I Can’t Do This Anymore
Despite knowing that Election Night will likely be Election Week, my body has refused to accept it. Every day, I wake up thinking that it is still Tuesday. I know I’m not alone. But the weird thing is that the loss of defined time feels…familiar.
When things began to shut down in March, a lot of the traditional hallmarks of the year shifted. March bled into April, which morphed into May. I spent my birthday inside alone finishing up my two theses. But the most devastating news for me — as the first person in my family to go to college — was that my graduation ceremony and all its surrounding events were cancelled. I “graduated” on my boyfriend’s patio while plumbers were fixing the building’s pipes. Unlike a lot of my peers who faced unemployment thanks to the worsening recession, I luckily had the backup plan of grad school.
So tell me why grad school feels like an extension of senior year? Perhaps it’s because I never had a break between the two; instead I freelanced and took classes over the summer in order to fill my time. Maybe it’s because I have to write another thesis, when I surely thought two during a pandemic would be enough. Or could it be because without proper closure, I am treating graduate school like the senior year I never got? I don’t know.
What I can say is that these temporal shifts are messing with my brain. In the spring, I’d sleep restlessly, checking my phone every few hours to see the coronavirus cases. Now, it’s the electoral college votes. But my simple human brain can’t understand everything that’s going on at once, nor can it try to. We’re not designed for that. Time helps ground us in our collective realities.
While time might be extremely fake right now, please, pretty please, pretty PRETTY please, end this nonsense as soon as humanely possible. Call the race! I am currently a hostage of the New York Times’ live election map. Free us. Our brains need closure.