Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The importance of people

Right now, I'm sitting in a hotel room in Oulu, the city where my entrance exams are being held. I've actually been here a couple days already, as the exams span several days. 4 days, to be precise, and tomorrow mrks my last test. So far, we've drawn, painted, sculpted and built. Models and miniatures. I'll tell you guys all about it, when I get back to the equipment normally at hand when I write my entries.

It's been a bit of fun, a bit of a bore, but most of all, it has been interesting. Interesting doesn't necessarily imply that it has been exciting, or even entertaining, even though, on occasion, it has been. Quite frankly, it's been pretty boring most of the time.

During the evenings and between my tests, I've been reading, or just meandered among the many stores and shops in the city. Alone. Because I don't know anyone here, and all the other applicants speak only Finnish. I always thought I was a pretty social guy, but having to speak Finnish all the time really puts me in quite the bad spot. I've really never had any Finnish speaking friends, and, uh, even though I know I'm not at all bad at Finnish, I just don't have any confidence in my ability to go up to someone and make friends with them in Finnish. I know that may seem stupid, but it's hard enough to simply walk up to a stranger and make conversation in your own language, let alone do it in a language learnt in a classroom, in a strange and alien city.

So I'm alone. It's not bad, you know, to sit in a cafe for two hours with your favourite book. It's a good time, and I should do it more often. But three days in a row is pushing it. In three evenings, in three different cafes, I've read a whole 450-page novel. And I figure I might get past atleast half of another novel I bought at the bookstore tomorrow, while on and waiting for the train to take me home.

It's a lot of time to spend in solitude. The different human interactions I've had today can be counted on one hand. 1. Me making an inquiry as to what kind of paper we could use in one of todays tests, 2. Me explaining in a halting command of the language that I can't have cheese in my hamburger at McDonalds, because I am lactose-intolerant, and 3. Me ordering a large cup of coffee at a cafe. The snapchat-messages I've sent do not count.

It's not enough. I need sustenance in the way of social interaction. Or else I get depressed. Well, mildly depressed, at least. I've previously noted this about myself on many occasions. I absolutely need some sort of meaningful, in person dialogue. Chatting over the internet doesn't really help. I need the real deal.

Not the sort of depression that makes you really sad (Apparently, there are many kinds of depressions...), it just makes everything feel so dull, and makes me feel kind of worthless. On the flipside, it does sort of make me more creative, as I am now after all taking my time to write, which I haven't done for two weeks. Writing is another kind of sustenance. Just like reading, or drawing, they fill the void and help make up for the fulfillment that I lack in my loneliness.
Why don't I just go talk to someone on the street? I'm as capable as any, a perfectly sociable young adult, I should be able to take care of this problem quite easily. Well I don't, because I feel depressed, and that makes me repressed. (Don't worry, I'm fine! This is not some sort of plea for pity)

I just need a conversation. Just any conversation, really. It doesn't matter.

And that's interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Humans are for the most part very social creatures. We build societies that depend on constant interaction between people. Thus, it's no wonder that a lack of reciprocal actions between real life peers can make you sad, or as you say, depressed. Then again, there are introverted people too. It really depends on your personality I guess, but even extreme radical eremites would feel better with someone around, whether they admit it or not (maybe they, most of all people, would need a social life).

    I can partly relate to that thing about the Finnish language too. For someone who is technically bilingual, I speak Finnish horribly, as my vocabulary is most limited. I've played several sports, where most of the team members only talk Finnish, and there have been some awkward moments. I remember one time when a guy said something about "vetää käteen", which a young me at the time mistook for "väntää kättä". Little did I know that the former one actually means to masturbate...
    Luckily, I still speak the language to such a level that I can easily interact with people in most situations. Alas, I need to listen more carefully, and problems arise if it's not only a casual discussion; there will always be some words I don't understand the meaning of. It doesn't help that Finnish is such a difficult language to begin with either :/
    Hence, I can understand where you're coming from with this :p

    I'd say that there are several types of depression indeed. As a social term, describing some specific feelings, and the mental illness which has several different degrees. It can be experienced in many ways, I guess. I personally get semi-depressed, in a way, after binge-watching something for several days or weeks. When it's all over, I get a bit sad, but mostly empty (I experienced this again very recently). The interesting thing is that even if I feel unmotivated, I tend to fill that empty hole with a lot of productive things, which can range between writing, creating music, along with a few other things. Werid...


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