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  • Writer's pictureJacke Karashae

offline investments

whoo, kids.  it’s finals and i’m graduating.  as i go through each final i have to say goodbye to more and different people, and i know that i can still see them after graduating, but still i feel the feels and it doesn’t help that sufjan stevens’ mournful yet brilliant album carrie and lowell just came out. pretty sure this is going to be my graduation transition album, just like the decemberists’ the king is dead was my moving-to-southern-california transition album.  apparently rustic stringed instruments are my melancholic muse.

i’ve been having a lot of little conversations in my head over the last week that have gone something like this:

1: reason to celebrate: no more writing essays. 2: but i kinda like writing essays. 1: well yeah, but now all of your essays can be blog posts, and they can be on whatever you want! 2: oh yeah! 2: … 2: but what about research essays on stuff that really stress me out but make me learn all about stuff i don’t know and probably wouldn’t research anyways? 1: *stare* are we really romanticizing–…fine, well there are other ways of learning then writing essays, jacke. 2: fair enough.  but i will still miss writing essays. 1: *angry sigh*

it’s been a bit of an emotionally…interesting time.

beyond ruminating on whether i really enjoy writing essays or i’m just very aggressively nostaglifying my college education before the dust has settled, one of the things that i’m really going to miss this time around is the people i’m going to leave, and that’s a kinda novel thing for me, when it comes to academic institutions.

something that i thought about a lot in high school and my early college life was how i was making a impacting and influencing — how i was making a difference with my time — and i much more often thought about the public stuff — music, videos, blogs, social media accounts, etc., and justified myself by how much progress i was making and how much people were responding to what i was releasing.  i didn’t really think about my relationships at school and work as much of a factor.

and i was frustrated a whole, whole lot.

very, very often i felt like i had a whole bunch of stuff crammed in my head fit to explode and time was my enemy.  i really wanted to invest in people, but there was a long road of dozens or hundreds of hours of writing, recording, and editing between me and the finish line.  i knew relationships were important, but they sucked away from the time i needed to do the stuff that mattered, which often boiled down to me sitting in a room, by myself, obsessing over my (potentially-never-to-be-realized) vision.

in the last year, though, i tried re-orienting.  i think i’ve started to realize there’s no way to make an equal investment in both your immediate, private circle and your distant, public impact; one of them is going to eat away at time the other would demand.  i remember a specific point last semester that i felt like god was challenging me to value the immediate over the distant (the fact that i made a video about the whole immediate-versus-distant thing two years ago is a testament to … blind spots.  or journeys, depending on how cynical i’m feeling).

and i gotta say…best. decision. ever.

i’ve made lots of close friends that i’ve really shared my life with in the past two semesters from all different backgrounds and experiences–it’s helped me grow and i hope has blessed them as well.  i feel like i’ve had a lot more authentic, vulnerable moments with people, and i’ve been more thoroughly challenged to live what i believe because i know people know me, both on my good days and bad days.

the whole digital purge last year was a regrettable and possibly unnecessary thing, but it definitely revealed some issues i’ve had in my perspective on what defines me, and the prominent place that my “public image” had in my mind and in the way i communicated with others.  it used to be that i would meet people offline and try to direct them to find me online, where they’d see the “real” me…which was really just what i thought was the most impressive/interesting/etc projection i had created over the last few years.

the reboot i went through helped me to stop depending on that as a crutch, and though i’ve still had my share of struggles in the last semester over investing my identity in music or other things i think people will find more impressive about me, i no longer have that sense that i have a monolithic identity that i need to keep feeding and directing people to.

it’s made me way more accepting of my imperfections and willing to let others see my weaknesses.

it’s made me a lot less stressed out.

and it’s challenged me to be a much better friend.

i want to take this with me going forward, going out of school, into work and all that comes after.  i want to invest in the people around me that have the least reason to be impressed with me, because i know in the back of my mind i can’t hold up an act with them too long anyways so there’s no reason trying.  i want that to be the forefront of my life, and the public stuff…to come after.  still important, but not all-encompassing.

the downside, of course, in investing in real friendships with people is that it makes it waaaaaaaaaaaaay harder to leave them.



toss me a quarter.  i’ve got to find carrie and lowell on the jukebox.

– k

* i will insist on you accepting my choices in metaphors because i am in the middle of finals right now so anything goes. thank you.

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