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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Find your balance

By Jordan Bunger

When you have no one to turn to, you look within. And for me, I’ve always been an independently minded person, never becoming too dependent on any one person aside from myself. Especially at LMU, my time here has been anything but easy with regards to socializing with others. And so, independence arose out of having not one but myself to rely on. As Michener narrates the story of Joe after the incident at the peace rally in his book The Drifters, he says, “Joe stayed alone in the dormitory grappling with a slowly developing conviction. Customarily such painful assessment comes to a man in his late forties...but for Joe's generation the time of reappraisal came early, and he faced his alone” (18). When you become your only contact, spending the hours alone becomes the only reality you know, while painful, you must embrace for survival. You look within for answers to why. It comes from a disillusionment with everything you once accepted as true in your life. Cynicism takes hold, where at one time, blissfully ignorant optimism stood. You’re forced to resort to any and all measures of dealing with this bitter situation, drugs, alcohol, music, philosophy, literature, religion. From this, I came to an illusory conclusion, that my literal survival as a human being was desperately dependent on independence.
At the time, I had no clue just how wrong I was about this. Had I seen it earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of pain. But in time, I began embracing the idea of openly expressing and asking questions from those I looked up to. When only a year before, I took it upon myself to solve any and all problems that came up in my life, now, within the last few months, I’ve begun to share my life with others instead of keeping it all introverted. It's exciting, yet, as new experiences often are, frightful. While in Spain, Britta undergoes emotional ups and downs much like those I've come accustomed to feeling, her high of dreaming to one day be in Spain and actually living out that dream, to the lows of hopelessness when everything seems bleak, “The remainder of that Sunday...was one Britta would never forget, a compound of hope and anxiety” (85). While my past is full of introspective evaluation, I’ve slowly been breaking through the bubble I used to occupy and letting others into my world. It's an exciting time in my life right now, exploring new possibilities for myself every single day, but those images of the past never cease to leave me alone. During that phase of independence, I constantly battled with a negative self-image and felt I was the only person in the world who felt this way about himself. My level of introversion was so extreme; I couldn’t relate to others and so thought, how could anyone relate to me? But the biggest breakthrough came when I began to open up and found that people I envied, for their openness, free expression, positive self-image, had battled with the same thoughts that had plagued me for so long. And as my comfort level grew and now continues to grow, I find myself more and more dependent on others, all the while never forgetting the survival skill of independence. And I hope I always cling on to remnants of what used to be, keeping mind how far I’ve come.


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