Lake Turnover, Existential Crises, and Seasonal Depression

In AP Environmental Science, we learned about lake turnover. Lake turnover is the process of a lake’s water literally turning over from top to bottom. In essence, as the seasons change from fall/winter to spring/summer, water and debris that existed on the bottom of the lake (called the hypolimnion) moves to the top of the lake (called the epilimnion) and vice versa. In deeper, larger lakes, the hypolimnion is never reached by the sun’s radiation during either season.

I think about seasonal depression as lake turnover. In the fall and winter, my surface level as a person is dense and heavy, iced over, brewing with sad or angry emotion; everything I’ve let simmer at the bottom of my hypothetical lake since the last “turnover.” Everything I ignore during summer eventually surfaces during the next turnover season. In summer, the surface water of my hypothetical lake is nurtured by the sunlight, bringing back all forms of life and movement. I like to think this is why I feel really shallow or surface-level in the summer, because I am able to focus on lighter feelings like happiness and carelessness because of lack of pressure from school or avoid cooped-up isolation due to cold weather conditions.

There were a lot of things I didn’t fully finish feeling or face over the course of last summer. And, of course, in the middle of the fall/winter season, I switched schools, so that affected how I’ve been feeling. Long story short, there were a lot of things that I had to overcome and conclusions I had to come to over the past fifty-three days I haven’t posted. In those fifty-three days, I have changed so much I don’t even recognize myself anymore, physically and emotionally.

Before anyone gets scared, I think this is good. I know everything is changing all the time, but I felt I was in that phase of my life too long. I became a whole different person when I got out of a relationship in 2015, almost like a child that needed to learn how to exist in the world by myself again. I made a ton of mistakes over that first year, then I went to college and experienced such rapid growth that I don’t even know how to assess it all. That version of myself got old, and over last summer I knew something was going to change, something big was going to happen, and I was going to have to say goodbye to some things and start some new things.

Conveniently, Saturn changed signs in December. Since then, my life has been reorganizing itself. I have a clearer version of what I want out of life and more confidence that I will be able to achieve it. I have made peace, for now at least, with the fact I am a million different people at once. I have faced problems in most of my relationships with important people in my life and confronted them with the knowledge that I will repeatedly have to battle these issues because it’s just what happens when two people are friends. I ended a quasi-relationship in the dramatic way I wanted to, accidentally shook up some other ones, and cut my hair. I have accepted the fact that I am one of those college students who always wants to go home.

I like this new me. I am more hardworking and introspective and calm. I have written two coherent poems and have read them in front of other people. I am more detached and understanding and less quick to react. I don’t wear makeup. I am in the process of obtaining a second job. I don’t shake uncontrollably when I drink a cup of coffee. I have finally realized what does and does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Is this maturity?

Whatever it is, unfortunately I had to reach some record lows to finally gain some emotional stability. But I read an article recently that made me feel better about this; a girl who lives out of her car and teaches yoga and spirituality in Australia says her mantra is “no one cares about a movie where nothing goes wrong.”¬†Since I’ve accepted that I will probably always live my life pretending I’m in a movie, what better time to adopt this mantra and use it to justify my shortcomings in life! But no, really, I think it’s taken me almost twenty years to realize that everything going wrong makes my life interesting. More than half of this blog is dedicated to me processing the things that go awry in my life. My life would be devoid of creativity and emotion if my life went well all the time.

So I’m going to forgive myself for being off for the past fifty-three days. Everything that happened led up to today, where I’ve had two cups of soup and my professor comforted me about my fear of public speaking and I found great new music on Spotify and I finally remembered to spray heat protectant on my hair before I straightened it. Not the best day, but not the worst day. Soon everything will be better or just different, and that’s all I can ask.

existential crisis playlist:

center of gravity the brazen youth / all that and more (sailboat) rainbow kitten surprise / going gets tough the growlers / jackie wants a black eye dr. dog / where’d all the time go? dr. dog / oh! starving car seat headrest / ifhy tyler the creator¬† / this must be the place (naive melody) cover the lumineers / close to me the cure / sunburned shirts car seat headrest / the good times are killing me modest mouse / a$ap forever a$ap rocky / be above it tame impala / femme fatale the velvet underground / archie, marry me flyte / see you again tyler the creator & kali uchis

things i did during my existential crisis:

watched twentieth century women, american honey, frances ha, wild / started breaking bad / finished thirteen reasons why / worked a lot / went on a hike in the white mountains / hosted a poetry reading / discovered a great salad at one plate, two plates / stopped going to therapy / ate a million bags of cadbury mini eggs / started tweeting again / started my spring 2018 spotify playlist / started working out again / hiked in the white mountains