Ryan

A Farewell to Free Time

In Blog on September 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Goodbye, free time. I’ll see you in December.

That’s what I thought to myself just now as I walked back from the Bookstore, a fresh pack of AAA batteries in hand and thinking about all of the things I have to do for the next couple of weeks.

I just scheduled an interview for Tuesday morning, and I usually spend Tuesdays completing my homework for my only Tuesday class. My homework for that class? A four- to five-page paper and all of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” read and finished. Which, admittedly, isn’t so bad — I’ve already started working on the paper, and the reading is a quick read, my professor said — but I have a fake research paper due the day after that, and, of course, I have all that I usually do. (I may end up explaining the fake research paper later, but it should be a fun write.)

There’s this line in Cooper‘s song “Chase the Stratosphere” that I’ve been saying over and over again in my head for the past couple of weeks: “We do tend to romanticize/ And no one’s ever found out how to pause.”

When I first heard this lyric, I thought it was “You tend to romanticize that no one’s ever found out how to pause,” which I probably “tend” to do. (Tend in quotation marks because I just dislike the word, but it’s used so beautifully in the song.)

Growing up, I never really bragged about needing to always keep myself busy because I like it, which was something I noticed a lot of my friends/peers/whatever saying quite a bit. I think I prefer having nothing to do. I would totally rather sit around all day, if that were an acceptable thing to do. But I sat around all day back in middle and high school, so I’ve turned college into my fit-as-much-as-possible-in-four-years (which is now shorter than four years, but that I’m graduating a semester early fills me moreso with dread than with elatedness) project.

So, I usually accept that I’m busy but don’t make it a point to rub it into others’ faces who may or may not be equally as busy. Another quote from one of my newspaper staff friends from freshman year: “Everyone’s got their own s— to do.”

I’ve used this quote my dear, has-since-graduated-and-is-in-the-Peace-Corps friend told me over two years ago as a way to think of others — here it comes — complexly.

If you’ve seen the video I made for Steve’s channel in February, I’ve been trying to understand people as products of motives rather than random-disregard-for any-and-everything machines.

This means that whenever someone does something of which I disapprove or find disappointing, or whenever something doesn’t happen in the way that it happens in my head (which is every day), I just think, “Well, everyone’s got their own stuff to do, Ryan. Everyone feels the same spontaneous/life-is-random-and-unpredictable bug that you do.”

So, I accept everyone for it. As I think everyone else should.

Relating all of this together, while I’m filled with anxiousness thinking about the interviews I’m conducting today, tomorrow and Tuesday, the two papers I need to write this weekend and all that fits in between, I’m left with the thought that I’m going to be really impressed with how well I time-managed when all of this is over.

A part of my life philosophy since I’ve been in college is that I know that every test, essay, production night, interview, whatever will come and pass, so there’s no use in fighting it or being afraid of its impending arrival. Instead, I should be excited to enjoy the wonderful feeling of, you know, being out of busy situations and into a situation of leisure and restfulness.

So, everything that’s coming at me until this semester’s over: Have at it. I’m super prepared, and I probably wouldn’t be at this point in life if I weren’t.

Oh, and as a final thought: Some people get nervous about their Pottermore Sorting, but I’d truly be shocked, but not disappointed, if I didn’t get Hufflepuff. I feel like I’ve been nothing but Hufflepuff for a long while now. But I don’t have enough time in my day for Pottermore, at the moment, anyway, so thank you from keeping my letter from me, Jo.

Related video, if you haven’t seen it:

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