The sublime list
Attacking your life in pieces
he time crunch has begun and the pressure is on. Scrolling daily through the infinite amount of study abroad options, I have examined the same online program brochures countless times. Again and again I stare at photos of exotic cityscapes, hoping I will have that “Eureka!” moment I’ve been waiting for.
The problem is that I tend to think too much. My mind races through the maze of mushy material I call my brain until I eventually hit a wall — this has literally happened before. For one week, a lovely bruise the color of a ripe baby eggplant graced the presence of my already wimpy-looking upper arm. Sometimes I wish I had an oversized villainous alien brain to avoid situations like this. I’m not sure if that would actually help, but it’d be worth a try.
This sort of thinking eventually leads to me to “make art!” as my cinematography professor Kevin Everson would so enigmatically exclaim. But in this case — who am I kidding, in all cases — my art of choice is the one and the only: the list.
The list can often be a young student’s only comfort in a day. Though we may never actually execute what was written down, just spitting it out on paper seems to calm the nerves like a beer on a Thursday evening after class.
Though most of my lists contain mundane ramblings and ideas, some are more prized — my list of Halloween costumes was created in November of last year. There is even a folder on my desktop titled “Random Lists” filled with an embarrassing amount of word documents. I am pleased to say that I deleted the “Get Your Life Together” list, though it may be reappearing in the near future.
And so, I recently began my “Study Abroad” list.
Do I live in Paris, where skinny women draped in Chanel will be a regular occurrence? Say, “Bonjour,” to an empty bank account and get cozy with it. Or do I consider Rome, where plates of gluten in the form of noodles and pizza will haunt me on every street corner? Sight, smell and touch — my gluten intolerance has made me keenly aware of what I cannot have.
All a woman wants in life is Chanel and pizza.
But what about Copenhagen, where I can wear a winter jacket and boots until May? Or Barcelona, to take in the omnipresent Gaudi architecture on the reg?
I really don’t know where I’m going with this, but I am going somewhere this spring. I’ll say farewell to Charlottesville, and a temporary farewell to life as I know it in America, but I’ll still hold onto my lists.