Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

This is the front of the T-shirt I got when I arrived at the Reynold's Writer's Workshop at Denison University in Granville, OH. I was dropped off this morning. For the next week, I will be immersed in one of the things I love most: writing.

I got my binder and my schedule and all the pens and stickers. I got the key to my room and I hugged goodbye and my mom closed the door and that was it. An empty dorm room with emerald and cantaloupe braided carpet; two wooden desks with cork boards and an overhead lamp; tape residue on the walls, textured from multiple repaintings; stripped navy blue mattresses atop rickety springs; white linens and a blanket; a 100% polyester ProTech Pillow, covered with breathable fabric covering.

I unpacked my suitcase and arranged my comfort food on the shelf above my desk: dried apricots, almonds and fat, unsweetened coconut flakes, two Clif bars (dark cherry almond and apricot), and two packages of Honey Nut Cheerios that I took from the hotel's continental breakfast this morning. I've learned that I need to have comfort food with me when I travel...otherwise I have a minor panic attack. Like this morning when I mildly freaked out because they didn't have the yogurt I liked...yeah, so I'm working on that with myself...

I made my bed and tried to tuck in the corners...sorry Grandma...

I arranged my favorite pillow and my childhood comforter Puff (although it has lost so many feathers by now it's more of a sheet than a comforter)...

Yes...I'm sixteen years old and still bring my Puff with me when I travel. I've given up on carrying my childhood stuffed animals Teddy and Mocha with me when I travel, although they sit propped against a pillow on my bed at home to greet me when I come back.

With everything finally settled, I jumped on the bed and listened to the sighs of the springs. I leaned my head against a former nail hole, now smoothed over with putty. I was alone. No one else from the camp had arrived yet and my mom and stepdad were on their way to the airport to fly home. It was one of those empowering moments, like when I drove by myself for the first time and I rolled the windows down and blared 102.5 on the radio. Or when I watched the sunrise over Mt. Washington. These past few months, I've gained so much independence. I'm doing the things I love and starting to figure out the person I want to be. 

So, what is it I plan to do with my one wild and precious life? I plan to make the most of it. I plan to use my life to better others. I plan to take life as it comes and let it run wild, while always keeping a watchful eye. As I write this week, nobody knows me. And that's exciting. Because I can write whatever I want without worrying about offending someone. I can be graphic. I can be specific. I can be honest. This week, I will let my writing run wild. 

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" 

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