Open the cage. Does the bird take flight?

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.

Scattered Thoughts – They Don't Fit.

There is steam rolling off of the green tea in my Indiana mug. It’s luke warm by now but warmer still than the air outside. The tulips are in full bloom, soaking up the sun. It’s already 10:30am and I’m wondering where my morning went.

I have the last step of my undergraduate program taunting me, unfinished in my small pile of things to do. It’s mixed in with moving out of my aunt and uncle’s and moving back to Grand Rapids. Other than those few things, I’ve nothing more I need to do. I suppose moving to Grand Rapids isn’t even something that should be placed in that pile being as it’s a choice I’m making rather than an obligation I’m fulfilling. It’s a different feeling to have such a small number of things pressing down on me.

I go through bouts when I think I’m being foolish, taking off time for myself. I have no sense of entitlement. I know that I haven’t earned this. Sometimes I get caught up in thinking about the way others might perceive me. Childish. Immature. Spoiled. And maybe I am.

But if I need to be a little selfish to gather a sense of where I am going, I think that’s okay.

[Just now,  a little squirrel climbed across the branches above me and slightly to my left. He looked down at me but didn’t chatter. We sort of just looked at one another.

I went back to my computer and next thing you know, there are little, slimy pieces of leaf falling down on my laptop. I look up and he’s right above me, eating, and looking down to see what I’m up to. Funny little creature. I hope he enjoyed his lunch.]

“Don’t Wait Too Long” Madeleine Peyroux – Great voice.

I’m feeling scattered today. I’ve stopped and started several different word streams, written and erased. I want to discover beauty today (random? lofty? absurd?) but I know I need to get that paper done. I’m wasting away time away not doing either. It’s a predicament that I hate finding myself in – when my desires and needs don’t meet up and rather than choose one path or another, I sit. This is very contrary to my desire to live purposefully each day. I think I’ll go to the library and find 1) research for my paper and 2) a book that contains something beautiful. No, I know that I will do that.

I read once in a Oprah magazine that some people have a very difficult time transitioning from one thing to the next. They prolong what they’re doing in the moment not because they fear change but find it difficult to part with one thing to begin another. It can go from grand-scale to the simplest things such as turning the water off in the shower, leaving the house to get to work, or putting down a good book to meet up with a friend. The activities they’re holding themselves from aren’t un-enjoyable but they require a ceasing of one thing to partake in another – and some people struggle with that minute or few it takes to switch gears. Anyway, I think I have that. I need to find that article again. I read it while I was in Cabo San Lucas but it was one of those things you read and think “Oh my gosh! I couldn’t have articulated it in this way but I have, at times, felt this very way!”

Enough prolonging. Get me to the library!

P.S. I found today’s song by chance and posted it before I had even listened to the lyrics because I love her voice. But it’s appropriate, no?