So far my most exciting story of the summer has come from commuting. A few weeks ago, I was on my way to a normal day of work. The CTA, glorious mode of transport as it is, was treating me well: I wasn’t late, I was contentedly sipping on my coffee and not speaking to my fellow humans, and I was about to shave 10 minutes off my ride by transferring trains. I was the first one out the door onto the platform. But the door only opened for a few seconds before it slammed shut again, right on me and the one other guy that had tried to get out. I didn’t see it coming because it was right in my blind spot. It hit me in the left temple, then closed behind us. I wasn’t quite sure what had happened, except that the one woman waiting to get on looked terrified. The guy that had gotten off with me seemed unfazed.
I was more embarrassed than hurt, so I continued waiting on the platform and made my way to work, where I eventually Googled “concussion symptoms.” Like anyone with an internet connection post-Web MD, I became paranoid and scheduled a doctor’s appointment back in Evanston. I sent my boss a nonchalant email to the tune of “so I got hit in the head, do you mind if I take off an hour early to make sure I don’t have a concussion?” It was 9am. Like a rational human, she sent me home immediately.
I did, in fact, have a concussion. Spoiler alert. It was a Thursday, so the doctor sent me home with orders to do no work until I came back in on Saturday to reassure her I wasn’t dead. I wasn’t to read, watch television, use a computer, or listen to any music that was too “exciting.” Thinking too hard was out of the question. For the next two days, I cleaned my apartment and occasionally listened to NPR, but for the most part, I just stared at blank walls and zoned out. I occasionally visited coffeeshops and just watched people pass. I tried to not look at my phone as I responded to text messages “concussion can’t text talk later.” Talking for too long made my brain hurt.
In a way, it was freeing. It was a good way to take a technology break. But I also couldn’t write or exercise. I didn’t know how to be social without being able to grab a drink or watch a movie. And I had to call someone every time I wanted to make plans, meaning I could only talk to people I was on a “phone call” level with, which isn’t everyone.
I couldn’t comfortably watch TV or use the computer for more than a few minutes until more than a week after the incident. Now every time I enter or exit a train or elevator, I instinctively throw my arms out to block any errant doors. It won’t get me again, I swear. There is no greater punishment than brainrest.
It’s officially summer. I’m two weeks into both my internships, one at Time Out Chicago and one at Treasury & Risk, a business-to-business magazine for the forward-thinking CFO. If you can imagine, I’m learning a lot about risk management and treasuries and assets and whatnot. (#jargon) Time Out has been a new experience for me too, because I’ve never had an internship at a publication with more than a couple editors. It’s huge. I haven’t even met half the people that work on the editorial side, much less the half of the office that does things like marketing and sales.
But it’s an exciting time. I spend some two hours on the train every day, so I’m getting a ton of reading done. Let me know if you have book suggestions! And if you need me to talk to you about pension plans, hey, I’m available.
It’s been odd adjusting to a real-person schedule: commuting, 8 hours of office work in front of a computer, not checking Facebook during the day. Ironically, working at news outlets has made me feel like I’m less up-to-date on news, because I can’t troll the internet all day. Reading about the euro crisis is productive work time, but scrolling through Tumblr and clicking all the Mother Jones links is more like dicking around. And by the time I get home from the day, I probably need to stop staring at my computer and try to interact with my friends (plus most news is old news by 7pm). Balance is hard. This is making me wonder if a career as a freelancer might not be so bad after all.
I’m at home hanging out with my parents for a few days, which means the following things:
I went to bed at 10 p.m. after 3 hours of Netflix. I woke up at 7:30 a.m., meaning I ran out of internet to lurk by approximately 9:30. My dog still smells like rotting everything. My car refused to let me turn the key in the ignition. Peet’s was out of tables, and for some reason the only free WiFi I can pick up from Starbucks is from the Wendy’s across the parking lot.
But I can make out the topography of the Channel Islands from my deck today. It’s 60 degrees and the clearest of clear.
I’m sorry that I never post anything original on here anymore. I’ll work on it. (This is probably a lie.) I spend a good portion of my week trying to finish up my final essay for my creative nonfiction class, a 5,000 word beast of ruminations on femininity. One day, perhaps you will be able to read it. That day is certainly not today. In the midst of trying to learn things, I wrote this little piece on webcomics, my one true internet love.
My photodiary is over because my break is over. Technically I ended my photodiary when 2011 ended, because I’m lazy and because 21st birthdays do not have photogenic aftermaths. Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with me, including those weird high school students who broke in. Alas, my new year’s resolution is not to blog more. I think I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work. But here’s to hoping I do it anyway. Besides, I gave up on my dream of building my own website over break and renewed my domain mapping to WordPress, so I gotta keep this thing up.