"Hi, I'm Hailey, and I'm a fool." "Hi, Hailey" the group groans in unison. All the fools, including myself, are sitting in a circle of chairs at the daily Fools Anonymous meeting.
As if I could escape this laptop. I got to my first class today, and then realized there's a whole ass research project that I haven't started, and is due by this Friday. I didn't take into consideration the fact that I'm lazy, especially when it's about things I don't care about. And not much, especially not homework, is going to drag my butt out of my room to go sit at a computer lab to get my work done. Nope. So here I am, stuck with the thing, and straight up not having a good time! One compromise I have made is that I'm not bringing it to school with me. I'm taking notes manually. And whenever I'm not using it, it's going in the drawer out of sight. If I see my laptop on my desk, I'm going to be gravitated towards it, more tempted to scroll. Out of sight, out of mind.
I have a 45-minute break between classes on campus, and it's during that brief period of time when I feel extreme angst. I realized, staring at my binder, that my existence here, was ultimately meaningless. I don't even know how I'm still in college. EVERYDAY I feel existential dread. Like what am I even doing with my life? Unfortunately, all I've ever been good at during the entirety of my life was getting good grades and I have no other skills to help me escape. So there's that.
If I wasn't doing college right now, I think I'd be working part-time, finding a group to volunteer with, and attending dharma sessions at near-by Buddhist centers. I'd also be able to read things I actually want to read, and perhaps try my hand at writing. This situation sounds a lot preferable to me. But all I can do in the meantime is attempt being mindful at my totally undesirable situation. I really wanted to get rid of this laptop. But it's so much more convenient than not. And that's the draw of it all. Convenience. That's what keeps you doing things you don't want to even be doing. Even college, though I don't like it, is convenient for me right now. I don't have to be in the real world figuring things out. All I need to do is follow the trajectory they give me. No need to think for myself here.
I've actually been consistently working out the past couple of days. Today I went for a run on the trail, although I really didn't want to because it was raining. But then I thought, what kind of excuse is that? Okay, so I'm a slave to the education system but I refuse to be a slave to the weather, especially when it's concerning something that's good for me? So I ran, in my super cool barefoot shoes, and returned home soaking wet but emotionally and physically fulfilled. Worth it.
Honestly, the key to staying off digital devices is going outside. Reliving the nostalgia as a kid when we actually enjoyed the outdoors. Blocking a bunch of websites and then spending the majority of your time inside doesn't work. Over time, your brain will reject any facet of the idea that what's online is real. That what's online is even worth it. That's what I've been experiencing the past couple of days.