On dead days and my Franny Glass phase

Posted on December 26, 2016

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“I’m just sick of ego, ego, ego. My own and everybody else’s. I’m sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting. It’s disgusting.”

“It’s everybody, I mean. Everything everybody does is so — I don’t know — not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and — sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you’re conforming just as much only in a different way.”

Today is December 26th, the first of the dead days.

“Dead days”, as you may know, are those days after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve. Those days when the festivities have come and gone (except in the Philippines) and you’re just waiting for the year to end. Those days when everything feels like a blur, like a bland waiting room or departure lounge. These are days filled with lassitude, sentimentality, and anticipation. Sad as we are to go, we just can’t wait to leave everything behind as we look forward to the next flight out of this godforsaken place.

However, things are different this year.

A lot of people say 2016 is the worst year ever. I am one of those people. Aside from nearly every significant event in the world progressively getting worse like a bad Bee Movie meme, this was the year that truly broke my heart.

This year broke me so much that I had put myself under house arrest for months because of my breakdowns.

I had to put my life on hold for something that I can’t control in myself.

It was really hard, knowing that I can only do so little in the battle against the fate of the world – all while fighting my inner demons, confusing myself on my place in the world, and healing a broken heart.

The last one was incredibly painful.

It hurts even more knowing that people have gone through worse heartbreaks, and that I should be glad that I’m only heartbroken over being set aside by someone I thought was special. Someone looking for others while I sit here like an idiot looking at him.

BUUUUT I digress. I didn’t make this post just to rant about some cheesy romantic PTSD.

I’m here to open up about my Franny Glass phase.

A phase which, I think, is a longer and more frustrating version of the annual dead days.

Franny Glass, the heroine of JD Salinger’s celebrated work Franny and Zooey, is the spirit animal of countless angsty college-age women such as myself. She is one of literature’s most beloved characters alongside another no-bullshit Salinger character, Holden Caulfield. To those of you who have not read the book, it’s basically a commentary on the insincerity of society, the entertainment industry in particular. In this work, Salinger comments on how people have lost the value of doing something truly meaningful in their lives. People have become so insincere that those who dared to deviate from the norm eventually conform in another insincere way. However, Salinger ends the book on a hopeful note – citing the importance of not calling people out purely out of pettiness (hello trolls) and how the artist should not succumb to the fleeting benefits of fame.

Salinger also comments on the value of religion and how it shapes our worldview. In the end, he recognizes that people have the right to choose what they believe. That holiness is not achieved by the mere repeating of words but the internalizing of it.

So what does this have to do with my current hermit phase? Everything.

I am the Franny Glass who lies on the couch all day immersing herself in a piece of spiritual literature, muttering to herself a prayer that may somehow help her understand what it means to live in the world. I am the Franny Glass who questions the goodness of people revered in the Bible. I am the Franny Glass who questions the sincerity of institutions and people who “choose to be different”. I am the Franny Glass who writes profound statements on chalkboards and then erases it before the professor comes in. I am the Franny Glass who is currently questioning the world that happens to be in the process of betraying her and everything she believes in.

I am Franny Glass, the personification of an existential crisis.

Like her, I am calling out the meaninglessness of people’s preoccupations. Like her, I have opened my eyes to how shallow people can become, and how people can exploit your goodness for their own benefit. Like her, I have grown to hate these people.

Like her, I have learned that one must criticize others for what they believe in. I have learned that not everyone is as insincere as I think.

I am Franny Glass, and I chose to shield myself from the world for a while by hiding under the covers of my mother’s couch.

I am Franny Glass and I’m healing a broken mind, and a broken heart.

I am Franny Glass and I know this is all temporary.

Some people may not see it, but I’m trying my best not to succumb to my breakdown and turn my pain into strength. One day, I’ll get better and show the world that I can take care of myself. I love it when I shock people. I’ve done it lots of times.

Just recently, I’ve decided that I want to write a book. I want to do something that makes people say, “hey, I know exactly how that feels.” I want to write something that has an impact on people the way Franny and Zooey had an impact on me. I haven’t decided on what I should write about yet, but I still keep the “submissions” tab open if ever I happen to make something magical.

I’m going to do what I can to survive. Sure, I may have to sacrifice my inner Franny Glass and do something meaningless in my life for a while, but I swear this won’t last forever. I’m going to write the third best goddamn book there is.

And I dare 2017 to try and stop me.

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