Around the Clock

Sometimes this happens to me: I get into bed (when all of the seven year olds of the world get into bed), and my twenty-three year old brain decides that it has a whole lot to talk about. After a whole day of doing a pretty poor job of keeping me company.

I generally give the good old fake sleep a five-minute fighting chance. I focus on breathing slowly, evenly, noiselessly. I will my mind to power down. Or think happier thoughts, at the very least. Is that really such a tall order?


It’s no use. Even visions of a C’est La Brie sandwich aren’t going to cut it. I can’t pretend I’m not at home — my brain has already gotten that message loud and clear. Gang’s all here! And let’s see. Nope — none of this can wait until morning.

So, what’s our number one most pressing panic attack?


Well, where we’re going to go. Where we’d like to live. And how much it’s going to cost. Hang on, back up two seconds — did you honestly just say England? I’m going to pretend that I didn’t hear that.

Moving on to once we’ve landed wherever we’re going to land. What kind of job are we going to look for? Um, did you just suggest that I should already be looking? La la la can’t hear you.

Which should come first though, honestly: job or location? That might be the real question. Although — hey — do you think we might actually be able to support ourselves this time? That’s a big question too, in the grand scheme of things. And do you think we’ll be able to buy/beg/barter for some furniture? That’d be nice.

And also, let’s not forget about how lonely we’ve been. How do we plan on making friends, exactly? In this new place, where we don’t know anyone? In this new place, which might well be very, very far from home? In this new place, which we hope will increase our odds of being happy, but might end up informing us that we were totally, wildly off-base — yet again? 

The future planning — or worrying, let’s go with worrying — part of my brain is an overachiever. Always has been. Cannot restrict her to 9 to 5. She gets stuck in loops and likes to go around the clock. Around and around and around.


“For almost 18 years you’re taught to sit down, shut up, and raise your hand. Then you have to decide what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.” -Lavon Curtis

“Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.” -Eric Thomas

“Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.” -Albert Camus

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” -Jane Smiley

“If you look hard enough, chaos turns into order the way letters turn into words.” -Patricia McCormick

“I taste the good and bad in you and want them both.” -Anita Ofokansi


“How many words have you spoken in your life? How many did you mean? How many did you understand?” -Arkaye Kierulf

“Look, I haven’t learned how to forget you yet. There is a mark on my bottom lip that is the exact shape of your primary incisor. When I undress your fingerprints are on me like a crime scene. They say ‘I was here. I belonged on these hips.’ And I think ‘God, yes, yes he was and yes he did.’” -Azra.T

“Sometimes love and loss hold hands together.” -Michael Faudet

“I fear those big words which make us so unhappy.” -James Joyce

“She stuck a bookmark in my heart and walked away.” -Saul Williams

“I cried in English, I cried in French, I cried in all the languages, because tears are the same all around the world.” -Miranda July

“You are a hurricane of 
a girl; remember
 to breathe every once and a while — do not drown 
within your own storm.” -Emma Bleker

“I’ve written this poem before but always through a window, never through an open door.” -Andrea Gibson

“Write her a letter, send her a flower, love only gets old if you let it.” -William Chapman


“Maybe you think you’ll be entitled to more happiness later by forgoing all of it now, but it doesn’t work that way. Happiness takes as much practice as unhappiness does. It’s by living that you live more. By waiting you wait more. Every waiting day makes your life a little less. Every lonely day makes you a little smaller. Every day you put off your life makes you less capable of living it.” -Ann Brashares

“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.” -Voltaire

“Please know there are much better things in life than being lonely or liked or bitter or mean or self-conscious. There are the most fantastic, beautiful things and people out there, I promise. It is up to you to find them.” -Chuck Palahniuk


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