I’m utterly terrible with free time. The minute I get any significant amount of it, I waste it away doing completely inane tasks that usually involve a screen of some sort. Tell me my free time is running out, however, and suddenly I find myself in a coffee shop, sipping an overpriced, over-sweet espresso drink and working on the novel I was fairly certain I had abandoned back when I started filling out applications for postbac programs.

With one week left before the start of classes and the end of life as I know it, I have become the cliche that I was never quite able to adhere to when it would have been most fitting. And I kind of don’t want to give it up.

Make no mistake, I have no second thoughts about medical school or the postbac program. It’s just that I did pretty well last semester, and right now all of my prospects seem golden. I’m a little terrified of this next round. No matter how many exams I pass, I’m always convinced it was a fluke and ever uncertain that I can pull it off again. Right now I can pretend to be an amazing writing, healing, science ass-kicking machine who might apply to Harvard Med just because no one has laughed at the idea so far. In a week, though, I will be the insecure, struggling postbac student who is intimidated by her weekly grocery shopping trip. Nobody likes a humbling experience, even when you can spot it coming.

Writing is my defense mechanism. It’s like how some people only clean their house when they get stressed out. If I’m under pressure to write, I struggle. If I have nothing to do, I struggle. The minute something more important looms, I become an unstoppable wordsmith. If I could find a way to harness this energy, I’m fairly certain I could take over the world.

What I ought be doing is getting myself ready for the new semester. I’m not really sure how to go about that, precisely, but I have a few ideas. I should probably buy some more notebooks and stop sleeping late every day. I really should organize the paperwork that has taken over every inch of desk space. I also had noble plans to practice a few recipes so I don’t have to live entirely off of frozen and canned meals next semester.

Or I can figure out the next scene of action and adventure in a story that will probably never be read by another living soul.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

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