Senior year… it’s a lot. It’s a time where anyone can become overwhelmed by anxiety-inducing thoughts of job hunting, apartment searching, homework, capstone projects, internships, extracurricular activities, and everything else that could possibly be going on. Those are the things I could go on about forever, but I don’t want to do that. Instead, I’d like to talk about my weekend, which resulted in a rejuvenated mental space and significant drop in blood pressure.
I owe this weekend to my best friend from home, who graciously drove through the insidious traffic of I-95 just to see me. We’ve known each other for about six years now and while I’d say I know most every detail about him, I also know to expect the unexpected when it comes to our plans together.
The weekend began with a night out with friends. I corralled some of my favorite people and we spent the evening playing Jenga, Battle of the Sexes, Spoons and a variety of card games. It was a small gathering with a limited itinerary, but I loved every second of it. I wasn’t focusing my attention on strategically planning one thing from the next, which meant I could focus on what really mattered – my friends.
After a late night of socializing (and asserting my dominance as Spoons Champion,) my friend and I woke up questioning what the day had in store. Admittedly, I was a bit anxious not having a solidified plan by 1pm, but I did my best to roll with the punches. “Maybe I’ll get a tattoo,” he said. I looked at him with puzzled eyes, waiting for what would come out of his mouth next. “Maybe I’ll get a pizza slice… on my butt.” By that time, I didn’t really know where to start with my questioning or if I should even bother trying to understand at all, so again, I rolled with the punches and we set out for another spontaneous day. He did end up getting the tattoo and for a while I thought he was crazy. It taught me something though. Everyone’s definition of happiness is different and no two people live the same life. He came to New York for an experience and boy, did he get one. A permanent one. On his butt. Still, I applaud him for living so freely.
I woke up the next day feeling a little more relaxed, simply because there was one solid plan in the day’s foundation. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a bit eccentric with time and schedules and the desire to know what’s going to happen at any given second of the day. (I’m working on it, truly I am – and this blog post is a testament to that.) We took a train into the city around noon and showed our support at the “Not My Presidents’ Day” rally at Trump Tower. Of course, we didn’t make signs, because even that was deemed too organized for my friend, so we brought nothing but our fists and voices. It was an inspiring event that I could reminisce about for hours, but I’ll save that for another post. After leaving the rally, the rest of our day was free. We walked around aimlessly through Central Park and in any direction we felt would elicit interest. In total, we walked more than 90 blocks, which worked well for my friend because he was too sore to sit much anyway.
Without realizing it, this spontaneous, unplanned weekend gave attention to most all of the big rocks in my life. By big rocks, I mean the most important facets of my life, the facets that sadly sometimes get ignored.
I spent time with some of the most important people in my life. I enjoyed nature both on Long Island and in New York City. I protested for a cause that feels significant to me. I watched some random dude shave my best friend’s butt. I took a deep breath and relaxed. On any given day, I try to organize my rocks in a structured, effective way, but rarely do they get the attention they deserve. When I allowed myself to go with the flow and enjoy the moment, I found the things I really care about found me in almost magnetic force. It was a really good weekend and made me appreciate so much of what I have in my life. I may not be getting a new tattoo anytime soon, but I definitely hope to live a little more freely. I challenge you all to do the same.
(P.S. This was the tattoo inspo, which was quite literally found on Google Images an hour before the appointment.)