Tomorrow and Tomorrow and…

July 3, 2008

Published in the October 1, 2007 Edition of QSaltLake: Utah’s Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Magazine.

A friend of mine likes to say that tomorrow doesn’t exist. I argue that tomorrow does exist, because I’m going to go to bed tonight and when I wake up, it will be tomorrow. Of course, then it’s today, but do you really need to consider the reality of a situation when you make a point? Of course you don’t. George W. Bush taught me that.

I’m currently a senior in college, which is unfortunate, because most days I’m sick of being in college. Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn. But the act of learning when you’re surrounded by a bunch of overachievers is enough to make you want to chuck a textbook at one of their talking heads every so often. There are days when I think we’re going to get out of our three-hour lectures early, but then (the same) people start making words come out of their mouths, and those words form into long-winded stories. SHUT UP! I don’t care about your aunt’s friend’s cousin’s health problem! I just want to go home early so I can catch the last half of The View.

And then there are the exams. Like I said, I love to learn, but I resent the fact that they keep teaching me things and then want me to prove I was paying attention. Where’s the trust?! 

When I daydream about graduation so many thoughts start with, “Less than a year from now…” I realize there are incredible perks to being a student –like June, July and August –but if being a student was the ideal, people would stop graduating and getting jobs altogether. 

As I write this, I’m finding it hard to exist in “today.” Because if it’s really today, I have to wake up and do my clinical in four hours. If you’re good with numbers, you may have noticed that this isn’t enough time to get eight hours of sleep. I need those eight hours for the act of getting out of bed to seem more like meeting a bright new day and less like cruel and unusual punishment. 

I also had a troubling thought the other day. When all the exams and lectures come to an end, so will my association with some of my best friends. Not that I won’t ever associate with them again, but the association will never be quite the same. That’s most often the case when your life situation changes. 

The friends I’ve made in the nursing program have become some of the most important people in my life, and a lot about our relationship is special to me. Of course, there were the times we supported and encouraged one another when things got hard, but more than that, we’ve laughed together. We’ve belly-laughed, we’ve giggled, we’ve laughed until we’ve cried and of course, the best laughter is laughter at totally inappropriate times –like a lecture on breast feeding or that time our instructor asked us to define an “erection.” 

Maybe all this complaining about school is making it sound like things are dragging. They’re not. A lot of the time, I feel like I can barely keep up. It’s this quick passage of time that brings me back into the moment more than anything else. It’s the realization that several life paths have converged and people are sharing many things during this part of the journey; but much sooner than I realize, these paths will diverge and all that will be left are memories. It’s gut-wrenching how a person –several people in this case –who was so vital to you successfully overcoming so many obstacles will no longer be there in the same capacity. Sure, there are new people and relationships to be had in the future, but nobody fits in your life the same way someone else did. 

So, while the exams and the lecture make me long for May of 2008, my friends make me happy in my today. And that’s important because, all attempts at making a point aside, all you have is today; tomorrow doesn’t exist.

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