Sunday, April 25, 2010

yes, I am going to the book store.

The thing they don't tell you about graduating is the immense amount of mind games you play with yourself before the day actually comes.

Now, I've known my fair share of college graduates - a few of my closest (same-age) friends graduated in December or last May because of their planning and serious dedication to getting their degrees. I've talked them through the last few weeks of school, tried to calm them down and reassure them that yes, they will get a job and really, the coral dress with the cute sandals is what they should wear to graduation, and it would be a good idea to get a 9-month lease instead of a 6-month lease and they should take that seemingly pointless coffee date with a superior in a company that isn't even hiring because really, who knows? And I hadn't been there yet so I had no idea the crazy amount of mind games that they had been playing over and over in their heads and the fact that they took the 10 minutes to call me meant that they truly did just need to vent and explode with emotion for the short period of time they had free because, sometimes, it is too much for one mind and body and soul to handle and sharing it will make it better.

And then I usually told them they should go buy a cookie or ice cream or coffee. But that's neither here nor there.

I've been exploding with mind games but haven't exactly known how to share them. My schedule this semester puts me at work over every single lunch hour, making lunch hour calls to my 'real-world' friends - something I depended on last semester - impossible. I have afternoon and night classes, so when those same people are free or different people from school are out and about, I'm still getting my education on. This is very different for me because I normally plan my schedule to look like this:

mornings = classes
afternoons = work
evenings = clubs, homework, friend time

This semester's schedule is so different solely because I needed to get into specific classes to achieve specific credits to be able to do the thing that is making me write long-winded blog posts: graduate.

Anyways, what I've come to realize is that on the weekends I need a little break. And I haven't been able to do so lately. There was the 5K for Multiple Sclerosis Research, Relay for Life, a friends 21st birthday party, another friends surprise birthday party, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, my mother and her friend's visit, volunteering things I'd said I'd help with months ago, video shoots for class, scheduled scheduled scheduled things. By "a little break" I mean a little time to think, alone, not in my room when I'm having a little mental breakdown at 4am, but out somewhere where I feel comfortable and free and not guilty for taking that time for myself.

That place for me is usually a book store.

Sometimes I need an hour to dive into Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit to feel like my resume isn't looking ridiculous and the fact that the things I've done matter or to settle into Joan Didion's crazy world or to let Lisa Kogan make me laugh and remember it's a silly, silly life or to take cues from Muriel Barbery's young, intelligent character (or the old, boil-ridden one for that matter.) Sometimes I need that. That is how I unwind.

So if I need to go to Barnes and Noble at 8pm at night to unwind, then that is just how it is going to have to be for right now. I have no idea why I'm having to dissect this (probably for my own well-being somehow) but that's just how it is. And no, I can't just buy the books because my college student budget, and the fact that I do not have a secured job after graduation, means I need to be saving. But you can bet on the fact that all of those books will be mine one day. I need to finish more than the first few chapters, after all.

And for the record, I write some pretty good things after a little 4am startling wake-up. I usually end up with an entire movie/music/play/whatever review is due that day completely formed in my mind at 4am. A few friends of mine told me that's a gift. I'm choosing to believe them.

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