Tuesday 23 April 2013

A4: S9 - The Sunshine Perspective

So I'm in the library at University.

I usually love being in here. I find it much more of a constructive environment to work in, and it's bright, airy and spacious with big potted plants dotted everywhere. I don't know why, but there seems to some kind of ongoing association with potted vegetation and working harder.

Anyway, it's four stories high and the main room where I'm sat right now is open to all four of these floors, closed in by one giant quadruple height pure glass wall at the far end. Architecturally, it's pretty damn impressive. But today, I am awfully resentful for it.

Because outside, the sun is blazing down outside - and I mean BLAZING. (This is England, anything about 15 degrees Celsius is regarded as a heatwave.) And I have three absolutely horrid assignments left before I can finish for the year.

So I'm sat here, with the face of grumpy cat, twirling my pen around my fingers with stress, wanting to weep about how much work lay before me, seconds of our oh-so brief British summer slipping past, when out of the blue, someone who I have never ever spoken to sends me a message. Her name is Kimberley Jackson, and this is what she sends;

 “There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

— John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

I was dumbfounded.

Each time I read it I find a different meaning, but when I first read it, I leant back in my seat, looked down at all the scattered paperwork before me, my chewed up pen, and saw my stressed-out reflection peering back at me from the library computer monitor and I just thought, "In the grand scheme of things, what the HELL am I worrying about?"

I thought back to my GCSE's, (Five years ago, holy craaaaap) when I'd pulled my first ever academic all-nighter desperately trying to cram for my maths exam which was the next morning, breaking down in tears at 4am with the apparent realisation that I was definitely going to ruin the rest of my life the next day.

Has that affected my life in the slightest?

Yet at that time, there was nothing in the world that upset me more.

I thought back to when I'd got my first ever detention in year 3, because a teacher had told the class to be quiet and I'd mocked her behind her back and she'd caught me. Being the ultimate goody-two shoes uber-child, my young life fell apart before my eyes and I was pretty much dragged kicking and howling out of the classroom, begging for forgiveness.

Have I even spared a thought for that since then?

I started to feel this little strange humming in my chest, growing harder and faster.  I looked outside just as the sun appeared from behind a cloud, and golden rays beamed in through giant glass wall, delicately gracing the heads of the panicked students frantically scrawling their essays and filling books with two ton of day-glo highlighter ink.

Don't get me wrong, I know that as I am older and in University there is a lot more at stake and these assignments are clearly a lot more important, but what my frantic brain doesn't seem to understand that if I actually took all that time I spent worrying about the assignments I had to do, and used that to actually do the assignments I had to do, then I could get them done, and the SUMMER WILL BE MINE.

(I do understand the irony here, because I'm blogging instead of doing assignments buuuuuut, hey.)

So I put on my Happy playlist, (notably; Let's Go - Matt & Kim Daylight - Matt & Kim, Good Ol'Fashioned Nightmare - Matt & Kim , Pompeii - Bastille , Sweet Nothing - Florence + The Machine ft Calvin Harris , and , Dog Days Are Over - Florence + The Machine), turned my face toward the sunshine and my mind just launched into it's familiar dreamworld.

I saw cavorting through The City with not a care in the world with Marcus & The Wonder Crew, I saw myself going flat-hunting for our dream future with The Sisters in Silver, I saw myself at Benicassim and Glastonbury losing my shit to my favourite bands on the shoulders of a stranger with a cider in my hand, skinny-dipping in open lakes, having picnics in the forest, building campfires, watching the stars at night, having barbeque's with my family, and most of all, I saw myself without a worry in the world. No deadlines, dramas, strenuous commitments or problems. I saw myself happy.

It's incredible what a little bit of sunshine can do to the mind, especially when you live in a place where it's grey and drizzly 98.8% of the time.

I guess everyone is just a little happier, freer and goes a little bit wild when the sun comes out to play.

The Summer makes renegades of us all.