Let’s Get Serious

Greetings everyone,

Happy New Year! I know it is a little late. This week also marked the start of my second semester of college at IUPUC. I’m going for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. One cool thing about it is that there are some non-engineering related classes I get to take as well as some electives. I am trying to gear the non-engineering classes towards helping me with my writing, for example this semester I am taking a class called: Ethics and Diversity in Psychology. I hope that with the class I gain a better understanding of the diverse nature of humanity. The course description is very interesting and I should be able to apply what I learn to my day to day interactions with my fellow humans and also apply what I learn to make my writing that much better. We all have the capacity to learn and create a better life for ourselves, I encourage everyone to take a moment to think about something they can do or learn to help themselves.

Personally, I struggle with anxiety and take prescription medication for it. It is something that at one time I would try to hide and be ashamed about because I feel it is something that hinders me from conforming to a social norm. As I have gotten older I have realized the futility in trying to force myself to be something I am not. During my teenage years I didn’t understand or grasp that my underlying problem was an anxiety disorder. There were times when the anxiety turned into depression and as a result I got in the habit of being in a pessimistic state of mind. As a teenager sometimes we feel like our problems are only our problems and no one else has struggles. These days I realize that there are more people out there with the same struggles. There are still days that I get depressed or find myself with a pessimistic view but I feel accomplished that those days are not as prevalent as they used to be. I find myself being more optimistic at times. There is nothing wrong with being who you are. You can’t use a shoehorn to try to fit yourself into a normal fitting shoe, if it doesn’t fit then it doesn’t fit. You may have to do a little bit of searching but once you find the size that does fit you will be much more comfortable. Sometimes you just have to say, “Fuck normal.” And really, are any of us ‘normal’ anyways? Not only should you feel comfortable with who you are, but you should hopefully feel safe with being who you are.

When I am feeling pessimistic I always like to think about a quote from The Crow, “It can’t rain all the time.”

My father before he passed also struggled with anxiety. He read the book Anxiety & Panic Attacks: Their Cause and Cure and then gave it to me. In my opinion it is one of the best books on the subject. It got to the point that whenever we heard of someone else struggling with anxiety issues that we would give them a copy of this book. We tried to always have an extra on hand just in case.

One of my goals as a writer even though not all of my characters are human is to attempt to reach out and get in touch with the human condition through the process of my writing.

Thank you,
Jake Jeffries

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