So yeah. I am finally that bored. And by ‘that bored’ I mean to a point where there’s a single high pitched note in my ears because I have exhausted my over thinking muscles and even my migraine hates me now and has given up on me.
I’m a dangerous person when I am bored. Most of the time, I make up stuff to do so I am very rarely idle. But when I do get bored I become this insanely annoying energy in the room. I pay attention to things. I correct people when they talk about their “33 teeth” Or I meddle into their love lives and make them discover that the only exciting thing about their relationship is bragging about the sex to other people. I once started a debate about how pointless it is to try at anything if we’re just going to die anyways. I was hoping they would prove me wrong but I won the debate without even trying. Suddenly no one could think of a reason as to why we try at anything. Now whenever I ask a legitimate question, these people think it’s a trick to start another conversation to make them hate their lives so tension boxes are drawn and doors are slammed.
We haven’t had class for about two weeks now and I can’t remember why I ever complained about having classes. I don’t know what to do with myself. I tried the whole coffee and books thing but I got sick because it is not only my migraine that has given up on me. My stomach hates me as well. The coffee made me very, very sick and being sick made me impatient so I hate people again. Mainly, I just sit at a café drinking water and attempting to become a writer.
Idleness is shit.
Last night I got to campus after another one of those days, thinking to myself that I need to find a new place to hangout because I am now at a point where the manager of the cafe I go to knows my name and if I went missing, he can identify me. That will not do because if you go to a place where they know you, they’ll start to assume that you take a “regular” something and they suddenly stop asking you for what you want. They think they already know. When you become a customer somewhere, you think they’ll always treat you with the same respect they used when you were new. But no, some of that spark goes away when you become a regular.
I got to campus and let the woman guard go through my bag to look for the huge machine gun I have been suspected of carrying around. She didn’t find it so she let me through. One of the male guards bundled up in a very dirty quilt-like rag to shield himself against the whip-like Mekelle wind, almost sighs the word like he’s been chewing it for a while and he’s finally ready to swallow it. Like it is this very interesting concept he mulls over when he’s thinking deep thoughts about life.
‘Students…’ he said.
My mind is a living creature on its own. It lives in a bubble where African accents are sexy and people with squeaky clean shoes are in no way to be trusted because how can you trust someone who would spend so much time cleaning their shoes?
When the man mused loudly at the word, I suddenly felt a large weight drop over my already hunched shoulders. I stopped walking and looked around me and I saw silhouettes of people, students. You ever get that feeling where you feel like you are a part of something large? Like you qualify for a set? For example, if you are a twenty-year-old person and someone starts talking about the set of all twenty-year-old people, you pay attention because you qualify as part of that set? Well I didn’t feel that. I got angry out of nowhere because yes, we were all students but most of us don’t belong here. I was awash with a sudden feeling, this need to not shame the guard and to be a student worthy of the title ‘student’.
I think being all philosophical and a little crazy is a rite of passage for one as a university student. Most, if not all, of the people I talk to have tried their hand at becoming their own philosophers, to formulate or adapt certain ideas about their purposes in life and/or about the meaning of life and all that stuff. I go a step further. I get angry.
You can only imagine how I get with people if I can manage to piss myself off by just thinking about stuff. I’m a real doll. 😏😏
I got to thinking about all the responsibilities that each of us hold and all the boxes we must check as we move forward and we don’t even hesitate or question as we accept these responsibilities. We finished high school, we go to university, we graduate, we get employed, we get married, we have kids and we fall right into the routine like all the other bricks. Most of us don’t belong here but isn’t it nice to feel a part of that wall?
I asked some people what makes them happy because I can’t seem to stop asking people this question and a united consensus was reached where this group decided success was what made them happy. And I asked what that “success” was. They described the above in different words. Graduate, be employed and get a lot of money, get married to ideal and almost fictional sounding partners, have children. There was a lot of confusion as to what came after the children. I said death and I think I probably won’t be able to use these same people for any more of my questions.
