It’s my last week in Vienna. Five full days, and then I fly home. And as I get ready to go, my old antagonist rears its head: hitting the “hold” button.
The temptation goes like this: I don’t have much time left. It’s going to be a big change. Why do work today, why make plans, why DO anything? Just wait till you’re home again. What’s the point of starting today?
This isn’t “taking a moment to enjoy my final days.” This is procrastination on steroids.
Before I caught on to what was happening, I could let this go on for months at a time. Before I went to Germany, I hardly knew what to do with myself. I could (rightly) justify part of it on the grounds that I didn’t know what to expect when I got to Germany. What would my room look like? What would the family be like? What would my daily routine be? All of this made it difficult to imagine how I might spend my time in Germany, but it had absolutely zero bearing on how I spent my time in Michigan before going to Germany.
The summer before I started University at Edinburgh was the worst: not only did I not know what my life would be like, but I experienced repeated low-level panic attacks that left me terrified and struggling to breath. And life, mentally, went on hold.
Eventually I cottoned on. I think it happened somewhere between my first and second years, once I got the hang of being in and out of one country or another. I started to realize that if my reason for hitting “pause” was simply “I’ll be leaving soon,” then I would never hit “play.” And that was a pretty dumb way to live.
That doesn’t mean it’s not a temptation, though. Mentally deferring my life away.
Not today, lazy inner voice. Not this week, not this month.
Today, I heaped a lot on my plate, because I’m a glutton for doing stuff with my life. Today, I got in a good day’s honest labor, had sushi for lunch, and said farewell-for-now to one of my new friends. Today, I drafted five blog posts, because I have a lot of thoughts on my mind and they all needed to get out. Today, I walked around the city, bought me some gelato, and had a drink, because I’m in Vienna and that’s what life is for. Today, I accomplished a shit ton, because YOLO, damn it, and I have work to do.
Today, I hit “play.”