Last night I had my first dream about my senior collection.
Oh. Did I say dream? I meant nightmare.
In my dream (which was set in a black and white silent film, by the way) it was the day of the jury show and I was showing my collection to the judges to be considered for placement in the final show. Everything was going fine until one of the judges dramatically pointed to my feet. When I looked down, the word “UNFINISHED” was written across all ten of my toes. And then, simultaneously all of the judges turned their backs to me and asked me to leave the room. End of dream.
That’s all I remember. I woke up in a panic. Looked at my toes, just to be sure. No letters. Just some chipped red nail polish. But it didn’t matter that it was just a dream. The damage to my morning had already been done.
I blame last Friday. Registration day. I don’t think I need to explain the terror which reigns down in my life every quarter when it’s time to register, but I do think it’s necessary to point out that this quarter’s registration felt in some ways much more weightless than usual. The normal bound-by-time drudgery of school’s eminent end is slowly fading away. Suddenly, instead of looking forward to three or even two years remaining of school and it’s ever growing comfort levels in my own mind, I was on Friday and am now today looking down the timeline at one single year left. It’s like I could feel the little control I have (or think I have) in my own life slowly running out of the palms of my hands, down my arms, running off my elbows, and disappearing into the ground.
AND I’M STARTING TO PANIC.
I have found myself acting out in the following ways:
1. I stole a brick from the front of Eckburg the other day. The path up to the fashion building is paved with a junkyard of loose red bricks that mark the tragic failure of countless fashionistas attempting to wear heels to class (don’t ask me why) and instead meeting the embarrassing pain of tripping and falling on their way into the building with everyone watching them. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to everyone. These bricks are the great equalizers. They are humility in a building full of egos. They are, simply put, justice.
So, as I was on my way home from a particularly frustrating day of work this weekend, wearing a pair of converse that could only say “Hi, I’m a junior and I’ve stopped trying to be sartorially impressive, ok?” I tripped for perhaps the 8th or 9th time this year. I didn’t swear or gasp or even blink. I calmly reached down, grabbed the brick who’s chipped corner was to blame, and tossed it in my purse as a warning to all of the other bricks. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
2. I’ve been spending a significant amount of my time staring lately. At walls. At tables. At floors. Out windows. You’ve got something that needs staring at for no specific reason, I’m your gal.
3. Going on long, rainy drives in my car with no real destination or goal. And I leave the radio off to make it extra sad, really just letting my thumbs dig deeper and deeper into the self pity.
The beauty of Savannah is that it is laid out in a grid, so besides the occasional stop sign, you can literally go down the same street in a straight line for nearly an hour. And you want to know what’s at the end of our street that I drove down for nearly an hour? A FREAKING FORK IN THE ROAD. Nope. Totally not kidding.
But, what sort of behavior is this, Julia? Productive? No. Helpful? No. Environmentally Irresponsible? Yes.
4. I ate a whole box chocolate covered pretzels over an embarrassingly short period of time. But that’s less unusual, so let’s move on.
The whole point of all of this mess is that I think I’m beginning to see the end in sight. And not just the end of college, but the end of my projected plan. For my entire life, although I had hopes and blurry images of what my life would be like, the clear and attainable picture of my known goals ended with college. For me, it was the last check mark on a list of things that could be planned and timed on a calendar of specific dates. Marriage, kids… those things would all come, but who knows when so there wasn’t any point in waiting on them.
But the Road of Next’s is coming to end. And I’m back at that fork in the road and letting it stop me dead in my tracks.