Lately I've been living in a suspended state of unintelligence, where I only think about things that involve laying out, large bodies of water, my friends or family, (or, in a perfect world, both) and alcohol. This has to do largely in part because I've been vacationing for almost a solid month, and also in part because I think it's healthy to mentally check out for four to six weeks at a time. Just kidding. That can't possibly be healthy. But neither is the amount of burritos I eat, and nobody complains about that. Alas, play time is over and my Uncle is disappointed, so it is back to the world of the mind that I return to. Also, my recent proclivity towards thinking real thoughts again has been spurred on by boredom--I'm currently sitting shotgun in a Ford Focus, driving through the middle of nowhere towards the South. No need to sound the Amber Alert alarm, I came willingly and in no way unbalanced by Stockholm Syndrome, unless we consider the car, and not the driver, the captor. But that's a story for a different day. Anyway, I'm headed back to Tulane and my supposed real life and so I can no longer live in my preferred state, denial. It's happening.

You might wonder why I would deny that I will soon be back at my beloved Tulane when I have such a wonderful and shiny life waiting for me there. You ungrateful little git! you might think. Oh please, I would say. Like I haven't heard that before. Just kidding. I don't hear that very often because I make it a practice to be grateful. I do. I try and avoid being a raging hypocrite as much as possible, and since I regularly claim that America's biggest cultural flaw* is the lack of gratitude we have as a society, I feel obligated to live in thanks. I should add that I really am grateful for my wonderful and shiny life that I have but probably don't deserve, I've even blogged about it before. I mean if I were forced to throw down some concrete figures, I’d say it's probably about 10% fear of hypocrisy, and 90% real gratitude.

Anyway. I'm living in denial for a variety of reasons, which include but are not limited to knowing that when I get there my parents won't be there and so I will have to find a way to remember to feed myself and figure out how to clean a refrigerator. But the real biggest issue I have with going back is that it will constitute the beginning of the end of my time in New Orleans, and at the end of this particular beginning is a large, dark blank space of nothing wonderful or shiny because I don't know what I want to do with my life.

I feel like a part of this denial is being fed and exacerbated by the fact that every time I tell someone I'm a senior, they ask what I'm doing next year, and somehow I also feel like they're asking me, WHO WILL YOU BE? And then I feel like yelling things like What I do for a living doesn't define who I am! But then I have to shiver through a wave of self disgust because honestly, it's all a little too young-twenty-something-finding-herself to handle. Also it rings faintly of a fight-the-man-and-capitalism-because-I'm-a-free-spirit attitude and that will just not fly as far as my own personal standards go. I love capitalism. And yes, I will remember that when I'm still serving coffee five years after I have a college degree.

The moral of the story is that I should get over myself and enjoy the journey and have faith in my ability to somehow create a meaningful life sometime in the near-ish future on what will probably be very little income. Also I should savor every moment, even when my moments are currently being spent looking at the brown lumpy mounds that appear to be all that Eastern Idaho consists of.  And if all else fails, at least I will have fresh fodder for my therapist.

xoxo, Lauren

*I may have spoken (written?) a little hastily there--I’m still debating what America’s largest cultural flaw is. I actually never have claimed that, although I've thought about it. I’m having a hard time deciding what technically can be considered a cultural flaw. It’s a dicey subject matter. I may or may not discuss it in a later post. Just kidding, I won’t, I hate talking politics. Makes it tough to be a political science major, but hey. We all have our crosses to bear.