If someone were to ask anyone who knows me well to describe me in one word, they would likely say "responsible," "organized," "planner," or maybe "anxious." Lovely, right? While I'm constantly trying to navigate my anxiety by trying to be more in the moment, I can't help but feel less anxious if my day is planned, my desk is organized, and I'm doing exactly what I think everyone wants and expects me to do. I'm a rule follower (thank you, Catholic guilt!).
Imagining a day to say fuck it sounds exciting, but also terrifying. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've most definitely skipped class at least once (okay, maybe just once in college). I remember in grade school my mom would randomly wake us up late and announce we were playing hooky. She would quietly come into our rooms, and gently rouse us with the surprise of no school. She would reveal our day: a slow-paced morning with waffles and juice and a bike ride to the beach, or my favorite, a shopping day in the next town over and lunch at a mall restaurant. We would usually go to Target, which my mother stills pronounces Tar-zhey. It felt exciting, thrilling! But of course, my tiny-little-kid anxiety would overcome me and I would ask my mother, What if someone asks why I'm not in school? What if a cop sees us? Do we pretend I'm sick? Do we lie? Even as a kid I couldn't just chill and enjoy the freedom. After the first few hookies, my mother came up with a plan to calm me: she taught me how to say, Parlez-vous français? ("Do you speak French?") Her theory was that no one in our small town in Florida would even know what I said, because what are the chances they speak French? Of course, my mind immediately thought, What if someone DOES speak French? But I knew better to say so.
I realize now as a 30-year-old that if I'm going to finally feel chill, I need to say fuck it a lot more. Fuck it! I'm not working out today. Fuck it! I'm eating that goddamn delicious bagel and cream cheese. Fuck it! I'm making a cocktail at 4 p.m. on a Wednesday.
I still dream of playing hooky like I did as kid. What would I do now? While sitting at my desk, my mind is full of fantasy: morning coffee on the porch, afternoon drinking beers on the beach and swimming in the salty warm water, meeting friends for happy hour soaked in sun and a slightly damp bathing suit. I would end the day with a bike ride to eat fish tacos from my favorite truck. It sounds so dreamy, and yet it is so basic. I have so many wishes that shouldn't be actual day dreams but real, true reality. It wouldn't even be that hard! I just need to learn to say it out loud: FUCK IT!
This was my first submission for Man Repeller's Writers Club. August's topic: Imagine a Day of Not Giving a Fuck.