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Experiential Backlog

June 2nd, 2022

Note from Ian: This is gonna be a little bit of an unhinged blog because I'm feeling a little unhinged.

Today I felt a little...stuck.

Maybe stuck isn't the right word. Maybe the word is floundering. I finished my nationals season for mock trial on April 11. I finished Tufts on May 12, but went home a week or so earlier. It's been three weeks since then. A lot of time has passed since the height of the craziness.

When mock ended, my life changed a lot. I'd spent the last 3 months optimizing it around mock trial, and suddenly all that went away. There was a lot more space to fill, and sometimes that space wouldn't get filled and I'd feel a little lonely. At the same time, the "important" things in my head became a lot less about mock trial competition and a lot more about school and people. And honestly, all of that was tough.

When I came home, my life changed even more. My social network shrunk as I left college and had more relaxation time at home, and the pressure of school went out the window. I started hiking again, watching lots of TV, catching up with high school friends. All of that was really lovely. And it was a big change from just two months ago, when Ian in April of 2022 was high on mock trial, spending 8 hours a day working with the team and honestly not thinking about much else.

Not thinking about much else.

In the past two months, as my life has slowed down and allowed for more and more reflection with less and less people, I've been able to think more. After running at full-throttle for half a year, that's been incredible, because I built up such a backlog of experiences from the semester to reflect on. This is the first time I've been able to fully unpack them, and there have been really gratifying moments where I realize something profound and get to journal it down.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've felt like even as less happens around me, important stuff is happening in my head—and that is moving me forward through life even when not a lot is actually going on.

So why am I floundering?

This past week, I think we might have hit the end of the line. I think I've run out of material for my whole "reflecting on life/semester" routine. And now, I'm just at home with free time to overthink and be neurotic. This is starting to feel a lot more like how I was over winter break. I've begun to chomp at the bit.  

But I go to L.A. and then Berkeley in two and a half weeks. And then, my job starts. I think those experiences will have me moving a little faster through the world. And I'm getting very excited for them. But for the moment, I'm spinning my wheels.

But that's ok. And the Celtics just won game 1. Which is better than ok.