I did not take the following photo. My dear friend Esther Chan took the photo. But I adore it too much not to share, not to put it on my own domain, take it from my college’s Facebook page. I think it’s lovely. Unfortunately after this gem, all remaining photos in this post were captured via my shattered iPhone while speed walking from my car to campus or in the 24 Hour Fitness parking lot while procrastinating going inside or while driving up the I-25. Sorry. I don’t have Esther’s touch.
Anyway. That photo. That building. Cutler. That building is where I work. That building is where I kneeled and said please please please. That building is where I interviewed in 2011 and where I interview in 2013. That building is where the powers that be decided to accept me. And those golden leaves. I walk that quad by the hour. I love every step. Colorado is something extraordinary these days, but then again, when is it not?
I haven’t been taking many photos of my own lately. I seem to always be sprinting, always late, but somehow always ten minutes too early. I need to stop that. I need to stretch and sigh and give myself more time. And I keep writing about time. Should I apologize? There are so many moments and thoughts and events I intend to blog about, but by the time I have the chance, it’s lost, I’ve forgotten, and I’m stuck listening to the too loud ticking of my watch with only my frantic weekly play by plays to write about.
Another block is over. It was too good. Decadent. Endless typing and revising and critiquing and workshopping. I wrote stories I didn’t know were waiting. I let myself be cheesy and dramatic and real and messy. First drafts, they’re something beautiful, so raw. The chance to be terrible and new and vulnerable. Everyday this block. And then there was snow and I was able to take my first dumb ass photo of the season of my boots on the slush and then there was sharp wind and soft wind and cold rain and crisp mornings and bright spring-worthy afternoons. And I was more social than normal. I left my home after dark to dine with my workshop partners and I may have even ventured to Wahsatch–the party street or whatever they call it, if they call it anything–where I entered three different homes hosting three different parties and I said hi and maybe I hugged one or two and I thought this is nice, this is so nice, why don’t I go out more? I adore these people.
And then I ventured home sober after forty some minutes (to be fair, this was after a three hour dinner party, I was tired). I was elated. I tried. I tried. I tried. And I was happy and I was okay and I was accepted and I was me and I felt safe enough with myself to go home early.
This block was good. This block was fulfilling.
But then there was the day I couldn’t leave my bed until noon. And the other day I slept through all alarms and phone calls for hours and hours and was knocked out from midnight to near 5 pm the next morning. There was no alcohol consumed. My body simply shut down. Called it quits for a bit. Maybe in revolt of the days I ran on four hours, the early mornings, the aforementioned sprints. I interviewed over thirty students in three weeks. That’s a lot on the brain. I wrote forty new pages and revised twenty old. I heavily critiqued some hundred pages of my peers’ work. I tutored a bit. I stood at the barre less than I wished. I was prescribed two rounds of antibiotics. I did my best.
I only have so many spoons.
Today I met with this block’s workshop instructor. I admire her too much for my own good. She is brilliant. But because I’m a senior working on my thesis, because I’m a twenty-two year old who will all too soon graduate with no set plans, no idea of the future, naturally she asked the dreaded question. What are you hoping to do? And did I not just write about this the last time I blogged? Did I not just decide it was okay not to know? But then she said she’s not worried. She’s not worried at all. Another creative writing prof telling they’re not worried about my future. I will supposedly write regardless. I will be fine. And it’s no big deal if I have to move back home. There’s no shame. She did at 28. I can do it at 22. I have my health to consider. I have my priorities to make.
She talked about my spoons. How the one thing holding me back is my health, and how I have to recognize I start off the day with less spoons than the average lady. And, you know, lately I’ve been giving up more spoons that I have. Racking up a debt. A spoon for waking up. A spoon for driving down Uintah, parking, and walking across campus. Four spoons for participating in class. More spoons for ballet. Some good spoons for work and other work and for post-work work. Spoons for homework. Spoon for dinner. Spoon for every person I talk to. Spoon for walking up and down the stairs. I’m running low on silverware. Which maybe explains the whole sleeping seventeen hours in one go deal. I think the friends I start to make think I don’t go out at night, think I fail so terribly at making and keeping plans, because I like to be alone, because I don’t care about the friendship. But it’s just that I’m so damn exhausted or sick nearly all the time. My drawer is too frequently empty. And I have the choose. I have to choose where to spend.
