I remember taking a walk one day and seeing two young people, probably teenagers, sitting on a bench in the beautiful forest, gracefully touched by the sun. They were staring down at their smartphones. Internally, I judged them pretty hard. “Why would anyone spend time in nature just to stare at a screen?” I thought. This memory came to mind as I caught myself sitting outside during my 15 minute work break, eyes glued to my own cellular device. I stopped myself. For once, I decided to look around, to take in the present moment. Sure, I wasn't surrounded by beautiful nature, but it was still a chance to breathe in some fresh air - and more serene than inside my workplace. I realized I never paid attention to the sizes of the trees to the not-so-distant right -or the fact that one tree is shaped like a heart- even though work is somewhere I go every weekday, and my car is always parked by the same tree. Normally my 15 minute breaks seem to go by in an instant, barely giving me enough time to reply to a few texts. What gives? However, the end of this particular break felt as if I had just finished meditating. It turns out meditating doesn't always mean sitting in a special posture on a meditation cushion, breathing rhythmically or going “ohm”. And I needed this. Lately, I sense that time is slipping away from me, that somehow I slipped up and hit the fast forward button, failing to find the right button. Sometimes I wish I could press pause – sometimes I miss quarantine. When my complaints ebb and flow, I remind myself that I'm happy to have a job. Yet, sometimes the complaints come knocking at my door like an uninvited salesman. They say that there's no time to write. I make up for it by writing in my head at work. You know how they say the best ideas come when you least expect them? Well, in my experience, I would tweak this quote by saying, “the best ideas come when it's least convenient”. The other day at work, doing monotonous tasks, a beautifully scripted poem splashed in my mind like red wine on carpet. Since I was wearing lab gloves and had just touched tubes of bodily fluids, it wasn't the time to write. And when it is the time to write… Coffee ready, candle lit, I write and write until mere moments later I have a fresh poem??? I wish. Instead, I have nothing. NOTHING. My ideas have vanished. Maybe I'm too distracted by my phone. Maybe I just put too much pressure on myself. Probably both. With a job, my available time has become sacred, so whenever I sit down to write I have an expectation to create something worthwhile. Although, I know very well that the best ideas aren't forced, but the opposite. What even is my problem anyway? I can barely put it into words, other than stating that the working world has left me feeling cluttered. Why did nobody tell me that life after college is so hard? I wonder. Maybe this is what people mean when they refer to pursuing a career as the “real world”. Sadly, the real world has made me antisocial. I wasn't always like this. I went through a phase the beginning of 2019 where I hung out with people about every other night, and during this time I was thriving. I felt like I was on top of the world. Of course, I had the time for this because I decided to take a gap year after college to be an Au Pair as a nice adventure, or so I thought. My host mom ended up getting frustrated with me because I was going out so many nights. “We've never had an Au Pair that went out so much!” she told me. I took this to mean that she discouraged social Au Pairs because this meant less attention for her kids, or maybe she just wasn't used to having Au Pairs that made friends so quickly and didn't know what to think of it. The whole Au Pair adventure didn't last long and my little social circle I had built went crumbling along with it. I guess you can't have too much of a good thing, or really there's just not enough time for it. There wasn't enough time to upkeep my socially ideal self because consequently this meant I wasn't committing enough of my energy to my responsibilities. Not enough time. What a slap in the face that realization was back then, especially since I hoped working as a babysitter/ housekeeper in another country would've been easy, flexible, and fun. Nope. Also, there were some communication issues too, but that's another story. Now, I should go because I have stuff to do, like laundry. The reason for writing today was just to prove that there IS time to write. I need to stop making excuses, because writers don't make excuses. They write!