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05. On Hobbies and Sleeping

June 24, 2011

It’s getting to be that time – can you believe it’s the end of June already? That I’ve been out of school for nearly two months? That in two months more I’ll be furiously packing in preparation for Washington, D.C.?

That last thought leaves me feeling as worried as it does excited, and I think the former is beginning to eclipse the latter.

As of today I’ve finally submitted all my internship applications. Naturally, that doesn’t mean I’m at all done. I want to send applications to at least three more locations to improve my chances – including NPR, Slate.com, and the Library of Congress. Most of this feels so automatic now, likely a result of too much stress, not enough sleep, and being jaded with Real Life in general. We live in rough times, you know? It can get hard to stay motivated when news outlets are obsessed with stories like “Is College Really Worth It?” and your friends (who are way smarter than you) are having no luck finding work after graduation.

I take comfort in the words of someone far wiser than myself. He told me to just take it one step at a time, and that you’ll worry about the rest of it all as it comes. I’m trying to take that advice to heart, or at least trying not to forget it as I often do when the goal of this summer has been all about trying to get things done. Sometimes it’s like I’m barely making a dent.

Duct Tape Dress Form

Look at this classy lady

I’ve applied to so many internships,  baked amazing cinnamon rolls, made a dress form (out of duct tape, newspapers, a t-shirt, and a shower curtain rod), actually made a little bit of progress toward getting better at Russian (but not nearly enough), and made way too many clothes out of old jeans, t-shirts, and bits of fabric while marathoning entire seasons of TV shows I put off during the school year*. My bizarre, domestic hobbies have been keeping me sane, I think.

Still, these past few weeks have left me stressed and sleep-deprived. I go to bed stressing about the things I haven’t finished, or the things I could have done better. This isn’t something new; I’ve always had trouble falling asleep (it takes me at least half an hour – if not more – each night) and the Academic Orientation Program has me getting up at 6:45AM four days a week, cutting out my “catchup” sleep time. I’ve decided to finally see someone about that, and am paying a visit to the doctor on Monday to look at my options.

I’m beginning to resent sleep both because of my troubled relationship with it and its necessity in order for me to be functioning human being. I resent sleep because it keeps me from getting things done, like exercising or starting on too-ambitious sewing projects or translating Russian paragraphs.

You hypothetical people reading this must be convinced that I am having the most miserable of times out here, but that’s just not true. Staying in East Lansing has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent memory with regard to my happiness and general well-being. It’s had its hard times, but they’ve been more than offset by the friends, the peacefulness of my house, and the freedom I’ve felt.

I don’t think I’d do any of it differently.

 

*for those of you curious, so far this summer I’ve watched: season 5 of Dexter, season 6 of Supernatural, seasons 1 & 2 of Stargate:Universe, and am currently working on seasons 1-4 of X-Men:Evolution. It’s not as big a waste of time as it sounds- I can’t simply sit and watch a show, I have to be either sewing or cooking or working on applications while it’s playing in the background.

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