My mother told me today that often they find caged birds, when freed, will not fly. How sad. Let us not, like caged birds, lose our will to act.
I’m currently sitting at a table for six at the public library. A woman around my age sits across the table on the opposite side of me. She’s studying nursing – writing, flipping pages, and writing again. We’re as far apart as we can be. I thought that was appropriate since I came to sit at her table. I came here with my laptop, headphones, and research to begin working on my paper. Only, I’m not entirely thrilled at the prospect of writing this. Still. After all this time. And why?
I thought I’d come here to surround myself with other people who are working, researching, studying. I came with the hope that their attitudes and mindsets might rub off on me. It’s helpful to be surrounded with like-minded people. Reminds me of my first experience working out at the YMCA in Grand Rapids. I went during my first internship. Business people poured in and poured out of the gym, eager to get their 20 to 40 minutes of cardio and strength training crossed off their daily lists. It wasn’t the typical scene of fully made-up girls in skimpy clothing or guys trying to impress those girls like I was used to at the university rec center (thank goodness!). I came back from the experience eager to tell my boyfriend at the time how nice it was to be surrounded by these people and how much easier it was to get myself to the Y to work out rather than the rec. His response was so matter of fact: “They’re like you. You’re surrounded by people with the same schedules.” Hm. True. So I brought myself to the library to be inspired by those like me with papers to write. Only I still don’t want to be here.
I can’t explain it, but I think there is a fear that keeps me from diving into this. But fear of what? Success? Failure? Closing the chapter on my undergraduate career? The future? I’m not sure. But it causes some sort of anxiety within me. Tightens my chest. It’s a 25-page paper. Nothing more. At this point, a grade doesn’t even matter so long as I pass. So what holds me in this cage when the door is open beckoning me to leave?
Let us not, like caged birds, lose our will to act.