I have been in a five-day slump. 21st birthdays have a terrible comedown. Oh, don't take it that way--no, I haven't been hungover for five days straight, because hey! You can't get a hangover if you stay drunk! Just kidding, that's not true at all. Well, it's true, in theory, but I have not yet adopted it as my personal philosophy. In fact, I woke up Monday morning fresh-faced and ready for the day. Because that's what champions do. And I am a champion.

No, mostly I'm in a funk that's akin to the one most people settle into after New Year's, or Christmas. Some people also characterize that feeling as a relief. Tomato, tomatoe. But after all the excitement of Easter and the 7 lb. ham, and then my birthday and my patron Mr. Bill...well, what's a girl to do? I'll tell you what this girl does--she lets a pile of birthday cards, confetti, party favors, a pink and black feathered 21 tiara and a wineglass that says It's 5 o' clock Somewhere! take up permanent residence on the majority of her desk. More birthday presents and wrapping paper have moved onto cozy chair, forming a festive tangle of celebration and sadness. Laundry has been left to pile up, dishes are not done, and books are read at only a third of the normal speed. Work-outs are detested more than usual. Progress on a variety of essays has slowed to a crawl...instead of being productive, I choose to sit in the library and stare sullenly at the wall, eating candy and writing a sentence an hour.

Sidenote: the majority of the gifts I received were centered around candy. What does this say about me? Did I turn 6 or 21? I don't care. I will never stop eating peach rings, gummy sharks, and Reese's Pieces. Because those three things (and beer, thanks Ben Franklin) are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

But really, what's a girl do to? I can tell that I need to get my act together, even though I am shrouded in a post-birthday fog. Letting relics of fun gone by languish in my room while I mope around, wishing I could turn 21 everyday, is no way to live. Or at least I'm pretty sure it isn't. I have not yet found any conclusive evidence on what an appropriate way to conduct oneself is, so the subject is open for interpretation. However, I need a quick-fix solution, and I need it yesterday. Reason one: my parents are coming. I can't let them think I have completely lost all ability to function normally. I've been doing so well! Reason two: finals are coming. You have to start strong going into this hell week, because soon enough your brain will be crying. Reason three: I have to move out, fly home, then go to Italy. I know it sounds really rough, and that's because it is.

So here's my game plan: Clean house. Literally and figuratively. I actually need to whip the funhouse into shape, because one, it's a mess, and two, I tend to feel far worse slacking off in an environment that looks like my sister could be the main resident in. I also need to get my head back in the game--it will involve a lengthy pep talk that will at one point have me begging for mercy from myself. I am ruthless, but effective. Then I will have to take my enormous candy box* and apportion it into many different ziplock bags, so I only take one bag at a time and stop consuming unholy amounts of refined sugar. Finally, I will go the library and sit in an all wood stall, under terrible florescent lighting, and summon every shred of will power I have to finish my three final essays. Why is it necessary to to lock myself in a wooden stall with terrible lighting? Because I am a magnificent procrastinator. It's a gift...just kidding, it's a curse.

I feel certain that after this whirlwind of self-improvement I'll be back to my normal, bucolic self. If I'm not, I'll have to resort to more extreme measures. I'm not sure what those are yet, although the thought makes me involuntarily shudder. I will be making this work.

xoxo, Lauren

*Shout out to my dear friend Lindsay, who knows me so well that she buried the aforementioned wine glass in a clear box of candy, then told me she thought I couldn't eat it all in one day. Challenge accepted.