Atrophy

If you don’t use your muscles regularly, they start to deteriorate. They loosen, strand by strand, turning tautness into taffy. Weakness creeps into your joints and terrible pains remind you at varying intervals that you have let yourself go. Mentally and intelligently, the less you use your brain to do complex thinking, the kind that hopes to understand the nuances of the universe (or at least figure out how to make a proper omelette), the less inclined it will be to process at a later time.

I went on vacation for two weeks. It was a break from school, which I had been doing all throughout the summer, Monday through Friday from 9:15 to 12:30. It was a break from the mountain of work I put upon myself the last week of the summer term, zero to GMAT hero with only a week of preparation (scored an “eh” 640). I was able to enjoy travel with my family. I had time to breathe and think about the grand scheme of things for a long time. I got drive a lot, something I am always excited to do. It was a good break.

I’m back at school now. I am a week into classes, and I have already started suffering from the stresses associated with a distinct lack of discipline. I have not worked on my applications much at all since I have been back, and this devastates me. However, I still seek solace not in work but on Youtube and Netflix. I stay up later than I should, wake up later than I am able to, and altogether experience a lethargy of unprecedented proportions. This lack of drive, a stark contrast to my morning to midnight ethic right before the vacation started, is something unknown to me. I remember the crippling slowness I felt during my depressive states, but this does not seem like that. I am content with where I am in life now. I do have ambition. However, my behavior is not correlating to either of those things. In the past four days, I have slept for half the amount of time per night that I normally sleep. When I do rise, it is typically well beyond a reasonable time to do so and I find myself falling behind on daily requirements (breakfast!) because I can’t pull myself off of my phone and out of bed long enough to get anything done.

I worry that I keep saying that I’m not depressed but that whatever I am dealing with right now, if left unchanged, will cause me to relapse. That’s my second biggest fear. Ain’t nobody got time for snakes.

The last week of my summer term, I did not have to go to class much at all. The material covered in both of my classes had ceased to be new after that Monday. The flexible class schedule that week allowed me to apply my deadline-aware mind to use. I got more learning done in that one week than I probably had in many years. At the very least, the rate of learning and the willingness to perserve were both higher than they have ever been.

I am the Instant Gratification Monkey personified, wasting time on Youtube, Reddit, Facebook, and Netflix until the Panic Monster wakes up a few days before the next deadline. But I am self-aware too and I hope that I will be able to sustain the kind of mental effort that is allowing me to write these words long enough to write essays for four major MBA applications. I am hoping that what little effort I can currently add to my work will compound over the next few weeks, eventually overcoming my atrophied mind and body.

Moonshots, applying to MBA programs during senior year of college with zero work experience. Moonshots, trying to get some sort of work done consistently. In the end, the moonshots make history. I’ll let you know if it turns out to be good history.