rachel on break [a winter pre-quarter update]

Saturday, January 6, 2018

a character arc of Rachel On Break:
glowy, on-paper-productive phase (usually the first three days): rachel is super motivated and pumped to Get Things Done. she writes out to-do lists for herself, even though she literally has nothing to do. she goes to the library and checks out 210293 books. she goes to bed on time. she tries to write. she makes a video using final cut pro x for the first time, and it turns out pretty cool, even if it did take five hours to edit. she hangs out with lots of people. she even wakes up at six-thirty a.m. to visit her old high school. visiting kind of brings back bad vibes, but, like, oh well!

lackluster phase (rest of the week): rachel goes to a number of social events with her family, around which her life is centered. she doesn’t have time to make or do her checklists and, at any rate, she’s not feeling it anymore. she begins to eat lots of desserts and starts to spend part of her nights either a) playing tetris battle, or b) watching TV in the den. she starts staying up later.

the really lackluster phase (next week or so): rachel is quasi-productive, but still not really. sometimes she adds five hundred words to her manuscript, which is the quota she set for herself every time she tries to write. on tuesday she spends all of the afternoon/evening editing a video, and she likes the way it turns out, even if home wifi is waaaaay slower than school wifi and it uploads after 3 hours. Christmas brightens up her week, but after that she lapses into worse passivity. it doesn’t help that she’s eating like TRASH, but she continues to run, which helps keep her sane. she briefly lapses into the self-loathing that so characterized her high school years.

the ambiguously determined phase (the weekend leading to the last week): rachel vaguely feels like she should be doing more, so she tries to get into things again. she continues to run. she even tries to go to a new year’s eve party, but at midnight, she’s on the sofa, watching high school musical. which is cool. probably the best way to ring in 2018. (it’s good to start a year quietly, so you can build up to the thunder.) the next day, new year’s, she and her family and their family friends hike to the hollywood sign, a tradition that began three years ago. they eat korean barbecue after. rachel has not had korean barbecue in a while. it is delicious.

another fairly lackluster phase, with some added hope (a few days): rachel slowly but surely tries to force her way out of her funk. she makes plans with a friend. she forces herself to write some more. she spends yet another tuesday afternoon/evening editing a video--and she’s proud of it. after a late night of being a couch potato, she decides to cut off her tv and tetris battle supply lines. surprisingly, it’s easier than she thought it would be.

the unequivocally determined phase (the last three-four days of break): rachel has a meeting for her internship and feels inspired. for hours thereafter, she scours job and internship sites hunting for--well, she doesn’t know exactly what, but something. this forces her to refine her resume, write a cover letter, and decide to apply for a job that she most likely won’t get (but at least she’s going to try). she begins making to-do lists for next quarter. she spends an afternoon at starbucks and works on things. she does her laundry. she writes some more and researches music to put in her youtube videos. she goes to the library and reads three books in one night. she hangs out w her friends for the last time for a few months and has a good time.

then, somehow, she ends up in her bedroom, surrounded by suitcases and bags and boxes once more, ready to begin again. winter quarter will be harder. she’s taking nineteen units instead of twelve. (five of those nineteen are directed towards spanish, which she hasn’t taken in two years.) she’s decided to try editing an old manuscript of hers as well as continue working on her current one. producing a video a week will take more work now; because you can do more on final cut pro x than imovie, she’s going to do more--and it’ll take longer. she needs to start tracking her money a little better, and she needs to reduce her sugar intake. life will be busier, more full, and she hopes she has time to spend with people as well as chase her dreams & develop her relationship with God more. things will probably change a lot in winter quarter, because they changed a lot in fall quarter. she might even be homesick this quarter. (*cue gasps*)

but she’s learning that that’s okay--anything that changes in her life was predestined by God beforehand, and that sometimes--most times--you don’t have control over the things you wish you had control over. she’s also learning that letting go and saying “let’s go” are not mutually exclusive. you can dive into the future, but you don’t necessarily have to dive in blind.

i move back to school tomorrow, which i’m equal parts excited and scared for. but even though i can deny it and resort to escapism out of fear for what the future might bring, i don’t want to be the kind of person who lets life hit me before i hit first.

what i want, during winter quarter, is to continue having fun and continue making friends, but also to focus my time more, to be more disciplined, and to work--and play--with more purpose.

so let’s go--let’s go do the things we said we were going to do. let’s do them well. and if, for whatever reason, we can’t, let’s learn to let go, and learn our lesson well, so that next time we say let’s go, we know that we’re heading into the future that we haven’t planned for ourselves, and therefore are prepared to let go.

let’s go.


  1. i love when you write in third person!!

  2. this post feels cathartic somehow and also relatable?

    Good luck with winter quarter, Rachel! You're going to rock it.

  3. Awesomeeee!!! YOU GOT THIS GIRLLL!!! <3333 You are super smart and you will do amazing. xxx

  4. Why are your posts just the best thing?? Also like I'm totally obsessed with how you wrote this?? Good luck with school!

  5. I hope that this quarter is wonderful for you. <3


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