The friends I have, the friends who don’t mind that I hibernate every weekend, nearly every night, those friends are gems.
Recently this website was pulled up on a computer screen at work, in the building that I sentimentalize everyday, the building that I claim changed my life. In the basement of that building, a bit of Heather trivia led to a friend Googling my name which led to here. I wanted to cry when I saw my stupid blog titles (“Pause” and “Two am Ironing” and “My Last First Block” and blah blah blah) and silly photos and obnoxiously long sentences as he scrolled down, which is an absurd response as what did I expect when I chose to write at my full name dot com? I guess I like to pretend this doesn’t really exist, or that only people who don’t know me in real life can read what’s on the screen, or that no one is bored enough to notice, to actually read, which maybe is the reality of the situation. Regardless, it sends me into a frenzy when this blog is brought up in real life.
I wrote on this subject (and the subject of me Googling friends–which, for the record, I do far less now, as who has time for that?) when I was nineteen and an ex boyfriend Googled me. Indeed, I am lame I am lame I am lame. I feel narcissistic and ashamed and exposed when people I talk to in reality find their way here. This is why I closed up shop from August 2011 until last June. I didn’t want people from CC to read. I didn’t want to write something I’d later wish was never made known. It was safer when I was twelve and blogging at mysticxshadows.com or sayhellodear.com or trueluvneverdies.com. No one knew anything concrete about me beyond my young age, my California home state, and my tendency to blog from the couch in my family room.
Some say that, in person, I initially come off as rude or reserved or awkward or intimidating or self-absorbed, but really I am shy and I am scared and words don’t always work and I feel inferior to the beautiful people I spend my days with and I struggle with self worth, with who I am, I struggle with being okay with being out there, being out here. Last year, when I blogged for my college, I wrote about the “Phantom 500” and about my acceptance with what sometimes feels like invisibility on my campus. And then someone posted a link to the blog on my college’s Facebook confession page and I cowered beneath my desk because I would have rather no one ever read my thoughts on being a phantom. I would have rather stayed invisible. Because, lets be real, I’m sometimes afraid to walk across the quad, or to enter the library to print something out, or go to work and be a functioning adult, or to leave my house. But sometimes I’m fine and I’m happy and I’m excited to run into friends and I’m okay. And I’m okay. I’m okay with my panic days or whatever days, because they’re apart of who I am and I push through them and ultimately forget about my urgency to hide in the backseat of my car and wait for night to fall. At the end of the day, I am okay. I like who I am.
I know I struggle. Like we all struggle. I like to share my struggles because I know that when I struggled even more than I do now, knowing others were working through their struggles helped. A lot. Can we just hug and forget about the struggles?
My point is that, for whatever reason, writing here helps me accept all this all the more. Helps me be okay with vulnerability. With understanding what I really think about what went down last week. So be it if I’m exposed. So be it if my grandma is reading (hi grandma) or someone I don’t know is reading or if a friend is reading (you should smile) or if no one is reading. So be it if this is the most unprofessional thing I could do and I’m destroying my name and making myself an undesirable employee. This is who I am. This is something I do, for now at least, lets see what’s happening when I’m thirty-three. Because the random emails from far away friends who like what I say make it worth it. Because it feels right. Because I’m so inclined. Because I’m a little obsessed with putting words to my name in some form. Because I need a place to rant about time (trivia: my first post was basically the same topic of this post. Time. I WRITE THE SAME THING EVERY MONTH BUT JUST ADD NEW PHOTOS OF THE SAME MOUNTAINS AND QUADS AND STREETS. ALL I TALK ABOUT IS TIME? Why are you here?). Here I am, sharing self-absorbed rambles since 2008 (!) with the hopes of appeasing the few that relate.
And, anyway, rather simply, I like to do this. It adds a layer to the late nights where sleep is too far away.
Well. This post was intended to simply be Esther’s glorious photo and a line or two about my love for Cutler Hall, but so it goes. All this came out instead and now it’s time for bed. I take the GRE this Saturday (keeping options open). Should have been studying, not blogging, but I did it anyway. Cross your fingers that my brain doesn’t melt in the testing room.
Dun dun dun.