Lists About Procrastination

Sometimes I can be really good at procrastinating.

 

Like, very, very good at it.

 

And then I’ll feel bad about it, but I’ll keep on procrastinating.

 

It’s only natural for a high school student like me, right?

 

I’ve learned are plenty of ways to convince myself that I’m not procrastinating. I’m just doing “other stuff.” Stuff like:

Reading fan fiction

Reading the news

Reading blogs

Reading shampoo bottles

Watching YouTube

Watching a movie

Watching a spider crawl across the ceiling

Writing stories

Writing poems

Writing a novel

Writing something for this blog

Writing about how much I hate high school

Sleeping

Pretending to sleep

Eating

Hanging out with my friends

Playing with my sister

Thinking about life

Thinking about how I should stop procrastinating

Dreaming

 

I’ve also amassed quite a collection of excuses for procrastinating.

 

Usually I’ll say something like:

I have a headache.

I’m tired.

I’m eating.

I’m sleeping.

I’m talking with Anna about something really important.

I need to watch Tyler Oakley’s new video.

This isn’t due for another two days. I can do it tomorrow.

I can finish it tonight.

There’s plenty of time left.

I’m trying to kill the spider on my ceiling.

I have to go to Beth’s house. It’s important.

I finished all my homework yesterday (not at all).

I don’t have any homework today.

I have to fix my car.

I first have to go buy a car.

Just kidding, I need to go get my license.

I need to fix my hair

I need to fix my face.

I need to get a life.

 

It’s pretty bad.

 

And amidst all this procrastination, what I should really be doing is:

Finishing my homework

Studying for that calculus final coming up on Tuesday

Getting ahead on the history project

Writing my English essay

Reading Shakespeare

Taking out the trash

Doing the laundry

Cleaning my room

Preparing for my internship interview

Looking for a job

Studying for SATs

Learning Spanish

Learning physics

Learning how to get into college

Learning how to not procrastinate

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Walled In

walled in_2

Note: I don’t own any pictures.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It was me against them, and they had won. I had been captured, tied up, and locked in a tiny metal box that lacked even a single hole for air. And so there I existed—not sitting, nor laying down—just existing, just being there, waiting for the day when I would be set free. Surely soon, they would have decided they had kept me locked up for long enough; perhaps they would get bored and let me go.

But they didn’t. Instead, the walls began to close on me even further, and they demanded more and more and more from me. There were all those voices shouting for me to do better, to be better. And they not only expected me to achieve their standards, but to surpass them by a grand margin as well. I was suffocating.

The pressure grew—the pressure in my mind, on my heart, in my thoughts—it just kept growing and expanding until I wanted to scream. But there was no air for screaming. I had no choice but to give into their demands. But I also think that a part of me wanted to give in to their demands, to prove to them that I was not weak, that I could do anything and everything they required of me.

Nevertheless, it was too late; I was almost completely crushed by the walls; how would I ever be able to fix myself again? And I was scared: scared to try and break free of the chains that had bound me for so long, scared that I would anger them with my resistance, scared of the possibility that I might fail, and end up in a situation even more dire than the this. So I continued to exist there, quiet, obedient, and feeling completely and utterly helpless.

Until the day someone poked the hole into my tiny metal box.

The wisp of air that swept in was great enough to revive my entire heart. I thought, Perhaps there really is a way out.

I wanted more of that air. I wanted it to fill my chest and mind and being, and to take me far up high, and far, far away. I wanted to be free, free like I used to be, before they caught me and tied me up. And so I began fighting.

First I tried piecing myself back together, taking all the crushed parts and fixing them anew. That was the hardest part. There was always the voice, always the lingering thought, What if I fail? Some days it grew to be so much that I almost let myself crumble again. But the air that trickled in from that tiny little hole kept me going. And finally, finally, I made myself whole again.

The next task was to escape from the chains, break free from the box. Before I had no air, but now I could breathe, and I used each breath to build myself stronger, all the while watching that little air hole. What did it matter if I no longer tried to please them? What did it matter if they caught me? I would just try again. And my thoughts of failure all but dissipated. I could do this.

When I first got out, though, my worst fears were confirmed. They were so angry—they were angry, and mocking, and disdainful, and condescending. Who did I think I was, trying to defy them? I ran anyways, and they came chasing after me. But I ran harder this time, pushed farther, because I could do this. They didn’t matter. It was all me. It always had been. I had just been too scared to know.

I let the air seep in through my heart and soul, let it sink deep into the depths of everything that was me. It lifted me higher and higher, and soon, I was free at last.

And I swore that I’d never let myself be walled in by them again