Saturday, October 29, 2011

Depressed and need to vent

I am officially depressed. Not like diagnosed clinically depressed or anything, thank goodness, but just depressed. Enough for it to interfere with my normal functioning.

There's really no reason for me to be depressed - I mean, I'm on vacation from work, and I've gotten the two major things done I wanted to get done during this week: the French proficiency test (Test d'Évaluation du Français) at the Alliance Française and driving school through Mira Costa. I also had a very nice birthday (yesterday) and got to go to a great symphony concert with my dad on Wednesday in Mira Costa's new Concert Hall, where we heard world-premiere pieces by their composer-in-residence as well as Beethoven's Eighth Symphony. And Beethoven is my favorite classical composer. 

So why am I depressed? Well, let's just say driving school didn't go quite as smoothly as I expected. I expected that after this I'd be able to get my license very soon (after some practice with my parents, of course). But now it looks like it could be forever till that happens, because while I'm not a horrible driver, I'm not sure the instructor has very high hopes for me either. He did think I did better than he had thought I'd do on the first day, but yesterday was the first day I had to do most of the steering by myself, so I didn't do as well, and today I did things like freak out over a bag in the road that I thought I was going to run over (and stopped suddenly because of it), put my visor down at a bad time due to the sun being in my eyes (it was early morning), and accidentally changed lanes after going straight through an intersection instead of staying in the lane I was in before I crossed the intersection. Plus I have problems with maintaining speed (probably because there are a lot of speed limit changes in the area we drove in), some trouble with turns, and some issues with lane position (though I have improved with that somewhat).

The instructor doesn't want me to practice with my parents until we get his report (or until he talks with my parents, whichever he decides to do - though I asked him to send a written report anyway cause I remember things better when they're written, personally). I'm just afraid that I may drive really badly with my parents, who won't have the extra brake the driver's ed car has and thus won't be able to stop me if I confuse my pedals or something, they'll never let me drive. And then my mom will get to glorify in the fact that she was right all along and I won't be able to drive EVER. And if I can't drive a car, then I'll have to work around the bus schedule my whole life, severely limiting my job possibilities, meaning I might not be able to make more money and be able to afford to move out.

And I want to move out. Because while I love my parents, sometimes they drive me crazy. Not my dad so much. He's great. It's my mom. She constantly gets on me about my clothes and how I need to take care of myself better and you should see how she nagged me to get a physical. Granted, I know she means well, but sometimes I just don't agree with her. I like wearing jeans and a T-shirt. And I'd like to wear a dress (like I used to) but I have trouble finding them in my size. I am NOT joking - it's like impossible to find plus size dresses, though maybe I'm just not going to the right stores cause we found skirts and stuff for me before when I worked at Loaves and Fishes and had to wear dresses or skirts. Plus, like a typical Asperger's person, I am very picky about fabrics (due to a touch sensitivity - autistic people have super-sensitive senses), so I only really feel comfortable in cotton. Plus, it's hard for me to wear dresses or skirts because I have to wear something under it, like pantyhose, so my legs don't rub together, and I find pantyhose to be very formal, so they wouldn't work with a casual dress. Of course, if I lost some weight, I could probably solve that problem, because I think my legs rub together because my thighs are really big.

Another problem I have with moving out is affording it. Unfortunately, SoCal is one of the most expensive places around, and your average apartment in our area generally starts at $900/month or so, and that's just for rent. I only make around $200-$250/week (depending on my hours and how much gets deducted for taxes, health insurance, and union dues), so that's about $1,000/month, maybe more because I actually make more than $12,000 a year. I would definitely need a roommate for it to work, unless I want to live on like $100/month after rent, which I suppose I could do (considering I'd probably qualify for food stamps if I lived on my own, which would help with food costs).

The driving instructor did point out that I don't need a car to move out (yes, we did talk about this) and I guess this is true since at least some of the apartments in my area are close to a bus stop. And I suppose I could advertise for a roommate. Too bad I'm not at Cal State anymore because people were always posting signs looking for roommates there. There is this ULoop thing I keep getting e-mails from on my school account that allows you to look for roommates on it too.

