There’s this particular feeling that I’ve gone through from time to time, which I’ve always assumed everyone felt but, now that I put it to words, I realize is probably particular to me. It’s evening, the light through the windows is orange, and I’m at home and unsure of what to do. There’s so much time between now and when I go to sleep, but still not enough to accomplish anything real. The day is too far gone to make something out of, but too far from over to call it a bust and try again tomorrow. Moreover, there isn’t really anything I’d dedicate the day to if I tried. So I’m stuck in this gap between days, not sure what to do besides click on the next YouTube video in my recommended feed and keep on killing time.
This spring break has felt like one of those gaps between days, stretched out into a full week. I should be clear that this isn’t really a bad thing. Floating around the house, unsure of what to do or how to spend my time, isn’t an unpleasant way to spend a week, especially when my family is always around to fill that time. It’s what I was begging for at the end of last week, when papers and exams had strangled out nearly all of my free time. But I can’t escape this feeling that I should be going somewhere, doing something, instead of just lazing around in the late-afternoon sunlight.
Spring break always feels like a lethargic and in-between time, but I think it’s especially harsh this year because a lot of other midpoints line up with it. I just finished a draft of a novel last week, somewhere between the third and seventh version depending on your definition of a draft, but regardless, it’s the longest writing project I’ve ever committed myself to. Now I’m waiting for beta readers to get back to me with edits, and it’s hard to move on to another project when I still feel like I should be living in the world of this past story. Meanwhile, I’m at the point in college when I can’t ignore that it won’t last forever. There’s not much stress surrounding that realization; I know what to do after I graduate. But I can’t escape this strange, weightless, late-afternoon feeling, knowing that I’m reaching the end of college and unsure what to do with that information.
Like I said, this liminal space, this gap between eras, isn’t bad. It’s refreshing, it’s safe. It’s sometimes hard to leave, though. I’ve hesitated to choose a new writing project, because once I do, I know that this time of rest will be over. Likewise, I’ve halfheartedly hoped that I’ll injure myself or get sick before my track team’s trip to Florida, so that, instead of twenty-six hours in the bus on the way to some new, strange, unseasonably warm state, I can float a little while in somewhere familiar. But I know that I have to go. I’ve been home, I’ve caught my breath, and now it’s time to embark on something else.