Thursday, September 17, 2015

Feeling Good

Wednesdays are my rougher days. They're smack in the middle of my hectic work/graduate school life and although so, so many people have it much worse, I find the arrogance to sigh and complain. After my second train ride of the day, I found myself sitting in the Whole Foods on campus eating overpriced, minuscule portions (my own doing…HEY, Weight Watchers, HEY) of mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, and crunchy spaetzle (I also ate fish and vegetables but those aren't as fun) while frantically reading some articles for class. 

During class I took a lot of notes, writing down everything that was said in an attempt to keep busy, not fall asleep, and not make eye contact with the professor who I was convinced wanted nothing more than to call on me and embarrass me in front of the whole class for not being able to properly articulate masculinity in the 1670's as exemplified in the play we were supposed to have read (he's actually one of the kindest professors I've ever had and none of this is factual). 

It wasn't until after class, when I was on my computer trying to waste a little time before I could leave to catch my last train, that I started to feel less edgy and tired. I was trying to finish one of my assignments I'm turning in tonight which was to write a magazine "sketch". I still have no clear definition about what that is, but the assignment was to write for a page about a place in our childhood that meant a lot to us. This assignment was simply to "introduce your voice as a writer". I wrote about my elementary school which is one of my favorite places to write about. It's where I met my boyfriend and some of my closest friends (even to this day) and it's what my heart sees when I'm reminded of all the wonderful we know as nostalgia. 

On the walk home I had a thought. Shit. I'm in a good mood. And it probably shouldn't have been that shocking to me. But it was. I went through my head and eliminated all the things that couldn't have been the cause. The mac & cheese wasn't thaaaat good. I only understood about five words during class tonight. I still haven't watched The Mindy Project season premiere. And then it dawned on me. I was happy because I had written. I had written. How simple is that and yet it made such a difference in my level of happy that night. 

I have gotten to such a place with my writing, through horribly negative workshops and a seemingly debilitating fear of having nothing unique to say, that I just stopped. After my class last Spring I needed a break and didn't write all summer. I didn't realize how much I missed it and how much a part of my soul it is until last night. It was exactly the kick in the ass (and in the heart) that I needed to get going again. 

I thought maybe I'd share what I wrote. It's probably nothing overtly special to anyone other than me. It features one of my favorite people to write about. It may never be read by more than three people. It's short, fragmented, most likely riddled with grammatical errors, and perhaps very simple, but this is how it is representative of the writer: short, often fragmented, and often riddled with grammatical error. 

It isn't wildly exciting or intellectually interesting, but it is a glimpse of my life. A glimpse of who I am. Just like writing is. Luckily, we stumbled upon one another again last night. 


"It's surprising that the paint is still pretty pigmented. It should probably be faded from the weather or from kids throwing water balloons at the wooden frame during those especially warm, early summer days. Somehow the school's motto is still painted proudly even if the wooden edges of each letter are starting to splint.

On the first day of each new school year I didn’t even notice that sign. My mind was always too flooded with anxiety of the important kind: were other girls going to have puppies on their notebooks still? Does my box of crayons have the right amount? The sharpener on the back of the box is already broken. What is someone sees? What if I need to use it? Will people like my glasses? Who will be sitting next to me?

I would often walk into my classroom with a friend, any friend, even if I wasn’t that close with them just so I wouldn’t have to walk in alone. The halls smelled the same and the linoleum always had a dull shine. There were two animal stickers on the light switch: a tiger and an ape. The switch poked through the ape’s arm. I always looked at it when I walked through the door. No one even noticed my crayon sharpener. He always sat next to me.

I’d fidget with my pencils that sat within the divots in the metal of my desk. I’d slide them up and down and wait for someone to say something I could laugh at so I would seem approachable. Relatable. Eventually, I might ask how his summer was. Usually I’d wait.

There were days where I wouldn’t raise my hand for fear of getting the math problem wrong and days where I’d count the minutes until we could get up to go to Art class. But mostly I remember days where the air was clean on my skin when I was on the swings, when there were brownie meetings after school and sleepovers on the weekends, or the times when we’d both walk up to the reading corner together to pick out books for Silent Reading. It was hard to see a future beyond construction paper and no running in the halls, where there were bigger things to face than getting the math problem wrong.  I’m glad I couldn't see it. I’m glad he still sits next to me. Sometimes I still don’t raise my hand."

No comments:

Post a Comment