Rohit's Realm

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July 02, 2007

The More Things Change

Rohit, Washed-Out Rock Star

Rohit, June 2007

Rohit with a Balloon

Rohit, December 2001

As dedicated readers (with entirely too much time on their hands) will readily attest to, the last six months have been a period of intense introspection for me, often times bordering on clinical depression. In general, this period of self-analysis is unrivaled in my life, except perhaps for a brief episode during the spring of 2003. What most people likely do not know is that concurrent to my battle with existential angst has been a nostalgic romp through memory lane, as I have been trying to edit, update, and categorize my entries from yesteryear following the upgrade to v2. All of this soul-searching has led me to conclude one thing about myself: plus ça change, plus c'est pareil, or as we say in American, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Though I may now look different (as the nearby photos taken nearly six years apart unequivocally demonstrate—long hours and constant stress does no man a favor), and in many ways, am different (as the stark difference between my articles then and now indubitably—and embarrassingly—reveal), by most meaningful measures, I am now as I was then, and will be in the future the way I am now, i.e., my transition from adolescence to adulthood was already mostly complete by the end of my sophomore year of college. Whatever changes that have occurred since then—and there are numerous non-trivial ones—are simply minor (or moderate) upgrades, not fundamental redesigns.

I left high school as an enigmatic combination of confidence and insecurity, simultaneously buoyed by consistent academic successes and constrained by an innate shyness I had battled since kindergarten. Though this shyness never manifest itself in a dearth of friends—attending a different elementary school each year will quickly teach you how to make and retain friendships—I was without a doubt rather difficult to meet (quiet, unfriendly, elitist); know (callous, bitter, elitist); or hang out with (uptight, straight-edge, elitist). And though the notion of me as straight-edge or shy might seem downright ridiculous to those who have only known me in my late college or yuppie manifestations, or who have had the distinct (dis)pleasure of meeting Raging Rohit (the latter would likely prefer dipsomaniacal and flirty, though I forcefully deny all allegations to that effect), my first year of college was essentially spent as that same paradoxical combination. I suppose engineering classes are not the best place to overcome one's shyness.

It was not until mid-2003, after completing my first stint in CalSO, that I finally shed the shyness (and related insecurities) that had long plagued me once and for all. I came to terms with who I was—and more importantly, who I was not. I was (am) in no uncertain terms a colossal nerd: a tall, skinny, emaciated (emasculated?) wimp who prefers philosophy to sports (with the exception of Cal Football—Go Bears!), current events to pop culture, and (sadly too often) organic chemistry to dating (as has been pointed out earlier). And while this acknowledgment certainly was not likely to earn me points with the majority of people, nor, perhaps, contribute to a sexually fulfilling life (recent events notwithstanding), it was simply not worth expending any more of my precious time or energy attempting to fulfill some arbitrary definition of cool.

In essence, that year I locked in how I defined myself at the most basic level, and declared that people could take that as it was or, as the new self-anointed leader of the fourth branch of government might (crassly) say, go fuck [them]selves. And in going through and reading old entries, I see that despite all the changes in my life that have occurred in the past four years since then, I have never wavered from that fundamental sense of identity; I have never sought to recast myself as something other than I already knew myself to be, no matter the audience nor the venue.

Of course, that is not to say that I have not grown in the past four years (I have tremendously), nor that I will not grow in the future, only that in the ways that matter the most (i.e., the most fundamental), the more things have changed, the more they have stayed the same. I only wish that I could have had the foresight to have begun writing earlier, not only for my children's sake, but also for my own; it is an immensely powerful feeling to read what you have written so many years before, feeding not only wistful nostalgia, but an undeniable sense of accomplishment and maturity. I wonder what I will think when I read this post four years from now.


Though it may come as a surprise to someone from the OC, many women actually care a lot more about intelligence (something even I cannot properly deny you) than how much you can bench press.

And if your intellect won't do it, I'm sure your greed is good pursuit of wealth will probably ultimately ensure that you lead a sexually fulfilling life despite your colossal nerdiness.

Money trumps both intelligence and bench press stats.

You look at least 10 years older than you did in 2001. And though you may be hot in eyeliner, the beard is definitely not for you. Shave it immediately!

"I only wish that I could have had the foresight to have begun writing earlier, not only for my children's sake, but also for my own; it is an immensely powerful feeling to read what you have written so many years before, feeding not only wistful nostalgia, but an undeniable sense of accomplishment and maturity"

Amen. I have a 6 year gap (2003 being the exception) where I wrote hardly anything. Reading my old shit from Uni, coupled with your blog, inspired me to start putting pen to paper.

Katie, good point about money. I may have some hope yet.

Julie, it's gone. I was too much of a pansy to deal with the itchiness.

Jon, I'm honored I could be part of your return to writing. Your posting frequency has quickly put me to shame.

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