So, a bored student such as myself would then go to her dorm, take a cold shower because her dorm feels like it’s been cooking over hellfire all day and then climb onto her bed and hate herself because she’s been letting all these people she doesn’t even like carve her into a nice little brick to fit into the wall. I hate the fucking wall.
Elfaz once told me about how comfortable we Ethiopians have become with poverty. If it died, I think we just might mourn it. I feel that my peers are like that too. We have settled into whatever box society had prepared and we have conformed into it and we don’t try to be better. We just try to fit in and then complain when we completely disappear in it.
I tried to get a raise on my allowance one time and the argument I was met with was just shit. I was told to “be just like everyone else.” I think “No Qal. No money for you.” would have sufficed but I was told to be just like everyone else.
I have been accused of taking life too seriously, thinking a little too much of myself, taking too much responsibility and then expecting everyone around me to do the same. I think this accusation came up when I told someone to not litter. What my friends (ex-friends?) called me was ‘አካባጅ’. Not to my face. But yeah. They called me that. Behind my back. Just loud enough so I could hear.
I asked Eyuel if I was really like that. He said, “No” while nodding his head. Then followed the advice to just relax because we are not going to live forever. And we should just let go of things. I kind of regret my stupid debate topics about life and mattering because now my friends have become cynics and radicals.
It’s better to be cool, to be just like everyone else because if you try to be better, you’re drawing a large target on your forehead. It’s better to be likable, sinking to society’s level and to live your life eating what they eat, wearing what they wear, and camouflaging yourself into a person you are supposed to be.
Out of responsibility and kind of a like a trained dog, I subconsciously had the desire to identify as a student upon hearing that guard call me a Student because at this point in my life, it is something I am supposed to be. I am not a wife or a grandmother or the prime minister.
I wonder if at any given point in life, we are supposed to be one thing or another? If I broke this sucky routine and somehow ended up a pirate sailing the dead sea by the end of the year, or if I stopped everything in my life right now and ended up a singer at a night club, would that mean I am living life wrong because there is a clean cut formula as to what a good life should be?
One time, I was talking to a cousin of mine and we were talking about what makes for success. He was against my idea of trying to study something on extension.
“You should be trying to better yourself.” He said. “I know you like history. I know you like music. Why not independently try to pursue your dreams of knowing things you actually want to know? Why is it always about the papers and diplomas? You think studying management after spending the whole day studying chemical engineering is going to make you a happy person? Why not spend your time trying to be the person you want to be?”
He attends too many seminars where they use that redundant and very annoying ATTITUDE=100 % example.
I don’t know that life has that deep meaning we sit around waiting for. I think we’re all just waiting for something to happen so we feel fulfilled. So, I took this lunatic’s advice and I tried to be the person I wanted to be as opposed to the person society expected or wanted me to be.
I took lessons for a while, secret crushes stopped being secret crushes, I broke up with people that upset me, I started taking writing seriously…. Trying to be fulfilled is not easy and it costs too much money. Last night I lay awake and I thought back to that time when I tried to break conformation and tried to be something I wanted to be. At least I wasn’t idle you know? I would wake up in the morning and there was something I should be doing.
But I think I was waiting for something to make life make sense then too because nothing is ever enough is it?
One time a friend advised me that maybe falling in love would give life meaning because there’s a button you press behind your ear and perfect guys just fall out of the sky or suddenly people around you just turn out to be understanding of your need to talk about air pollution or Dan Brown’s Inferno without rolling their eyes.
When I use words like society and conformity, I honestly feel like a hypocrite. But I think that wall needs a wrecking ball through it.
P.S. I’m not crazy. I’m just really reaaalllly bored!
P.P.S. People have started talking to me then stopping smack in the middle to go, “I was kidding. Do not write about this in your blog.” You know, my memory is actually shit but I never seem to forget certain conversations from long times ago for certain reasons I can’t explain. Whoever you are, your best bet to not having me write about you is to not talk to me or to be insanely dull and boring so I don’t care about you at all. I also take bribes in the form of 0.7mm ballpoint pens and stationary.