When I woke up the next morning, I felt a bit calmer. Calmer enough to think clearly about what just
happened. I couldn’t bear to have my life continue this way, so I tried to evaluate why I have had to
suffer so much. I spent the whole day in calm meditation, deeply reviewing my life to see how I fell to
this dark place. I concluded that I cannot just give up on having the life I want if I never try to get it. I
realized that I was still only seventeen, and that there are many possibilities for me in the future. I
wanted to give myself a new chance at life, despite all the odds that were against me. I wanted
something to live for, something to look forward to in the future. This calm session of contemplation
made me feel a lot better.
I told my parents and my sister that I was willing to make a renewed effort to change. They seemed
very happy with me. For once, in their eyes, I wasn’t being negative about life.
I examined myself in the mirror and decided that if I want to make a fresh start, the first thing to do
would be to change my appearance. I got a haircut, and then my mother and sister took me shopping at
the Fallbrook mall for some new clothes. I knew nothing about fashion at the time, so I just chose a few
new jeans. I hadn’t worn jeans since I was ten years old. For the first time in many years, I started to
care about how I looked again.
I spent a few more days calming myself down. I then started to feel something that has been lost to
me for a long time: Hope.
Without hope, I just couldn’t go on any longer. I needed to feel hope. Hope for the future, hope for a
better life. Upon feeling this, I realized that perhaps it is possible for me to have the things I desire; to
have a great social life again, to have a girlfriend, to have sex, to have all of the pleasures I’ve
desperately craved for so long. It was refreshing.
On the 4
of July, we went to a big party at the Lemelson’s. There, I had a heavy discussion with
James about my revelation and goals. He seemed very glad that I had a newfound zest for life. He
admitted that he was getting very worried about me, from the way I was going. James was in a similar
situation as I was. He was a virgin like me, never having much interaction with girls in his life. The two of
us talked for hours about our troubles and our hopes of overcoming them. It was nice to have such a
good friend like James on my side, who could understand and relate to me.
I made a new Facebook profile (which I still use to this day) in an effort to improve my social life.
Having been so lost in my own world for the last four years, I didn’t know much about these new social
networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace. The last time I was interested in such things was when
I made an AIM account, but no one used that anymore.
Once I fired up my profile, was able to reconnect with a few friends from Topanga Elementary. I
talked to Philip over Facebook, and the two of us made plans to meet up later in the summer after not
seeing each other for two years.
I also attempted to reconnect with my old friends Charlie and John Jo, remembering all of the great
experiences I had with them. I managed to speak with them on the phone a couple of times, but they
didn’t seem keen on meeting up, and I subsequently abandoned the effort.
I had a quiet 18th Birthday at a restaurant with my family. Soumaya was still in Morocco, so mother
and father agreed to meet for it. It was one of the few times that I had dinner with both my mother and
my father since their divorce. I received some birthday cards from relatives, wishing me a great year
ahead. I took a vow that day to make this new year of my life a happy one, to turn my life around and
fulfill all of my desires.
And so began a period of great yearning. A great chase, so to speak. I will chase after a hope that I
built for myself, only to have that hope shattered at every turn.