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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 10.30.2019

On compulsive punctuality


letter illustration
Photo: Lulu Wang

I just woke up from a nap. Something about the overcast, gray weather and the slog that comes with school and work this time of year just makes me want to curl up in bed and sleep the day away. 

When I got up, I realized this is the latest I've ever been to a Street production (it's 5:52). I had the urge to beat myself up and worry about how we'd get it all done. I looked at my phone for the "where are you?" texts. There weren't any; I was still early.

In fact, I'm pretty much always early to everything. Unless it's in the morning and I've overslept (a semi–common occurrence when you routinely sleep through military–grade alarms), or I'm running from another class, I generally give myself enough time for two laps around the block, or a cup of coffee and some aimless sitting, and then I walk in five minutes late trying to project that I don't have a care in the world. 

Even for parties, it's the same thing. I know there's a time on the invite, but unless I'm going with other people who can school me in the ways of the socially well–adjusted, I never know what the "actual" time to show up is. And it makes me so nervous that I find myself killing time by walking up and down the stairs in the apartment building or buying chips and sals when I know no one really wanted me to bring chips and salsa anyway. 

Like much of my life, I guess it's an anxiety thing — I want to have control over when I show up. It seems similar to a thing I say about haircuts, or editing pieces — go longer and give yourself the space to cut it down if you need. Showing up early and deciding how to fill the dead time gives me some control. It also means I spend entirely too much time thinking about social dynamics and how to fill dead time. 

So lately I've been trying a revolutionary new strategy — attempting to not care about when I show up. I'll still always feel too awkward to be the over–eager neighbor who shows up so early for the housewarming party that the host is still putting makeup on, but there's no reason these things need to stress me out so much.

If there's one thing I've learned from Street, it's that somehow it'll all get done. 


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