Monthly Archives: September 2014

Lesson #73: Plot Twist.

9/30/14.

My morning:

I woke up to find that my laptop has crashed.

For the third time.

Great.

But I don’t have time to be sad, or upset, or worried,

because I have one hour to shower, eat, and dress fancy for the Career Fair, which I take pictures at every year for my job as the video/photographer at my school’s career and academic center.

Good thing I chose my outfit last night,

But my pants won’t stay up.

and I need a belt.

ASAP.

But not just any belt,

I need a black one.

Unless, of course, I wanted to look entirely tacky in a brown belt, which would completely crash with my outfit of choice.

Tragic.

I look in my drawer.

The only black belt I have is too small, because it’s specifically for the waist.

 

Fun.

 

Roommates? You up?

Yes.

Any one have a black belt?

No.

 

Cool.

 

I go to Wal-Mart.

I can make it before class, of course.

It will be quick.

 

I get my belt.

There is no line, because it’s eight in the morning.

Check out, get to my car.

 

Wrong belt.

XL is not my size.

But I wish it was at this moment.

Was I even paying attention?

I shake my head.

 

Back in Wal-mart.

Right size belt.

Back in car.

Catch almost every light.

Or at least, that’s what it felt like.

In gravel parking lot.

Grab packpack, start walking to class.

Where’s my phone?

 

At Wal-mart.

 

Of course.

 

Back in the car.

Back at Wal-Mart.

There’s no way I’m making it to class now.

But there’s good news.

My phone is right by the belts, that are tangled and unorganized.

Just like my life.

 

I make it to school.

Class is not happening this morning.

Especially not now.

So instead, I make my way to the computer help desk and turn in my broken laptop (and heart).

 

They have no idea when it will be ready.

I have a newscast due tomorrow, two videos to edit this weekend, and a paper in the works that I have no idea if I will ever get back.

And they have no idea when it will be ready.

I smile.

 

At least it’s sunny.

 

I read this somewhere on the internet.

It was probably Pinterest, or Tumblr.

Guilty.

It went something like this:

When something goes wrong in your life, just yell “PLOT TWIST!”,

and move on.

 

I liked this.

I liked this a lot.

 

So in honor of today:

PLOT TWIST.

 

Good thing this is only the rising action.

 

9/30/14.

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Lesson #72: Regret.

9/29/14.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about regret lately.

Some person who thought they were really smart and clever, once said:

You should never regret. Because at the time, it was exactly what you wanted.

And while I would absolutely love for this to be true,

and how I really wish it was that easy,

it’s not.

I’m assuming the person who came up with this marvelous, simply put philosophy, must have been talking about something as minuscule as eating one too many slices of pizza, or having a cookie past 1AM.

But some things in life are not that simple.

Just because it’s what you wanted, doesn’t mean it was right.

And saying this doesn’t justify it, or magically make everything better.

It’s like trying to use a band-aid, when what you really need is stitches.

Unfortunately,

I haven’t learned how to stop the regret.

But I have learned how to go about it.

Maybe I don’t agree with the saying,

but maybe I agree with what it’s really trying to say—

what it really means.

Apologize.

To yourself.

All my days are starting to blend together,

which is sad,

because I’m not even 20 yet. (Sorry, give me four days).

But,

If I’m not mistaken, I think I might have written a little something about self-forgiveness in the past.

And I’m about to do it again.

Self-forgiveness is much needed in this life.

And on a continual basis.

It’s not a one-time thing.

It’s perennial.

It will keep happening, and it always be needed.

Much like yesterday, how I learned the work never ends,

neither does self-forgiveness.

You’ll need it to get through this life, so keep learning to give it to yourself.

Be kind with yourself. Be patient. Forgive yourself for dumb things you’ve done, even if it hurts you to do so. Shut out that voice, because it’s not real. It’s only in your head, and it will only stay there if you let it.

Self-forgiveness is a tricky, tricky thing.

It’s the lesson that’s never learned.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

I’m pretty sure it’s frowned upon by society to talk to yourself.

But let’s be honest—

we’re all mad here.

I’m giving you permission to talk to yourself today.

Not that I really have any authority to do that.

But let’s pretend.

You talk to everyone else but yourself, when you’re the one person who needs it the most.

Say sorry to yourself today.

And then tell yourself,

Apology accepted.

Now, go have one too many slices of pizza.

Day Seventy-Two.

Lesson #71: Grounded.

9/28/14.

I am 19 and less than five days away from 20.

I have been a lot of things,

but I have never been grounded.

Until now.

I’ve called my mother three weekends in a row, declaring, “I’m going to lock myself in my house this weekend, and I’m not going anywhere with anyone until I-”

Week 1: Finish unpacking.

Week 2: Catch-up on my work.

Week 3: Catch-up on my work that I didn’t do because I was catching-up on catch-up work.

“Okay, Miajah,” she would say.

She knew me too well.

I don’t who I was trying to convince.

