I've done some thinking over the past week or so, and come up with a few answers. One of them, ironically, is that I need to take some time every once in a while and let myself just sit and think. Another of them is that I shouldn't think too much.
As I was here over the break, it finally hit me, the last weekend, that it is not totally necessary for me to be doing something 24/7. It might even be okay for me to take a day or two and simply do nothing at all. This novel concept is completely counterintuitive to me; I can't stand being in my dorm room for long periods of time, and I feel this pull to constantly be out exploring the city. After all, that is what I came here for. There are so many things on my to-do list that I feel like when I have a block of time without classes I should naturally be trying to experience the wonderful world in which I live.
But it came to me last week, as I was in a frenzy to check off as many things as possible before I had to start thinking about school again, that perhaps it would be okay to give myself a break. I can't stress myself out over everything. As much as I enjoy being the walking guidebook, I also like getting enough sleep and not being quite so tense all the time. Plus, if I stay around campus rather than venturing to the depths of the big city, my chances of getting hit on by a guy younger than forty might actually go up.
Last week, even though I was on "Spring Break," I think I felt like I had to prove to myself that there was a reason that I was still here in New York and not laying on the couch at home. Sitting around watching television is a great way to destress and mellow out the brain (everything in moderation, children!), but I felt like if that is what I was going to do, why wasn't I at home doing that? I was in the convoluted world of I want to go to place A, B, C, D, and E in the next few days, but also I really just want to go home and see my family, and oh, I should probably work out, and oh, crap, I still have a ton of work to do since Lit Hum halts for none of those silly academic holidays.
In the end, I ended up skipping a couple of the museums that I had planned, using a lot of my time to read Don Quixote on my bed, finally go get a mattress pad that allows me to happily lay in my bed to read, and enjoying multiple episodes of Arrested Development, which I so fortuitously borrowed from Kurt when he left for Paris. By Sunday I was almost relaxed- and almost done with the 550 pages of required reading that I had (I was really proud of that as I observed my peers on pages 76 and 116).
And then Monday came. And all of the sudden the pressure turned on again, the work piled up, and I woke up this morning at 7:30 to finish my econ homework feeling like I had been hit with a brick. But, that's school. Actually, some pretty cool stuff has happened this week. I wrote my first article for the Eye, which is more or less the same thing as an article for the Spec, only a little bit longer with a few more cool graphics.
I also joined the cycling team. This was more or less an accident. I finally went out for a ride with my friend Tony, who was one of the leaders of the preorientation bike trip that I went on. We went around Central Park twice, and somewhere along the way he convinced me that I needed to race in at least one race this season. Me, being a big believer in just diving in and trying new things that sound somewhat intriguing, decided, "Why not?" Then I was told that the only race that wouldn't be all weekend long was at Army (West Point), IN TWO WEEKS. So, a few comments about how I could certainly keep up with the pack later, I signed up for the race next weekend. Perhaps the fact that I went riding and for a run yesterday have something to do with the whole "feeling like I got hit with a brick" thing this morning. Whatever the reason, I'm committed now, 9 days away, and looking forward to getting my Columbia kit (which is pretty hot, I have to say) this weekend. As you can see below, the baby blue jersey is going to look awesome sitting atop Roxie. And yes, I have named my bike after my stripper self.