So I'm not ordinarily the type to share personal stuff with everyone here, but I need to organize my thoughts and there's the remote possibility that you might actually have useful advice.
So none of my current situation will make any sense without back tracking a bit.
The majority of my difficulties began at the end of Winter quarter two years ago. I ended up flunking out of UCSD due to my own stupidity. I was unmotivated and didn't study anything like I needed to. I got exactly the grades I deserved. Of course, I had already payed for housing so I lived out the remainder of the school year and was basically hiding it from my friends, but notably not my girlfriend or family. I was embarrassed, disbelieving, and frankly terrified about what was going to happen to me.
During the summer, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It came as a complete shock to my family considering her good health and relatively young age. It didn't help that she was initially diagnosed as stage 4 (incurable but not necessarily terminal). So in some ways, my flunking out was the best possible scenario. I was able to live at home and help out with things like buying groceries or tutoring my little brother. I never had to choose between school and family and for that I will always be grateful. Two months ago my mother became officially cured and I'm happy to say she's been growing stronger every single day. She exceptionally pleased to finally have enough hair to ditch the wig.
I ended up going to community college during summer and then CSUSM for fall semester while living at home. My grades were good and I began to feel like I was actually capable and intelligent again. I had told my family that I was reapplying to UCSD every quarter, but actually hadn't. I wasn't confident enough to return until Spring. The funny thing is if I had actually told them they would have been supportive, but again I was embarrassed. I did finally apply for this past Spring and was accepted. I took only 3 classes (4 being the usual) to ease myself back into things and am exceptionally proud to say I got my highest grades ever and feel like I am really learning again.
Meanwhile, my girlfriend and I continued to see each other long distance. She had elected not to return to UCSD because she felt like she didn't fit in and wasn't progressing like she should. I was completely infatuated with her and despite the effectively only seeing her one day a month or so, we made it work. Until just before Valentine's day where the strain from everything blew up and she effectively told me I wasn't a priority in her life anymore. Despite really caring about each other, it didn't work and I'm frankly still not over it. I've tried talking to her once or twice since then but I never manage to get across what I mean and it just turns badly. I haven't tried again in the last couple months.
At the very end of Spring quarter, I started working at Fry's (electronics retailer) to make sure I'd have something to do over summer and earn some (meager) money towards finishing up my last 2 quarters at UCSD. My coworkers were quite nice and the work was tolerable, but the short hours (25/week max) and low pay got me really motivated to start looking for an internship again. About two weeks ago, I got calls from not one but two companies. I interviewed and got the offer for a company that I had previous worked with. This time they offered me more money and real physics work. So far I am absolutely loving it and doing data analysis for radiation testing using Matlab.
This has been my life in brief for the last 1.5 yrs as presented in what appears to be roughly 4 parallel tracks. For a relatively young person, I've had a lot of life changing events recently and I frankly feel old. All my friends from UCSD have graduated now and the few I keep in touch with from high school seem unbelievably immature. Most of them are working the same jobs they did in high school and have nothing in common with me. On the other hand, I'm feel rather isolated from other UCSD students. I'm commuting to school now (1hr drive) so I don't spend much time on campus so it's hard to meet people. Even when I do, I can't really relate to their interests or problems. A lot of them still haven't had a job and seem preoccupied with trivial matters. Logically, I know that I was exactly the same way just a few short years ago, but that doesn't help.
So I've effectively turned my entire life around and am doing exactly what I should be for academics and work. But I'm not happy the way I used to be. I get a lot of enjoyment from my work and academics. I'm fortunate enough to have an awesome and caring family. By all accounts that should be enough, but it's not.
I spend far too much time thinking about how my relationship was and a girlfriend who isn't the same person anymore in a situation that can't possibly work for what we had. Oh and I just accidentally stumbled across a recording on my phone of her saying, "I love you". I thought I had gotten rid of everything but it surprised the hell out of me at a stupid time. It's amazing how much little stuff gets accumulated in a relationship and how hard it is to actually clean it all up.
I know I need to get out and do some things, meet some new people. But I've recently discovered that I'm 23 and have no idea how to actually make friends. Go figure.
On the bright side, my immediate family is on vacation for a week so I can actually relax and enjoy having the house to myself. It is incredibly frustrating to have moved back in with my family after living with friends for so long. Having a mother who shamelessly play the cancer card didn't help either. Interacting with them on a daily basis is somewhat exhausting.
In reviewing everything, I realize I didn't ask any questions so I have no expectation for what people may or may not comment. At the end of the day, I suppose I know what I need to do, what I should do. I'm just nostalgic (?). That's probably no where near the right word but it will have to do.
Now to return to my Brian Sanderson books...