By: Willem Kline
Losing sight of who you are can be a bit of a staggering thing. Especially when you’ve spent a good majority of your life knowing who you had planned to become. When I was a kid, I knew I wasn’t going to be the popular boy who would end up at every cool kid function in high school. I knew I wasn’t going to be the High School quarterback and I definitely knew I wasn’t going to be liked by everyone.
One of my favorite songs in the world isn’t actually a song, but more so a spoken word over some very somber piano music. “Fitter/Happier” is a song that Radiohead wrote in 1997. In case you haven’t heard Radiohead’s music (unless you live under a rock or met some other pretentious person along your life’s path), they’re a bit of a sappy, lull your head, “I simultaneously hate and love my world all at once” kind of band. If you’ve ever met me in person, you can definitely tell I would be the person who listens to that kind of music.
Anyways, I’m rambling (Haha), back to the actual story.
I was walking late one night, and it was the summer before the start of my Sophomore year. I was getting over a lot of things, trying to figure out what was happening in my life, but unlike other people, I tend to hold my problems in my skull until they decidedly fistfight their way out of my deep psyche. It was about 2 O’clock in the morning when I heard the lyric, “Still cries at a good film”, and somehow managed to break down crying in the middle of a suburb. It was a very life changing moment for me, only because I was decidedly going down a path that I didn’t want to go down.
I was well on my way to being the “Average Joe”.
Now there isn’t anything wrong with being an “Average Joe”. If you’re that type of person, good for you, I hope you enjoy the life you have been given, and godspeed on the rest of your journey. For me though, there’s something so indescribably frightening about being a person that just lives day to day with nothing to look forward to. I don’t want to end up a desk jockey, or the bystander at a party who gives sad stares into his vodka martini (At least I think that’s what adults do). After that, for a while, I went a little crazy and stayed inside my head again, and that was even worse.
So now I’m here, staring at this letter, after a really terrible doctor’s visit, wondering if things are going to get better. Recently I was diagnosed with Depression, and my doctor gave me some recommendations for counseling. To me, counselors have always been humanity’s funniest joke. “Sit in a room and talk to another human, who probably has a lot of their own problems, about your problems!” For me, I felt like that was letting a dog work out how to bark by learning from a tiger. Of course now I’m sitting here looking at the referral sheet in my hand and wondering if I should call and make an appointment. I guess the joke is on me.
Losing sight of who you are can be a bit of a staggering thing. I like to think of myself as a happy person who doesn’t really care about a lot of the flaws in this world, but there are times when I can’t really ignore that those flaws tend to hit me. There’s a time when you have to realize that there’s a difference between pretending you’re happy, and actually living in a falsehood. So today starts a bit of a learning experience, as we try to figure out what happened to the Willem of the past. Today’s a small step to getting back to the good times.
Willem Kline, from Belvidere, Illinois is a sophomore here at Illinois College, pursuing a double major in English and Theatre with a Communication and Rhetorical Studies minor. Willem is the current Editor in Chief of The Rambler, Co-Captain of the short form improv troupe on campus, and an avid pursuer and connoisseur of anything artsy-fartsy.