Saturday, April 16, 2011

Conor - What's Old Is New

Today’s Saturday.  This I know. I post on Friday’s. I’m aware of that, too. I’m also aware of the fact that I did not post yesterday. I don’t want to continue my recent habit of not posting, so here I am, loudly shouting “better late than never” and begging your/Classic Brian’s forgiveness.  Sorry, ladies.

Senior year of high school we had a sub, this young guy who was an assistant coach for the football and generally pretty sarcastic and wiseass-y. Throughout my four years at Springfield High School he would often make fun of me and I would joke around back and that was that. I heard he got with a high school girl or something? Is that true? Can anyone confirm that for me? Weird. Weeeeiiiird.

Anyway, so in physics class we this guy as a sub and Wednesday Eliot and I were joking around with him, and I made fun of him for probably the first time in our history together. Normally he made fun of me, but I had stepped up, I guess. I was on the offensive and he jokingly didn’t like it. He put on a facial expression that made it clear he was judging me and said “you’ve changed,” condescendingly.

When the sub said that to me I was caught off guard, then laughed and said “Damn, man. Ouch,” and went on with my life. I know he was joking, and it didn’t hurt my feelings or anything, I’m a man and I can deal with things and lately I’ve been having to shave every 3 days or so, but it made me aware of how afraid of that phrase I am.

“You’ve changed” will always sound like an insult to me. It’s an extreeemely neutral statement, it doesn’t judge positively or negatively, but the possibilities terrify me. Be it from a friend who hasn’t seen me since I left for college, an ex-girlfriend in an angry facebook message or an assistant football coach permanent sub who never really knew me in the first place, those words make me immediately question myself.

Which is ridiculous because I’m universally accepted as great.

There are a lot of things I do anything to change about myself, and there are a lot of things I would fight equally hard to keep. This leads to me wanting change, while simultaneously fearing the consequences. I should be more confident when it comes to certain things, but if I’m sure of myself and uberconfident, isn’t that going to change my personality? I have the best personality. I should not change it. Change never seems good or bad to me. Some parts can be identified as great and awesome and rad and sick, but there’s always something you lose, too.

Which is stupid and dumb.

It’s easy to pick out change in hindsight. A brief history of the biggest changes I’ve gone through in my young life.

February 6
th, 1992 – I end a somewhat sedentary period of my life and become a more active member of the community.

February 6
th, 1992 – February 6th, 1999 – For 7 years I live the dream. People tie my shoes, feed me, change my pants when I soil myself, and generally do everything for me. On my 7th birthday all of this ends, and, as is O’Brien tradition, I have to kill my own dig with a shovel.

February 6
th, 1999 – I become inexplicably terrified of dogs, switch over to being a cat person.

Sometime midway through 2002 – I discover hygiene.

2003 - 2004 – I have a really shitty 7
th grade year, I emerge on the other side a beautiful butterfly.

2005 – 2006 – I enter high school, I subtly plant the seeds of my imminent evolution into the most popular kid alive. It’s like if a beautiful butterfly went into a cocoon
again and everyone was like “what the fuck is he upto” and wouldn’t you fucking know it, here comes something even cooler than a butterfly, like a bear or walrus or something.

2006-2007 – I get one dinosaur graphic t-shirt and because of that, Sunday Robert buys me another dinosaur graphic t-shirt for my birthday. Things spiral out of control and all of the sudden I’m that guy.

2008 – 2010 – Things went great!

It’s weird, but I’ve become nostalgic and reflective about this school year and it’s, uhhh, I mean my finals are in about a month so I should probably cut this shit out now. But I want to talk about it a little bit.

It’s been a good year. A very good year.  I’ve changed, and I’ve accepted this. Good things have happened to me. Good things have slipped away from me, too. Not everything has worked out, and while my attempts to cling onto everything from back home were largely successful, some things myfriendshipwithMada were destined to fade out. I can’t have it all, and I’m not mad about that, I guess. Just disappointed.

