During the trip I have achieved a certain calm in my mind, however it is not of the comforting sort. It feels born of loneliness, emptiness, and a dull ache in my soul, brittle and cold.

One of my friends pointed out at lunch today that I was a pessimist. I started to disagree with him when I realized that he was right and, what’s more, I knew it. Then I thought about why I didn’t want to admit it. I don’t want to be that person. I know I can be whiny, pessimistic, repetitive, and just plain rude. These qualities are not intrinsic to my personality, but somewhere along the line they came to roost, and I haven’t been able to dislodge them since. Things I say never come out the way I mean them. It seems I?m always tacking on some kind of apology and sometimes sorry isn’t enough. It?s amazing that I have friends at all, and I wonder how I will ever be able to make the connection to people that it seems I?ve been lacking for so long.

R.E.M. sings the truth in “Everybody Hurts”* (which is where the title of this section is from, if you didn’t recognize it). I know I?m not the only one in the world who feels this way, but I?m not sure if I can follow their advice. I don’t know how much longer I can hang on.

P.S. I?m home safely (obviously, since I?m posting this) but I didn’t want to rewrite the chronological perspective.

* When your day is long,
And the night,
The night is yours alone.
When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life,
Well, hang on.

Don’t let yourself go,
‘Cause everybody cries,
And everybody hurts,

Sometimes everything is wrong.
Now it’s time to sing along.
When your day is night alone,
Hold on, hold on.
If you feel like letting go,
Hold on.
If you think you’ve had too much of this life,
Well, hang on.

‘Cause everybody hurts.
Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts.

Don’t throw your hand.
Oh, no.
Don’t throw your hand.
When you feel like you’re alone,
No, no, no, you’re not alone.

If you’re on your own,
In this life,
The days and nights are long,
When you think you’ve had too much,
Of this life,
To hang on.

Well, everybody hurts.
Sometimes, everybody cries,
And everybody hurts,

And everybody hurts,

So, hold on, hold on,
Hold on, hold on,
Hold on, hold on,
Hold on, hold on.
Everybody hurts,
You are not alone.

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