Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Taming of the Chinese Chick: Part 2. . .Blog Day #25

UCDavis always starts their school year late.  So I was chomping at the bit when the end of September came and it was time for me to move into the dorms.  I was beyond excited to be on my own, to have my own place.  I loved who I was rooming with, and met some of the other people on my floor.  We rode our bikes and explored the campus and tested out the dining commons together.  College looked promising.

Then classes actually started.  I was in shock.  I had no study skills for my full load of classes, attended fraternity parties, rarely slept at decent hours for a decent amount of time.  But I was having the time of my life.  I was finally free from the chains and oppression of adult supervision. I did what I wanted, when I wanted.  I exchanged the old boyfriend for a new one. I spent my Thursdays through Sundays partying and hanging out.  Occasionally I studied, but not really.

In one quarter, I decided that maybe pre-med wasn't for me.  And biology wasn't up my alley.  Now that my long-term career plans were up in the air, I was feeling a little bad that school wasn't going too well.  The classes were hard, and I didn't put in the effort to really study and focus.  Being a student wasn't what it used to be. . .

But, I was having fun. . .The new boyfriend was wonderful, the parties were fun, and my new friends were fun.  I felt I had no need of anything more.

With winter came a feud with the roommate, who was giving me the silent treatment.  My grades were barely hanging in there, and emotionally I was a little wild.  But, I was happy.  I was doing what I wanted, when I wanted.  And besides, when life was tough, you could just go out and laugh and drink and party it off.  I was having fun.

When spring was just around the corner, my life started spinning out of control.  I was in deep with the drinking, feeling more sick than free-spirited.  I was struggling to "get right" with my studies.  The boyfriend and I were not getting along. 

And then, on that precipice, I finally did slip.  I suffered my first real heart break.  You know, the kind where your chest feels like some giant hands are squeezing it and you can practically taste the sorrow in your soul.  The boyfriend and I broke up, mostly due to my rash words and arrogance in thinking that if I apologized he would forgive me.  I lost control and for the first time in awhile, I was rejected.

I tried to regain my balance.  I needed to have fun again.  And what did I have left? Well, I was a lot of fun to party with.  There were other boys that were interested in me.  But mostly I was a lot of fun to party with.  The alcohol seemed to temporarily calm my aching heart.  People seemed to notice me and admire me when I could take multiple shots and swear like a sailor. 

But the pain would come again, not only from the hangover but from the heartache.  I felt like I had fallen off a cliff, but ignored the danger and refused to call for help.  I tucked away the pain and saved it for the nights, when I would weep silently in the dark.  If I felt anything else at all, it was stress.  I drowned out the stress on the weekends with dates and parties.  The precious freedom I had acquired just months before was now exhausting.  Being a "normal" college kid was merely a facade to cover up a lost and hurting soul.  But I was determined to have fun.

My suite-mate, Pak (like 6-pack, she says), was a Christian.  The poor girl.  I'm pretty sure she stayed at her friends' houses most of the time because of me.  Near the end of the school year I happen to be talking with her about something (I don't remember exactly what) but she asked me, "What about Jesus? Do you know who He is?"

"Oh, I went to church when I was little, so I know who He is.  I believe there's a God.  But I don't really need Him.  I'm having a lot of fun. . .I don't think I want to change anything."

The poor girl.  Telling people about Jesus and all He has to offer is no easy thing. She was probably sweating from the effort.  She was probably feeling defeated by my response.  But the seed was planted.  God began working in my life, even if I didn't want Him.

So I indulged myself in more fun.   Especially after finals.  By day my friends and I would pack our rooms.  By night we would fully immerse ourselves in letting loose and laughing and drinking whatever we could get our hands on.  I especially did, because I was moving home for the summer. 

Move out day came, we all packed our cars, and I drove home with a monster headache and dry mouth from the short night before.  I had to be careful not to drive too fast and get pulled over.  I wasn't sure my system was below the legal limit.  Plus my face was pale, my hair a bit frizzy, and I might have smelled like the rum that was my friend the night before. 

I left home broken, hoping to fix myself and soak in my freedom.  I moved back home in worse condition, struggling to maintain that euphoria I had only 9 months earlier.

I went out with some old friends, one of them including the old boyfriend.  I went to a couple parties, and attempted to fit in. 

I remember one particular coffee date with a friend I grew up with.  I don't remember exactly where we were, but I remember the conversation.  It was mostly one-sided (I'm sure you can guess which side). I remember the expression on his face.  I talked on and on about an anthropology class and about how similar we are to chimpanzees and blah blah blah evolved from gorillas and blah blah blah we share DNA with other primates and maybe we evolved over time after being created. . None of this makes any sense?  That's because I didn't know what I was talking about and just spat back information that was fed to me. 

And he just looked at me with a patient expression.  I believe his wife would know the look, "You are totally wrong but I'm going to just listen to you anyway."

I guess I need to back track just a bit, and tell you that he also had just returned from college.  Oh, and back track even more, his family had taken me to church many times in high school but I never kept it up.

Anyway, the night ended with, "There's a new college group at my church and I was thinking about going.  But I don't know anyone and I don't want to go by myself. Do you want to go?"

"Um, okay."  It was a chance for me to meet new people and help a friend.  Sure, why not?

So I went.  Introductions were made.  Then suddenly my friend disappeared and I was in a room with a bunch of girls and they were going to pray out loud. (Actually I don't think my friend had completely abandoned me like that, but I sure did feel like it.)  Thankfully, one of the girls reassured me that if I didn't feel comfortable praying, I didn't have to.  And then the meeting was over.  I left with no one asking me any questions or passing any judgements.  In fact, everyone had been nice to me.

So I went the next week.  The meetings were fun.  I didn't say very much, but I really enjoyed listening to them.  Little did I know that God was applying healing ointment to my soul.  God was piecing together my broken soul without my noticing.  I was still living that other life, drinking and smoking and such, but I looked forward to seeing my friend and going to those meetings.

The dual-life was short lived.  I couldn't keep it up.  4th of July came and I visited my roommate in Vallejo.  We went to a party where I had been taking shots after drinking beer (not a recommended mix). At the end of the night,  I was in the bathroom wishing I could throw up.  I was looking in the mirror at my green sallow face, barely able to focus because of the spinning, and thinking, "There has got to be something better than this."

And there was.  I just had to find it. 

Continued in Part 3, Blog Day #26

1 comment:

Shiloh and Samantha Sorbello said...

You write well! Good stuff...