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Monday, March 5, 2012

Public

Working a practically full-time job based out of my laptop has quickly taught me that I’m much less of an introvert than I’d originally thought. While I’d still choose a bag of popcorn and old episodes of The Office over a college lawn party nine times out of ten, there’s something oddly draining about spending the vast majority of your day secluded in the same room. It feels almost pointless to wear makeup or attractive clothes when you’re only in class for four hours, and it becomes less and less comforting to lie in your bed at the end of the day when you’ve been there since two. Emily Dickinson-ing can take its toll on a person. So, because I’ve dedicated 2012 to mimicking adulthood and trying to get a sense of how I plan to live once I’m done with school next winter, I’m pushing myself to move out of my comfort zone, and tonight I’m coming to you live from a corner table at a coffee shop.

It’s a little bit distracting—one of my teachers is across the room, two nearby girls are noisily playing Scrabble, and the soundtrack keeps fading from The Rolling Stones to Teagan and Sara to something drum-based and vaguely African—but this tea is comforting and it feels nice to bring you, Blog, out on a field trip. There’s something charming about typing away in my little world, knowing that twenty other Little Worlds are happening around me. That bearded guy in the armchair is probably writing a screenplay. Those two blondes are maybe on a second date. The laptoppy blue haze on one girl’s face just screams Tumblr. These people all value being alone just as much as I do, but they’re choosing to be alone together. I could get used to this.

So what is there to say tonight? I had a really pleasant weekend. One of my best friends, Heather (she was my roommate last year, but transferred to a school near my parents’ house, for those playing along at home) came and stayed over for Friday and Saturday. With some other friends, we spent the former night ingesting things and watching movies and being ridiculous (my memories are admittedly scattered—at one point, I debated with a friend why he should let me draw on his face with marker), and the latter night at an annual dance held by our school’s LGBT group, the theme for which was “Super Queeros.” My Sailor Venus costume was unparalleled. Sunday was lazy and included a few hours of walking aimlessly uptown with Heather, talking about every stupid thing that wandered into our minds. It upsets me on a weekly basis that we no longer live within an arm’s-length of each other, but distance does, at least, make the heart grow fonder of walking together in the cold.

In other news, I continue to make progress with The Book project, and I’ve also returned to an old, previously abandoned novel. Before starting this post, I reread what I’d worked on this time last year, and those fifty stupid pages that I’d wanted to vomit all over at one time? They were surprisingly… not horrible. I’ll probably change my mind about it ten thousand more times before I ever finish the story, but for tonight, I’m going to allow myself to feel good. I can write sometimes! Who knew?

On that note, I’ve gotta get out of here to free up room for other Poets and Bards who actually plan on buying more than one cup of tea. But hey, maybe I’ll be back tomorrow! My goal for this week is to get out of my apartment more often and to judge myself less harshly when it comes to first drafts and valiant efforts. What’s yours?


P.S. New Answerly video today! This one is about not being a drunkard. Features photos of me being a drunkard.

38 comments:

Stefan said...

nice to hear things are going well!

Bridget said...

This blog post was a nice read - sounds so peaceful to sit in a little cafe along with strangers. Think I'll have to try that over Spring Break since my sister will be out of town!

GillianisAslan said...

*Tegan and Sara.

Wow. It's so weird to think that you'll be out of college so soon. We're parallel in school (your advice to freshmen came to me as I started freshman year in high school -- thanks), so it's weird to think that I'm.....not going to be high school for very much longer. Which means that I've been stalking you online for like five years now. Wow. Where has the time gone?

kira902k said...

:) This post made me smile. I always appreciate it when I see people sitting alone at cafes, it looks lovely. I should try it sometime.
Your sailor venus costume is badass.

you make me smile=]

Rida said...

'These people all value being alone just as much as I do, but they’re choosing to be alone together.' - What a thought!
And yayy for the field trip! I feel better already.

anna said...

"It feels almost pointless to wear makeup or attractive clothes when you’re only in class for four hours."

You've been reading my mind again, Hayley. I too have been pondering conundrums like those. And I'm glad to see you blogging more again. It usually makes my night.

Alexis said...

I love hanging out with you in a coffee shop! Imma go get some tea.

Nicci Weasley said...

I've kinda been feeling the same thing lately. I spend most of my time at home, writing, which does make me a bit more insane after a while, even though I am definitely an introvert.
I went to a coffee shop with my computer the other day, which was refreshing. Though, I quickly started feeling guilty about sitting there and taking up space... (I always feel guilty and feel "in the way")
So yeah I just kept buying more coffee and then a bit of food, and it ended up being a bit expensive... :-/
Thanks for the update! Love it! :-D

toastburntbread said...

I hear you, I spend a lot of my time alone with my math text books and it gets rather lonely. I tried a study group the other day, it was fun, but not much work got done. I like your idea of being in a busy place yet still being able to work alone rather than in a study group. Go Hayley!

Sam said...

Hayley, this post was just so beautifully written, I don't even have words to describe it right now. My brain is all wrapped up in my Modern History assignment and is not at all interested in contributing useful language to anything bar that. You really transported me to that coffee shop with you, and the sentences about being alone together/everyone's own little worlds were really... profound to me, I suppose, though that word doesn't really cover what I'm trying to say. It's almost John Green-esque.