I just want to move on with my life, and I feel like I'm so stuck. I mean, I am in a transition period since I just graduated from college about 6 months ago. And to be honest, finding out I had Asperger's did kind of throw a wrench in the works, since I don't understand it very well nor do I know how to deal with it. I did recently read the book Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin, a famous animal science professor at Colorado State who also has high-functioning autism (and who the HBO film Temple Grandin is about), which did help explain it somewhat. She also wrote a book about careers, Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism, which I'm going to check out. Though it may be as un-helpful as the career books I found in the Career Center (Careers for Introverts and Solitary Types, Careers for Culture Lovers and Other Artsy Types, Great Jobs for English Majors, and Careers for Foreign Language Aficionados and Other Multilingual Types). We'll see.

My brother is in town and he asked me last night about how my writing was going. To be honest, it's on hold. I still haven't started revising my novel that I finished back in April, which I was going to distance myself from over the summer and pick back up in the fall. I did intend to, but then my online classes started and I got kinda busy. Plus, I've been writing content for my websites. I spent weeks - literally - writing character bios for Myu Corner. So much I practically got sick of it. I didn't even realize how many characters there are in SeraMyu. It's insane. Thankfully, PGSM doesn't have nearly as many characters, which is good because I'm writing character bios for Sparkle Moon, my PGSM site, now, though I haven't worked on it at all on my vacation cause I've been kinda busy. Now that I'm learning more web design techniques, I can hopefully make that site how I want it.

Today I watched the opening for Yes! PreCure 5, one of the seasons of Pretty Cure, a magical girl anime. In an English trailer made by Toei to promote that season (probably for the European market as Pretty Cure has never been licensed here, except for a dub of the first season in Canada), the main character, Nozomi (pink hair), is described as being "without a dream to guide her." I kinda feel like that. I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but now I'm having second thoughts. I mean, I love to write, but the whole business part of getting a book published kinda scares me. For short stories or articles like one would submit to journals I might be ok on my own, but once it comes to novels I'd rather leave that stuff to my agent, assuming I have one by then (after all, I have to sell myself to the agent first).

I was just downstairs watching the most recent episode of The Office, "Spooked," with my parents. At the end of it, James Spader's character, Robert California, makes a good point about how we shouldn't let fear rule our lives, and that it's ironic that one day a year (Halloween) we dress up in costumes and celebrate fear. (That's my summary of the quote; you can read the full-on thing here). That is a very good point. I've known for a while that I was letting fear control me. Fear makes me afraid to do new things and take risks. Now, fear can be a good thing, obviously, in some situations. We all have a desire for safety, as well as an innate desire for self-preservation (there is some place in our brain that is wired for this, I forget where...although if this is true, then why do people commit suicide? You'd think the innate desire to preserve oneself would override someone's desire to kill himself or herself, since killing oneself would be the exact opposite of preserving oneself). But you can't let it rule your life. You just can't. Unfortunately, me saying this and me actually applying it are two very different things.

I think I need to take some time and really think about my life, do some soul-searching, talk to God about how my life is, and figure out a direction. Cause right now I don't feel like life is going so well. I'm not at rock bottom or anything, but I definitely don't feel satisfied with my life. Not that satisfaction is the ultimate end, of course. By Biblical standards, I should be more interested in the needs of others than in my own anyway. But I still feel very lost. I need help, though I know I hate asking for help cause I think I can do everything myself. I just don't know what to do!

Ok I think I'm going to stop here and try to cheer myself up in some other way, cause this isn't helping much. Good night.

P.S. Speaking of the Yes! PreCure 5 opening, it's apparently also featured in a cool-looking dance game for Wii called Happy Dance Collection (which seems to have only been released in Japan as far as I can tell). Check out the video below to see what I mean. You can also find out a bit about the game here: