The lady at orientation made it sound so good, like it would be so much fun and fun was as far as I could look as a recent high school senior. So here I am, a month, not planning the future like everybody else. They all are fast-forwarding to attending. Eating good food and sleeping in the most comfortable mattress and watching Disney movies because I got time to grow up. First semester didn’t go so well, but at least I didn’t fail out, not that I think it’s funny someone failed out due to a video game addiction. WOW is it? I know nothing about video games, only everything about every shade of snow. The ‘rents are away at work and I have the whole house to myself. It’s a lot of room for my thoughts to get out of control. The snow is beautiful and so are the robins hanging out on the bare branches, but that doesn’t change the fact up to this point I had been training for the Olympics and once I got in, the Olympics was over and I’m on my butt trying to figure out what my next move should be. Except I have no idea. All I want to do is be a Sheryl Crow song. At the end of this month it’s back to another semester of I don’t know. Another semester of stress beyond any freshman can imagine. Maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe I’m not, but the only ones who get it are the undergraduates of this school. They say I’m at the age where my whole life is ahead of me. I’ve heard my whole life “life is short.” So why does it feel so long?
Don’t procrastinate. Stuff You Have To Do will just build up like plaque in between your teeth and then you’ll have to figure out how to tackle all of it at once like an ant bathes in a drop of water. Believe you me, that is not fun. If you care about the SYHTD, you may end up sacrificing your health to get it done. Usually that consists of staying up late and not eating three meals a day or substituting cooking with take out or instant microwavable meals like Ramen or Easy Mac. But that’s OK. It’s a quick gradual fix to reset if you want to reverse the effects of procrastination by replacing it with not-procrastination week by week until you are back to SYHTD like refilling your gas tank with 91 several times after it empties to bring the engine back to optimal function to replace the 87 you have been filling it without realizing the damage it may do to your engine. Don’t procrastinate. It takes more time to procrastinate than to actually get done what you set out to do. You’ll start typing a sentence then suddenly glance down and see how dirty your keyboard is and grab a can of air. Next thing you know you’re hungry from all that phalange movement so you go make some pasta, but it’s too boring watching water boil so you turn on the TV in the kitchen to keep you company and all of a sudden Sheldon is trying to cheer Leonard up by offering to beat him at a game Leonard cares least about losing. After you eat you feel like you deserve a little break so you go take Fifi for a walk. When you get back, it’s time for a nap. When you wake up you need to fit together another piece of that 1,000 piece Simpsons puzzle. Don’t procrastinate. Like backwards Nike, just don’t do it.
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” — Mark Twain
On New Year’s Eve. I went to a party where I didn’t know the host and I didn’t know most of the people there. My best friend took me and the party people were her friends. Actually, she knew the host and some of the people there. I don’t know why, but it made me feel better knowing I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know everybody either.
I don’t know what it is about parties like these where I don’t know everybody, but I’ve noticed myself lately going into situations like this and reacting kind of shy I guess. The guy who opened the door had a “who are you?” look on his face. But we powered through, came in, found an empty sofa and sat down to a NYE game night. I didn’t have the best time. I shouldn’t say that. I didn’t have the expected best time. I shouldn’t say that either. I had a good time, but not the best in the way I had anticipated. Maybe I best just describe what happened and you can describe it to yourself.
The games were fine. In fact, they were exciting and a lot of fun. They were right up my alley what with guessing words, captioning meme pictures and the like, and I appreciated the fact that our host wanted to check to see if we would be OK with expletives in one. (We weren’t, based off the fact there was questioning involved and mumbling and such.) The party people knew each other, thus they were their funny entertaining selves and while all the other guests kind of look confused with our showing up, one girl had a friendly face on and she ended up being the only one I connected with all evening besides my best friend. Everybody else had their game faces on. (Haha.) I think my brain was slow. I think it had been a long day of fun, but in a good way. Not a long day in the typical sense of the word. Or maybe I just reverted to my old self. But my fear of embarrassment took over and I was suddenly not shy exactly, but not my college self who would have handled the situation with popularity and coolness and boldness.
All of a sudden every game that required me to talk was awkward for me. One of the first ones we played required me to describe a tool I needed to fix a spaceship and ask for said tool and hope someone had that tool on a card that could trade a card with me. For each card I got, anything that had specific instructions on it like “pass all your cards to the left” was easy for me to announce to the players, but anything that I had a tool on it I needed to quickly describe I remained mute in my seat. Time was of the essence, but my brain didn’t get the memo. Our host called me quiet and later labeled my best friend as such. Inside my head I got defensive. I felt my face burning up a little, but I didn’t say anything. (Ha!) My best friend couldn’t hold it in. She got vocal with her defensiveness. I knew the feeling, but I didn’t see the point for me to waste my breath on people I didn’t know. They don’t know me and I don’t owe them an explanation, and it got me thinking people get defensive when they are called quiet. Quiet is seen as a bad quality. I disagree.
