It was past midnight as I sat with a friend at the 24-hour Fed-Ex/Kinko’s, sharing a King Size Kit-Kat bar. We reminisced, as seniors are wont to do, about how we met. “Let’s see. I used to talk to [insert name of mutual friend] all the time because he was a really good listener. So I kept dropping by his room, we became friends, then I guess I met you through him.”
I was happily full and carrying a steaming hot cup of coffee as I left the dining hall and bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. We made the usual small talk and discussed the finer points of the brunch options at Lag Dining. Then he made the first move that propelled us into new territory.
Despite my slight panic at being a senior next year, entering the Draw this spring made me bask in a newfound sense of complacency over having found my rhythm at Stanford. I was finally drawing tier one; I finally knew the lay of the land on campus, and my days of confused shuffling in and out of freshman draw groups seemed but a distant memory. But in truth, every year at Stanford brings its own new situation that presses us to keep meeting new people and new challenges regardless of how settled we feel.
Before this year, I wasn’t a huge fan of chips. I mean, they were good, but they weren’t something I went out of my way for, and I never had them around. When I moved into my house this year, I was able to ignore the bags of chips stocked in our open kitchen for a while. But as the year went on, the constant supply of chips kept tempting me, and I’d sneak a Barbecue Pop Chip here, a Hawaiian Maui Sweet Onion Chip there. Now, every time I go down to get a drink of water, I can’t help myself from taking one or two of those addictive Tapatío Fritos, maybe following up with a Nancy’s Pita Chip.
Saturday night I had what I can safely say is the worst dream I’ve ever had in my life. I dreamt that I was falling out of control. That I was becoming the person that nearly everyone I told I was going to school in California feared I would become: California embodied.
A couple of nights ago, I bounced into the kitchen to make a Bagel Bite when I walked in on a couple of friends crisping up Dino Nuggets in the panini press. As we waited for our Bagel Bite and Dino Nuggets to get hot and crispy, we started shooting the shit, and somehow the subject of nursery rhymes and other songs from childhood came up.
We’re a little obsessed with awkward, aren’t we? How many times did you say awkward today? An awkwardly large number?…Err, awkward.
Sometimes, what I crave more than anything else in the world is to be in it—by myself. I have serious moments where suddenly, the only company I want is my own, and my definition of freedom becomes one of not being found. I think I’ve learned how to be alone…