Thanks to OU Frisbee I quickly found a group of friends who continue to reveal themselves as “awesome” and “sick.” I really lucked out with that one. I’m living in a house with 6 other people next year and I could not be more excited for that. I’ve gotten in shape for the first time. Guys, I ran a 5k this morning and liked it. I wasn’t smiling like some moron, but I mean, it felt pretty cool. I was passing people and like, generally being really attractive and cool.

I have friends who are needlessly competitive in things that don’t matter and it’s sweet. Earlier this week I went on a bouncy inflatable obstacle course with a friend and we drew blood from one another, prompting the people running the whole thing to change the rules. I’m currently brushing up on my Super Smash Bros 64 skillz because apparently the captain of the B team is incredible at it, and I don’t take kindly to people politely suggesting they may be better than me at anything. He’s going to destroy me, and I’m going to throw a tantrum. I’m trying to get into this group of Frisbee peeps who play this really lame board game Catan, but I’m not cool enough to join them. Being not cool enough to play a game called The Settlers of Catan is pretty demoralizing, but I’ll get over it.

I’m getting involved with the things I want to be involved with. I’ve been writing for the OU Daily all this semester and that’s been pretty cool. I’m in a play right now called 30 Second Plays that is the closest I’ve gotten to recapturing the creative energy the Easily Amused Improv Troupe had. I’m busy, but it’s a good busy. The kind of busy I like, the kind of busy I’m used to.

There are times when I feel the drawbacks, too. I don’t have a ton of friends who aren’t directly connected to Frisbee. I know a lot of cool people from the music school and other stuff, but I’m so busy with Frisbee and other work that I don’t really hang out with any of them. I live in this bubble, and it’s a nice bubble, but a bubble nonetheless. I’m not a part of a pair. It used to be Conor and Mada, or Conor and Tynan, or Conor and his cats, but that doesn’t really exist here. Sometimes I don’t know who to talk to. Nobody listens as well as my cats, anyway.

The other day somebody asked me if I was staying in Norman this summer, and I replied that I wasn’t, and they asked me if I wanted to. That was really the first time I had ever really contemplated summers in Norman. It doesn’t sound so bad. It sounds exciting, even, but not this summer. I need to go back. I need to see everything and do everyone. Springfield is still home to me, but it’s not my only home, now.  I’m pretty psyched about that.

Pretty fucking psyched, guys.


  1. Bye!

    -Robert, Mada, Classic, Eliot, Nick, Brendan

  2. Maaaan that's not what I meant. CAN'T A GUY BE EXCITED THAT HE'S HAPPY WHEN HE USED TO NOT BE.


  3. Oh, so you were unhappy with us.

    -Robert, Mada, Classic, Eliot, Nick, Brendan

  4. I'm imagining this really creepy group-speak, like when little creepy children speak in unison in scary movies.


  5. Uh, yeah. Anyway dude, back to the question. Whassup wif you not being happy enough with the rest of your fellow blogmates? Just answer with awkward silence if you are too afraid to admit we're insignificant.

    -Robert, Mada, Classic, Eliot, Nick, Brendan

  6. I'm happy with two thirds of you.


  7. Conor,

    Sometimes I read your posts. This is one of those times. I'm glad I did for two reasons. First, your freshman year reflections parallel my own, and it makes me nostalgic and hopeful to see someone getting so much out of college. I hope the rest of your time is just as good.

    Enough of the bullshit. Settlers of Catan. The best game. Like, sometimes my friends and I stay in on a Thursday night to play it. THURSDAY NIGHT. We're seniors. We should be gambling in the parking lot of a strip club/liquor store/legal clinic, but instead we choose to play Settlers (we abbreviate it as 'Settlers,' but after reading your post I realize that this might not be universal). It is the best game.

    I hope to meet you on the island this summer. THE ISLAND OF CATAN.