I don’t think quiet is a bad thing. It is not automatically a negative trait. Why is it by default seen that way anyway? Quiet is what makes us good observers. Quiet is how we observe the loud ones, the ones who are in love with their voices and end up saying stupid things as a result. Quiet is not a bad thing. It means we are thinkers. It means we are processors. It means we actually think about what we are going to say before we say it. It means we are good listeners. It means we have good ideas and possess enough patience to wait for the right moment to do something and get lucky.
At the same time, I think there’s no need to get defensive if someone calls you that. Once you do, you validate the idea that being quiet is a bad thing. The best thing to do is remain calm, observe, form your opinion of them, and know secretly in your heart that you are better than this, better than what they label you. Who you are is never defined by a single moment. It’s just not that simple. We are all walking kaleidoscopes. As long as you know at the core who you really are, it doesn’t matter what people label you or say about you behind your back. After all, they need you more than you need them.
You cannot force a good idea to come out of you like lemon juice. You must first sit and meditate, do some flame gazing, go running underneath a trail of oak trees, talk to Grandmother Willow, have some spumoni, drink black coffee, and draw a unicorn.
I don’t know what it’s like to be a professional tennis player, but Lauren Weisberger’s The Singles Game is what I imagine it to be like. I have to admit though, I think the title has a double meaning. The first thing that came to mind was love and relationships and not just because Cosmopolitan recommended this read. I had to look closer at the cover a second time to see it was about tennis.
I loved The Devil Wears Prada so I went in with great expectations. It is safe to say Weisberger delivered with this one as well. It could be made into a movie if she wanted. You can tell she did her research.
It turns out it was about tennis and relationships at the same time, so maybe that was her intention all along. It’s a very fluffy story, but I liked learning about the behind-the-scenes in tennis and seeing just how Todd Feltner was like a male version of Miranda Priestly. It’s basically a story about a girl named Charlotte “Charlie” Silver who devoted her whole life to tennis and really wants to be number one, but once she makes the decision to sacrifice everything outside of tennis for the sake of winning, she realizes she wants all the real people back, like her former coach Marcy and her hitting partner Dan, and not the celebrities who only add glitter to her life, something sparkly that later lands and creates a huge mess.
Like Andy Sachs, Charlie is a determined girl. She is willing to change her whole image into this “warrior princess” type to not only please Feltner, but to realize her ultimate goal. But like any person who’s ever chased a dream so hard it hurts, Charlie comes to her senses and focuses on staying true to her heart and to the people who helped her do just that.
The story is simple, but it’s a fun read to be enjoyed at any time.
People are different behind the wheel than in front of it.
Well, for starters, if you’re in front of the wheel, you don’t want to get run over. Haha, no I’m kidding. I wrote that statement just now and thought it sounded so profound until I really thought about it. Basically I’m trying to say you’re a different person while driving than not. Somehow driving is the one thing we do that really tests our patience to the point some have road rage. Why is that? I can never figure it out. The very same people who have terrible road rage can be the nicest, sweetest people in person. I don’t get it. So do those people hide their impatience behind the mask of being polite? Driving is a litmus test for how patient someone really is. Or is driving a separate animal all together and you can’t count it as a test for anything? Now that’s interesting. We should do a study of people’s personalities and how it correlates to what kind of driver they’ll be if such a study hasn’t been done yet. I could Google it, but I’m too lazy. There’s something cathartic about typing my guts out onto a blank piece of paper. I like it. 🙂
Aren’t we all racehorses to a certain extent? We eat, sleep, study, go to work, and clean up all so we can win a race at the end of all the routines. Yes, I know. Some people don’t follow routines and don’t let the MAN dictate what they do daily. Or, as Wonder Woman put it, not let a watch tell you what to do. Actually when I ran into that clip on YouTube the other day, I thought about. We let time tell us what to do. When to get up, go to bed, take a shower, eat, take a nap, go to work, etc. But is it so much time telling us what to do as our bodies? If we don’t sleep, our bodies will let us know the consequences. We are biologically programmed. (I know, a lot of times what I say doesn’t make sense, but just follow me on this.) If we don’t eat or take care of our bodies, we get sick. If we don’t have the resources to take care of ourselves, we lose the race. So we sleep, eat, go to work, and do whatever it takes to keep going in this race. We just all have different levels of motivation running through our veins and depending on the levels is what decides who excels in the race and who will be the runt of the litter. We take our water breaks when we go on vacation or take a day off from work. But as long as we are breathing, we have to keep racing.
I think how well you do also depends on if you have blinders on or not. All the comparing yourself to others slows you down. In some cases, removing the blinders for a moment makes you realize you aren’t even running the same race as the person you were comparing yourself to. Funny, huh? The joke’s on you when that happens. No one wants that to happen to them, though because then you know you’ve spent way too much time caring what other people think. So I think it would be cool if in every single lane next to us is just another version of us. In other words, if we only raced against ourselves, we would look more towards self-improvement than race against people we don’t know or an idea that only exists as fiction. It would be easier to find the best version of ourselves without all the distractions.