Have a nice day, and good luck with your self-challenge :)

Sidsel said...

I'm so with you on the whole 'get up a leave.' As a college student who only has three classes a week, not much actually happens in my life right now. All I do is read Jessica Darling books and watch the West Wing. I'm 22 and nothing happens! That's not right. I'm considering finding some volunteer work. I miss missing the comfort of my bed after a long day.

Kate said...

After reading this, I'm really going to make a point of Getting Out And Doing Stuff.

Until September (when I go to university - college, as you call it) I'm sort of in limbo on a gap year that for various reasons just did not work out as planned. So I have nothing to do but look in vain for work.

But the sitting and waiting stops now: I am going to focus completely on scheduling activities for my day. Sitting in a cafe with my laptop and writing. Making YouTube videos. Running. Going to rehearsals for the musical I'm in. Improving my piano skills.

Some people would kill right now to have as much free time as I do, so I'm going to be proactive with it. Thank you, Hayley. As usual, you've said what I needed to hear. <3

Christina said...

This is very true, but so easy to forget. I'm living in a single dorm room right now and it's too easy to stay confined to my little room. And the longer I stay in, the harder it is to motivate myself to go out. But whenever I do go out, say to the movies or a coffee shop just to read a book, I feel much better.

It's such a simple thing to do, but it always tends to slip through the cracks!

AmyK7 said...

Good plans. Unfortunately I've definitely become so much more of an Introvert over the past year or so, and it's just becoming unhealthy, so I really want to put more effort into actually leaving my bedroom sometimes to go places other than school. I can still be alone, just alone elsewhere! Thanks. <3 Oh, and I wanted to say that your "Pleasure" video has had such a good impact on me. When I'm running late for school and I'm stressed out and just want to go away, making a list of some of the little things that make me happy is a great way to get by.
Glad you had a good weekend. :)

Jen said...

I've definitely been Emily Dickinson-ing. I get really nervous going somewhere new by myself, so I haven't walked into the town around my campus yet. But it's sounds like most of the places within walking distance are pretty crappy, so I'm not sure I want to bother making the trip.

Monica said...

I know what you mean about not being as introverted as you would have thought. I work from home full time for an event planning company, and while I do get to travel a lot (flying at least once a month, sometimes twice) the days can be long if I just stay in the office all day. So I actually work from a coffeeshop for the first 2-3 hrs every morning. If nothing else it gets me out of bed on time and into some real clothes! :-)

Stacie said...

I had a somewhat similar experience today. First I ate breakfast in a restaurant by myself along with a bunch of old people eating by themselves. ;D Then I walked home from work and I swear everyone in town was also walking around. It's nice to feel like everyone is kind of doing the same thing.

As for goals this week, I'm going to continue walking home and then study for an exam I have coming up. x)

Afton said...

I enjoyed to outing!
Also, I just want to thank you for being a sort of an inspiration. Well, at least thank you for being the motivation to get me off my butt and running. Inspiration for my perspiration!

Oh, and thanks for just being awesome. I've been watching your YouTube videos for a very, very long time and honestly I feel like you are some sort of lovely older sister and OH MY GOSH I'm just going to stop typing now. This is disgustingly sentimental. Especially since I don't even know you.

Sewn Branches said...

the best part of being a barista is the people watching and deciding what drink you think someone will order when they walk in the front door. or leaving super secret messages on their coffee cups.

Margaret said...

You're just super duper lovely.

Molly said...

My goal for this NEXT week (since I'm late) is not to be a crankypants when the boss makes me stay late at work. =P

Courtney said...

Who knew you could write sometimes? Your loving blog readers, that's who!

cata said...

it's really comforting reading the stuff you put out to the world... I know i'm a little late to the hayley wagon, but I'm really happy and amazed that i found you -even though i don't know you in "the real world"-. you seem to be living the same stuff that i am, i'll be out of college too soon, and i'm also trying to pick up "adulthood"... and lately i've been feeling a little bit - nah, really a lot- weird about it. Particulary today i wasn't having the best of days, and your posts and videos really lifted me up and made me feel less alone. For sharing this things to the world, and for your sincerity and empathy i would like to thank you, haley. i'm heading now outside because i just realized - bescause of you- that i'm craving sunshine.

letsflyoutofthistown said...

I'm still waiting on your novel 'A Whole Long, Complicated Mess That Wouldn't Have Happened If Cell Phones Were More Resilient To Water.' I know they say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but can you judge it by its title? Because that sounds like it would a pretty awesome book.

Eliz said...

hayley, I know you probably get a CRAP ton of comments and won't come across this, but for some reason I was thinking today about how you once mentioned me in your blog, like, 2 years ago and how I was beside myself with glee when I found out. I couldn't find the original comment I made, but I was aware it had something to do with grammar. However, if I contained any sort of talent with a camera and video editing you can be sure I'd be flitting around in a pair of fairy wings, stunning people until they stopped leaving Facebook comments reading, "YOUR sOoO PRETTY!" Just want you to know I love everything you do and I've been watching you since I was 17 (almost 21 now, agh!). hope you enjoy the rest of your year :)

Elizabeth Hollon said...

^I don't know why that comment didn't link back to my blog. meh, whatever.

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