I checked my watch for the tenth time.
And so my eyes roamed the empty campus patio for a familiar face, a sign of life. A mosquito bit me then; I guess I asked for it.
There was breezy air surrounding me, billowing through the large oak trees.There were cars zooming past me. I wondered if all of them had destinations.
Occasionally a stranger would walk by me, avoiding eye contact. Sometimes they smiled at me, other times they looked down at their phone screens. It seemed to me that they mastered the art of walking blind.
I slid my headphones on and laid on a bench, and I sighed heavy. Not because I was confused or perplexed, but because I was satisfied. Because, regardless of my pesky back problem, I slept on the floor last night, and without my retainer on. Because I cried for the first time in a long while last night, and it actually felt good. Because yesterday night, I laughed so hard I clenched my tummy and then fell into a laundry basket. Yesterday night I was encircled by the people I love.
Yesterday night I was alive, and I’d do anything for it to be yesterday night again.
There is life outside of our comfort zones and routines. There is joy in not having pumpkin flax seeds and coffee for breakfast every single day. Sometimes you can have sugary cereals, other times you can skip breakfast altogether.
There is life in not sitting with the same people at lunch over and over again; sometimes you should sit next to the weird girl and politely inform her when she has lettuce in her braces. Instead of sitting with those four people you have nothing in common with, find a group of perky freshman. Offer them fruits of wisdom, and watch them blossom. There is so much more to you than you think: if someone has changed your life, you too can change another’s. Latch on to the pendulum and swing it in your favor. Once you’ve taken a few joyrides, roll your head back and close your eyes and think “Damn, I’d do that over again forever.”
There is life in complimenting a stranger’s skirt at H&M, offering half of your Kit Kat to your tablemate, and pretending to laugh at a joke that wasn’t funny...for feeling’s sake. You aren’t going to pass out if you say something nice or hold the door open for someone, and the world will not be over if they forget to mumble an incoherent “Thanks” in response. You did what you could, and you did the better thing. Whether or not they acknowledge it is their own account. Maybe their pet dolphin’s aunt’s sister’s son’s cat’s grandmother’s toothbrush was thrown away that day. Maybe they lost a pen pal. Maybe their lover forgot to text back. Maybe they’re just a big fat meanie head. Either way, buy yourself a lollipop because...you're not so bad after all.
I’m not sitting on the bench anymore. I’m sitting up, typing, and occasionally glancing around for a kidnapper or person to smile at.
And still, a little bit of me is praying that tonight will be a lot like yesterday night.