Last semester, my creative writing professor asked us to go around the room and tell one thing we were good at.
The boy next to me said he made killer sausage and pepper sandwiches. We probably should have gotten married right then.
One girl said she was an expert relaxer.
And while the fifteen of us laughed and smiled and thought, “Isn’t that nice?” at the time, I know now that its something I am not.
I do not know how to take fifteen minutes or even fifteen seconds to breathe in and out. To make sure my body’s caught up with my racing mind.
The girl probably doesn’t know how invaluable that is, to be able to let go of all the worry and stress and move-move-move habits and just pause.
I sometimes wish my body operated like an iPod. I could pause at the calm moments and skip past the sticky situations. Repeat the ones I want to return to. And if I wanted to be a little spontaneous, maybe run around in the middle of a thunderstorm, I could set the preset controls to shuffle the songs.
My iPod won’t turn on anymore. Maybe that’s a sign from God that I’m driving myself into a ditch. That I forgot to recharge the battery and shouldn’t have let it sit in the glove compartment for half of the last semester collecting dust and scratches. Oops.
There was a time when relaxing was almost second nature to me. I knew how to compartmentalize my life into sections: working, running, school, collecting rays of sun by the pool. It was relaxing but structured.
Now, I’ve hit this snag where I want to do so much that I want to do and what I really need is to focus on one thing for more than 3.2 seconds.
I’ve been smacked in the face with at least three reasons why I should restructure my life and start tackling what I want. So I’m going to dive headfirst here and make up a list of things I want to cross off before graduation in 11 months. Before the Real World sticks its big hands out of its pockets and grabs hold of me and tries to smother me with the realities that come with college graduation: more bills to pay, loans to pay back, jobs to find, meals to cook, laundry to do.
(Don’t worry. I do know about paying bills and cooking and doing laundry. But there will be more of it, I am sure.)
I’m adding a tab for this list of mine and calling it 11 Months, 11 Items.