Her, or myself.

I’ve been spending the past couple of weeks treading water. Between classes, my job, three clubs and organizations, my head is barely above the surface. During the day, I am in class. When I’m not in class, I’m at work, getting curiously stared down as I lug video equipment across campus, or bumped aside on the bus. When I finish by 3:15 (That is, if I don’t return to work), I would love to go home and take a nap. But, that would only leave me an hour and some change to get home, sleep, and be back at campus for one of three club meetings, which I have on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. So I stay on campus and do what little homework I can for an hour. After whichever meeting I have that day, I am usually lucky enough to get one or two hours to do homework, and then I usually have another meeting, or a speaker, or campus event that I want to (or have to) go to. By then, it’s 8 or 9PM. (And I’ve missed Scandal or The Voice and I am crying in a dark TV-less corner). I want to go home and make something adult and cool, like chicken and pasta, or fish with rice and beans. But I’m tired, and I’m pressed for time to finish my homework for tomorrow. I have two classes the next day, or three, which means I have 20 pages of reading for each. So make that 60 pages, average. Oh, that doesn’t include essays, reading responses, or projects. So instead, I grab something quick on campus, and take it with me to the library, and do homework. I am up until 2AM, and then I am up at 7AM to do it all over again.

Stressed out?

But wait.

Now, it’s Thursday night.

And I don’t have Friday classes.

I should be shooting firecrackers off my roof.

But I am so tired and strung out, that instead of doing more work, or running amuck with the rest of the college world on Thirsty Thursday,

I go to sleep at 11.

And that’s my life.

I can imagine your wide, horrified eyes as you read this.

You look like you just got out of a horror movie!

I didn’t mean to frighten you,

Sorry, I’m fine, I promise.

I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for a life-time of college debt, and when I joined two new (and incredible!) organizations at once.

It’s awesome.

And yes,

very stressful.

I’m learning how to manage it, day-by-day.

But what I haven’t learned how to handle, though,

is life outside of all of this.

Which is why I grounded myself.

I don’t leave any time for me, or for fun, or spontaneity, or excitement.

And I’ve forgotten that somewhere along the way.

Until yesterday night.

I thought,

“Well fuck it. Fuck it all.”

And I went out, and had a good time.

And it was so worth it.

I actually regretted it less than the past three weekends I forced myself to sit on the couch all day and do work, only to end up not finishing everything.

I was grounding myself, because I thought that was the answer to my problems. I thought I needed restriction, and self-control, and that if I did this, one day it would all get better. That there would be less to do. Nothing to catch up on. That I would magically have more time during the week for myself, and for friends, and for fun. But only if I finished everything first.

Then I realized,

how stupid is that?

This is college!

The work isn’t going to end!

And it’s not going to get easier!

So forget it!

Live a little!

I’ve just come to terms with the fact that all the self-control and focus in the world won’t get everything done, for good.

Today, I learned that maybe I don’t need to be so hard on myself.

Maybe I don’t need to make it any harder than it already is.

Maybe I don’t need to be grounded.

The kids that are always grounded, always on restriction, on punishment, always over-monitored—are the ones that turn out crazy.

(Am I right)

And when has anyone ever liked the ridiculously strict, inhumane teacher? I always think of Matilda. Wouldn’t you choose Ms. Honey over Ms. Trunchbull?

Of course, crack down on yourself when needed.

But what’s the point of putting yourself in time-out indefinitely?

Loosen up a little, stickler.

Let yourself off the hook.

The truth is,

you don’t have to be grounded to stay grounded.

Day Seventy-One.

Lesson #70: Waffle House.

9/27/14.

Sometimes the best dinner comes from a breakfast joint. This is a metaphor.

Day Seventy.

 

Lesson #69: If you don’t do it, someone else will.

9/26/14.

Today I learned that if you don’t do it,

someone else will.

How many tomorrows until you make it happen?

How many tomorrows until it’s too late?

Until the opportunity has passed?

Life doesn’t wait around for anybody.

If you don’t do it,

someone else will.

Day Sixty-Nine.

Lesson #68: Can I take a personal day?

9/25/14.

Some days,

I really, really just want take a personal day.

(From my blog)

Like today.

I don’t want to face my feelings, or the truth, or anything else for that matter.

I really just don’t want to think about it.

And by ‘it,’

I mean ‘it’s complicated.’

And most of you won’t understand.

Because I don’t even understand it myself.

And I’m not sure If I want to just yet.

I think it’s okay to take a step back.

In fact, I know it’s okay to take a step back.

Being in a hurry to understand something that’s not ready to be understood is lethal.

I’ve done it before,

and I don’t want to ever do it again.

Ever.

Let yourself process the situation.

Give yourself space to think.

Day Sixty-Eight.

 

 

Lesson #67: Be ready.

9/24/14.

Every decision comes packaged with consequence.

Good.

Or bad.

Hey,

You asked for it.

Day Sixty-Seven.