Thursday, June 18, 2015

Abandon Ship



I've climbed out of the stacks of statistics notes, the z-tables and the charts, I've peeled my calculator out of my hand and slammed my statistics textbook closed as loudly as I can, and I've poured a glass of wine to sit here and write to you.  I'm in the middle of what can only be described as abandon ship week, a term I've endearingly adopted from a dear college friend, Breanne.  Breanne first introduced me to abandon ship week during my sophomore year of college; we were getting ready to enter into final exam week and we were stressed to the max about a microbiology exam (amongst other exams, all of which now seem so trivial).

Abandon ship week is whatever you want it to be.  It's one of those weeks where you can't remember the last time you washed you hair (don't worry Mom, I actually just washed it a few minutes ago), when you eat anything and everything you ever wanted/craved/desired, sometimes all mixed into one giant bowl.  At the time, abandon ship week seems like the most stressful week of your life; maybe it's final exam week, maybe the week that you move into a new house.  It could even be the week you move across the country, have a baby, quit your job.  Really any major life event/school exam week can count as abandon ship week.  Abandon ship week is a week during which you make some of the worst decisions of your entire life; it's possible that you'll eat a cheeseburger when you're a full-fledged vegetarian, or maybe you'll sign up to go skydiving the following week once you are finished abandoning ship (at which point, you'll look back and wonder why you signed up for such an endeavor, and your futile attempt to cancel/get a refund will sadly not be successful, so you'll go skydiving anyways or cry over losing all of your money, which may preface a whole new abandon ship week), and it's even possible that you'll kill someone.  Anything can happen. 

I remember my first self-declared abandon ship week, the one during which Breanne first taught me about the ways of such a week.  I had stayed up all night studying for micro and couldn't remember anything that I had looked over.  I sat on the floor in the hallway of my dorm and called my mom sobbing, telling her I probably wasn't going to pass this class or get into nursing school or do anything at all with my life.  I told her I couldn't remember the last time I took a shower and that the only things I'd eaten in the past day were carbs-- cookies, soda, chips, french fries.  Moms are so good.  She told me to get up, go take a shower, put on real clothes, and go to my exam.  She told me it would all be fine, and that as soon as it was over I could drive home for Christmas.  God love you, Mom.  It's amazing what a shower will do for you when it feels like the very walls around you are crumbling and your whole resolve has gone down with them.  

I'm irrational during abandon ship weeks.  Today in Barnes and Noble I almost had a meltdown because I couldn't figure out one measly statistics problem; I'd been working on it for 45 minutes and was seriously about to throw my coffee at an innocent bystander who was just trying to figure out if they should purchase The Girl on the Train (which I silently encouraged them buy, in my head of course).  Several people had been calling/texting me to inform me that we were overdue for catching up, and then Scott came over and wanted to talk about dinner.  After giving him a death stare that should have qualified me for a 72-hour involuntary admit to an inpatient psychiatric ward, I turned on Christmas music and went back to studying.  Scott walked away after I told him we'd be eating dinner out tonight (poor guy, he's just as stressed as I am with his own affairs with school and there I am in looking like a complete nutcase in the bookstore while he's holding it all together, being the cool guy he always is) and I proceeded to send this text: "sorry for being snappy.  I feel like I'm in the middle of an abandon ship week.  AND I'M ABOUT TO JUMP OFF THE PLANK AND ABANDON THE SHIP!!"

That's abandon ship week, for you.  It's that image of people on the boat just trying to survive.  The ship is suddenly on fire and people are doing ANYTHING they can to survive it, even eating giant bags of Funions as they wildly launch themselves overboard.  I have an image of a giant ship with bodies flying everywhere as people try to escape.  That's, at least, how you feel during abandon ship week.  

So that's where I am this week.  And I hope you'll bare with me through it.  So many of my friends have kindly tried to reach out this week for fun plans or phone dates, and I just want to thank you all, and also to express my sincere apologies for not being physically or emotionally or, let's face it, mentally capable of handling such things.  I'm an irrational being during this week and just ask that you give me grace and allow me to return your calls another time.  I'll be happy to catch up once my exam is over next week, and once I get through the string of night shifts that seem inherently planned to ruin my final exam studying.  For now, know that I do love you and am thinking about you, but I selfishly have no room to reach out right now.  It's taking all of the self control I have to not gab on the phone for hours with you.  But the ship is sinking and I have to get off of it; would Rose or Jack have had time to catch up on their cell phones with you when the Titanic was going down? Probably not, they were scrambling for lifeboats and jumping ship themselves.  That's me right now.  I've all but jump ship and just need until Wednesday to save myself from the sinking disaster.  

Thanks for being good to me.  And for letting me be ever so dramatic about abandon ship week.  I desperately hope that you won't seriously consider admitting me to some sort of mental health program; I promise I'll come out of this next Wednesday and be the most normal person you've ever laid eyes on (Scott: don't say a word. As far as they know, I am super normal). 

Love you all so very much,

C

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