People always ask me why I take on so much more than I can handle. On any given day, I can be seen walking at a New York City pace across campus rushing to be somewhere. When I take out my Kate Spade planner in class it’s covered completely in a million different assignments, reminders, or meetings coordinated by pen color. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I can be found changing my outfit in the admissions office bathroom before running to class.
Most of what I do on campus doesn’t have anything to do with my future career either. Most of what I do is for my own enjoyment (or punishment, call it what you’d like). There is absolutely no reason for me to be taking 21 credits, or to have an international studies minor, or to work eight hours in the admissions office.
I also get asked why I live so far into the future. While some people are still undecided in their career path as a junior, I can tell you where I want to be in 5 years, and then 5 years after that, and even 5 years after that. I can tell you where I want to live, how I want my career to progress, what type of dog I want and even what color I want to paint the walls of my NYC apartment.
Some days I don’t even have time to eat lunch. Instead, I eat a bag of trail mix on the way to one of my classes.
The only time I can ever answer either of these questions honestly is when i’m not doing anything, and I think that’s the problem. I overbook myself to the point where all I want to do is lay in bed and eat Ben&Jerry’s because as soon as I slow down or succumb to the ice cream, I start to think. I start to question what happens if my 15 year plan doesn’t work out, or I start to worry about never finding a husband, or I start to think about the fact that I graduate in less than two years. Everything becomes real when I slow down and it’s terrifying.
The future isn’t real yet. In a way, I never have to face reality and the pain and fear and confusion that comes with it. I can live day by day without ever thinking about anything except the task at hand or how it’s going to benefit me in the future. Some people say that this isn’t living, that i’m going to regret not taking the time to live in the here-and-now.
Maybe I will. But right now I can honestly say that being busy enough to distract myself from pain or fear or loneliness is a pretty damn good idea.
So I guess the question you should ask me isn’t why I do so much or why I live so far into the future – it’s what am I going to do when I finally catch up with myself.