I like to think that our mind is in itself a place of its own. Your mind can warp and change how you are, where you want to go, and how successful you’ll be by giving you a certain mindset. I often find myself, however, torn between two mindsets. I wonder whether a lot of people suffer from the mindset paralysis that I struggle with and whether or not our torn brains are what evens us out and makes us all ‘normal’ human beings. We’re the achievers but not over-achievers and we get along just OK.
I’m torn between choosing how to live my life.
On one hand, I love being a student. I love that my room can be predictably messy and I sometimes skive lectures to stay at home in bed and I eat cold beans out of the tin. I love hearing the rain against my window and that whirring noise my Uni halls radiator makes when it’s starting to get somewhat warm. I love feeling like winter and sitting comfortably with hot tea and a water bottle and occasionally reading the odd book for uni but not really putting that much effort in because it’s only first year and I’m still hungover. Constantly. Hungover.
I’m always a little bit late and my hair resembles a bird’s nest and my nails chipped and chewed from stress about some essay or exam coming up quicker than I anticipated. I leave things until the last minute and my priorities are in the most backwards and twisted order imaginable. I love spontaneous ideas and nights. I love that my flat mates agree that I’m the “reliable one” in that it could be 9 at night and all tucked up in bed and someone can say “hey, you wanna go out tonight?” And I’d be ready within the next hour.
But I don’t love how damaging this could be on my most important goals and dreams.
It’s like I expect to daze about for three years having fun and having no responsibilities and land myself a publishing contract or a column in a newspaper. Telling friends and family about my expectations in this way is always responded with a look that says “well what are you doing to get there?” I know getting the grades just isn’t enough anymore. But for some reason I just feel like I’m going to make it. Somehow. I’m going to be that jammy person who weasels their way in.
I once had a weird primary school teacher who reckoned she was mystic Meg and proclaimed that I’m going to go far in life and make a name for myself. (This was, however, the unpopular opinion amongst my primary school teachers as the rest told my parents I wouldn’t do well in GCSE’s and be lucky to get to A Level, let alone university. They told them that I would end up some mundane shitty job… Trust the crazy one to be the only one who has/had some sort of faith in me. Nevertheless, I’ve proved all the non-believers wrong so far.)
So then I’m torn between my alter-ego. The one that blogs and does her homework on time and even does extra research. I’m solely goal focussed and money driven, saving rather than spending that blessed overdraft. I eat over my 8 portions of fruit and veg a day. I carry a water bottle in my bag and stop in coffee shops for a coffee-to-go and run around to lectures and meetings and newspaper edits in the newspaper society and stop to only put an umbrella up because the rain will not slow me down today. I am productive and somehow fit in an hour at the gym everyday. I can afford simple and expensive things rather than blow every penny I’ve got on an entire new wardrobe. I write in my spare time and conduct myself in writing challenges online and put myself out there at poetry speakings and myther my favourite novelists or Thought Catalogue writer to read my shit or maybe even post it. I’ll feel like summer instead and wake up at the crack of dawn, fresh faced and ready for an entire day that’s spilling over with all the things I could do with it. I won’t smoke or go out more than once a week. I’ll squeeze in hair appointments and facials and have long painted nails and wear rings. I’ll have a night-time ritual at 9pm on the dot of shower and moisturising and aim to be in bed for 10 reading a book for pleasure that’s outside the curriculum. I’ll sleep the recommended 8 hours without the help of those herbal sleeping tablets. I will consider 2am “late” and not “movie time.” I’ll spend less time on the internet and social networking.
I’ll be strict and have strong willpower and ultimately, it will be worth it.
My mind is already split in these two places, and I didn’t choose it. Although, maybe the balance is just what we all need. Maybe being split in two isn’t such a destructive and damaging idea at all. After all, had I not thought of it I wouldn’t be reflecting right now and kicking myself into gear. I wouldn’t be writing a blog post and setting my internet schedule to 4 hours maximum so that I get some revision done afterwards. Maybe this is happiness and this is sanity with a little bit of insanity now and then. I’m aware of my goals and what I need to do to reach them, I just need to do it.
One day I’ll come down to earth and I know myself too well to know that I definitely will. I know when there’s a time to knuckle down and get serious and when I can be a crazy, lazy student. For now, a chaotic mix of both is just fine.