In My Dream World

by Natalie

Normally I take my time to plan out and write my blog posts. I first write them down on paper, longhand, because I feel like I can better collect my thoughts when my hand is holding the pen. I like the flow, as if the words are coming down my arm from my brain, ink stains on paper the evidence of my thoughts. The same argument could be made for typing I am sure, but to me it is not the same. The pen feels like an extension of my hand, while the keyboard feels foreign, requiring taps instead of a gentle caress. The paper is very important as well; I like the feel of its smooth surface beneath my hand, the way an entire page can suddenly come to life with my words. It doesn’t look quite the same filling an endless blank space on my computer screen, the font impersonal, the permanence seemingly less so, even though what we put on the Internet is doomed to last forever, and my words on paper are mine alone.

But tonight I am going right to the screen. I do not have enough time for my normal process. I cannot sit here spending hours writing down the ideas that form in my head, my brain two sentences ahead of my pen. Tonight I do not have the time for such a luxury, because tonight I am supposed to be packing for China. In my dream world, I was packed hours ago. In reality, I haven’t even started, it’s 6:33 pm, and I am soon going downstairs to make farfalle carbonara and watch a movie with my family. I want to pretend things are normal, and ignore the fact that in 36 hours I am getting on a plane, leaving all that I know and love behind for one year.

I am excited, but I am at the part of the process where the emotions come on strong. I haven’t yet cried, but as I went shopping with my mother today, the last time for a year, tears started to well up in my eyes, and I couldn’t look at her. It was ironic that this moment almost brought me to tears, because my mother and I don’t even like shopping. Which is actually why we ended up at the mall the Saturday before I am supposed to fly out of the country – I don’t have any clothes. This is mostly because I like to pretend I have outgrown them, then give them to my friend Courtney, who looks fabulous in everything, but particularly this pair of white pants that she doesn’t wear all that often. Her boyfriend Eric would do well to make a request that he see her in them.

I digress (this happens a lot – see the title of the blog). So I’m at the mall, trying not to cry, which would just be a total disgrace, because a) I don’t remember the last time I cried in public, and b) I was in yoga pants, a tank top that probably has holes in it, and an oversize sweatshirt with my hair up in the bandana (it’s making a comeback) so I would just be that girl. Not the refined shed-a-little-tear-but-doesn’t-she-look-lovely type, no, the wow, she must really be having a bad day type. The, there she is bawling and she couldn’t even put herself together for the occasion, type. I did not need to impose this sight upon the other patrons of the Bridgewater Commons. I am always looking out for the best interest of the public.

Thankfully the desire to cry evaporated as soon as I left the mall, and I was able to regain my composure enough to make it home and get upstairs. I am now sitting in my room, looking at piles of things that are not supposed to be going into my suitcase, and wondering how this happened, as I cleaned everything up yesterday. I am trying not to panic at the fact that I have about five things I would like to do tomorrow (none which involve packing) and I really don’t have time to get it all done, unless I stay up all night, at which point I will get sick and have a miserable flight. This is what it’s like inside my brain right now. So I am going to put on some music (thank you Grooveshark) straighten up these piles, and approach things from a calm and rational perspective.

Did I mention before that I have a dream world?