Saving my life
Assistant Managing Editor
An earring saved my life the other day.
Well, maybe not my life, but at least my sanity. I was blow-drying my hair and I was, in my latest trend, running late for class.
As I bent over to dry the wettest part of my head, I looked down at all the hair and bits of dried leaves on the floor and made a mental note: No. 42 on my never-ending list, clean the germ-infested dump I call a bathroom.
Just then I looked over at my soap-scum sink at a potentially dangerous situation for my favorite earrings. One of my most precious silver hoops was facing an ultimate doom as it gradually slid toward the drain — permanently open because Mr. Fix-It hasn't come by yet to repair it.
"I can be late with wet hair and have the dirtiest bathroom in College Park, but I am NOT losing those earrings," I told myself. Just then I dropped the hair dryer and saved the hoops from an untimely death.
And for some reason, I started laughing. And even walking the long walk down Bulla Road to campus, the laughing continued, this time in my head.
These were earrings — not love, money or even homework — that I was watching tumble toward the drain. They do little more for me than merely decorate my earlobes. But at that point, they were the difference between happiness and hell.
It was then that I had realized my life was spinning out of control — at least enough not to know what was really important anymore: my sanity. For weeks the same three things had been dancing in my mind and, ultimately, driving me crazy: the search for a job, The Observer and finding time to have a life. I had just come off the fall break high of spending a terrific week in Las Vegas with my best friends. Elvis and falling slot machine quarters had drowned out my problems and for seven days, I was worry-free.
Then reality set in when I stepped back on campus, and the presidential election became the cherry on top. It seemed all anyone wanted to ask me was what I'm doing when I graduate or whom I'm voting for. Let's talk about trees or even bubble gum. I don't want tax plans to run my life or my conversation.
Life was again not life but merely surviving each day without ripping out my hair. I opened the door to my mental health and ushered my worries in to steal it away. It took the ridiculous disaster of losing jewelry to make me realize that I wasn't having fun and was just having headaches.
And as I sit here typing this, "Come on Over" by Christina Aguilera blares from my radio and I want to scream. It's hard enough not to stress when you feel the world on your shoulders without a scantily-clad teen pop star reminding you that yep, she already has a job. She's got a job and money and apparently numerous men wanting to "come on over, baby." Great, Christina, thanks. Life wasn't looking difficult enough.
But I'm trying not to think about life so much and just enjoy it. I'm trying not worry about work, or trying to find time to fill this space; I just want to fill it.
And when trying to see the lighter side, I think back to the last time I saw Aguilera perform on MTV and one thing makes me smile: she has really ugly earrings.
All Inside Stories for Friday, November 3, 2000