I stepped out of the airport to a blast of heat, inwardly grumbling at the prospect of quickly becoming drenched in sweat as I lugged my bags toward the car. However, as the week went on, I quickly found myself adjusting to the heavy, humid air as my cousin and I roamed the streets of DC and New York City.
I just hit five years of writing on this blog, and as I mentioned, I’ve been struggling with picking and choosing how to spend my hours. Often times I end up wasting time, sitting around fantasizing about the many things I want to do rather than doing them. Wandering DC and New York was the opposite of this– there were very few low points in our days because we wanted to use every minute to explore something new. We walked miles every day, sketchbooks out and exhaustion shoved into drawers in the back of our minds. We lasted about eight days, falling sick on the ninth and tenth. Even when sick, though, we managed to experience a few new places.
My visit to the East coast triggered a sense of need in me; when I gazed at the looming displays of art, science, and history both inside and outside the many museums we visited, the persistent voice in my head awakened. Get there, get there, get there.
I’ve been debating back and forth on whether I have the capacity to join a research lab during the school year or not. I hesitate because I simply don’t know how much I can stretch the hours in a day to let me do everything to my best ability; the other day, I spent half an hour mapping out possibilities for how I could use my time next year. I sighed and erased one plan after another, not because I wouldn’t be able to do it, but because I kept thinking back to my experiences last year.
I’d wake up in the morning, study, play music, go to class, grab food in between, study some more, go to a few meetings, play some more music, and (surprise, surprise) study some more. After a full day, even when all of us were exhausted, my roommates and I would often end up talking ourselves into unearthly hours of the night, simply losing track of time in conversation. I remember a few times, we’d brush our teeth at the same time and somehow get caught chatting near our bathroom sinks until midnight.
On the East coast, I was go, go, go all the time. I wonder if I can sustain that through an entire school year, coupled with the endless homework and exams.
More importantly, I wonder how strong the need is. The drive is awake, but I wonder how far I can take it while still taking care of myself. In DC and New York, I learned how important self-care really is– in the middle of checking off items from our tourist list, I found peace in bookstores, coffee shops, and sketching amongst the lush greenery. Without those moments of calm, I would have exhausted much faster. I wonder if I’ll be able to give myself those moments of peace with a packed-to-the-brim schedule next year.
I have a lot of questions, and I wonder which ones need me to go out searching rather than taking that time to look inside for answers.
I love this album.