My Time

I’m still confused. School’s gone as I supposed it should: small tasks, big tasks, tests and worksheets and projects with crescendos and climaxes, clutter and files and writing and records. Only all of a sudden the leftovers for me seem missing.

I don’t feel any of me in this work. I had to do all of it, but none of it really strikes my chord. I’m just copying down what’s on my planner and going for it. As much as I’d like to enjoy all of the work, I’m lost already.

Take this Coin War event. 9th grade Geography Regulars class has us divided into groups and I’m the group leader (“sergeant”, what a FUBAR spelling word, in Mr. Bryant’s lingo). Is all this talk of helping poor orphans in the third world who wear plastic bottles to protect their feet inspiring to me? Of course, but I’m still detached. Maybe it’s all for the best since without some sort of force the inspiration would be just that, inspiration, but I don’t think it’s the right sort of task for me to be doing. Not my style or format? I don’t know, I wish there were a way to capture this lostness on paper.

People don’t work with me. I urgently want things to work out, to get everything right—everything the way I want it. It doesn’t have to be my rules but it has to live up to them. The gears have to go together smoothly, but they’re not, and every day is another deadline.

And outside— well, SUMS puzzle hunt is right now and yet almost feels like another responsibility. Clearly I take competition of every type too seriously. What is there to fix? I’m still as eager to tackle the puzzles but something still confuses me in the background, and I don’t know where my own time has gone.

Not all of this work is unmotivating to me— if it were I’d long be driven crazy. To combine the work and play, or find one’s vocation, apparently, is the best state of affairs. Do I have a choice now?

And then, somehow, if there’s nothing on my to-do list I feel panicky too, like I’m tossing time down the drain and I’ll regret all of this when I’m thirty years old. I probably will. Seems like the normal state of affairs, but that could be just TV.

Of course there are the big things— olympiad season, again, some big indeterminate math fair that’ll probably come up too soon for me… but I can’t bring myself to focus on them. I don’t know why, all of a sudden micromanagement of my time is all I can fit in my head.

I wish this post were more coherent. I wish I were more coherent. But I suspect if I tried to be more coherent I’d dry up trying to write here and that defeats the purpose.


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