the rest of the world returned to work today after the glorious overconsumptive fog that the holidays have been. but me? i'm still a student. i may be damn near 30, but as far as my schedule is concerned, i am a slothful 18-year-old kid. i have two more weeks before my classes start again. i'm sure there was a time when all this freedom was a total boon, and that i was thrilled beyond belief to sit/lie around and do nothing. it was probably, like, the totally greatest thing EVER, no doubt.
but now? good god, i am bored. i feel worthless when i have nothing to do. i don't know if it was law school that did this to me, or if it's simply a function of age, but i just cannot manage downtime anymore. i can't conceive of how to handle long stretches of time in which nothing is scheduled. it's just torturous. they say idle hands are the devil's playground. to me, however, an idle mind is what causes me all the trouble. when i don't have things to do, my mind... wanders. and rarely, if ever, does that wandering result in anything good.
the last time this happened, when i left myself unprogrammed, it was around this time two years ago. i really thought i needed the rest. but then, quite unexpectedly, my life got turned 100% upside down by the events of new year's weekend 2009. lines were crossed, decisions were made, and the beginning of the end of my old life was kicked off in explosive fashion. but then i had to go back to my old life and spend seven days pretending like nothing had changed, with no distractions whatsoever. and friends, it was nothing short of mind-bending. i was scared, depressed, lonely and sad. and the longer i sat still, with no way to escape the whirlwind of thoughts whipsawing through my brain, the closer i came to total desperation. finally, i made up my mind that there was only one possible solution: i hopped a plane, lying to everyone i knew, and made a stand.
that time, the stand i made did not end the way i'd hoped. i didn't get what i set out to get, which led to a whole string of reckless and potentially questionable decisions. in the end, those decisions set me on the road i'm on today, with all the good that's brought me. but the point is, when i am left alone with my mind, i tend to get... impulsive. dangerously, treacherously, foolishly impulsive. and at my station in life, that is no joking matter. my schedule might give me the freedom of a kid, but my reality locks me into the responsibility of an adult. every decision i make has consequences, and the kind of flightiness in which i feel like indulging will only lead to serious problems if i give in.
so the next two weeks will be a series of tests. every single day will be a trial: a test of my fealty to my relationship, my career, and my sanity. i have every reason to believe that i'll make it through, as long as my supports hold steady and don't fail me. but the dark river of recklessness flows very close to my surface. it slowly sings to me of the urge for going, for moving, for taking risks far more treacherous than i can stand. will i be able to resist the siren song? only time will tell.
Letter 70: Be Louder
5 weeks ago