My Thoughts Exactly: Motivation Shmotivation

Kendall McElhaney

Just want to preface this with the fact that I started this column on Monday of last week, wrote four words, and then haven’t touched it since. And those four words were, “What do. Send help.” 

Speaking solely for myself,  I can earnestly say that all of my motivation has left my body, flown South for the winter and didn’t buy a return ticket. I could ramble off to you the ridiculous to-do list of things I must accomplish before this semester ends, but I’m exhausted just thinking about it and I’ve already cried once today. My face feels like it’s melting off my cheekbones and I am genuinely starting to believe that I will never catch up on sleep. Which makes me sad because I am really good at sleep. So good in fact I might even say I’ve dedicated a large majority of my life doing it. That’s passion. Maybe even art. Why can’t my professors understand this? I’m not entirely sure, but my point is I am so tired that the other day I was in the bathroom and I’m pretty sure I hallucinated that Simba from the Lion King was crawling out of the sink faucet. Turns out it was just crusty soap. Who knew? Not me, that’s who. And that, children, is why I can never go back to The Bean Cycle in Old Town. You scream-sing “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” one time and suddenly your presence is “frowned upon.” 


It has recently come to my attention that my life has become a series of repetitive actions. Everyday I wake up. Check Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Linked In. Ok Cupid. Farmer’s online. Then shower. Then school (on a good day). Work (on a better day). Skellar (on any day). Then some tears. Work again. School. Skellar. Tears. Romantic Comedy. Lean Cuisine for one. Justin Bieber’s new album. Homework. Rinse. Repeat. The creature of habit I have become is debilitating my own body’s sovereignty.

Long lost are the late night adventures, midnight drives and rambling conversations. I find myself pining for warm summer days where nothing mattered because we didn’t have any obligations. We laughed. We drank. We were, dare I say it, young wild and free. And then the semester hit us, and boy, did it hit us hard. Maybe some of you are like me and this has been the semester from hell. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. And we’re just supposed to keep pushing, try harder, work faster, be better and still take care of ourselves and have emotions on top of all of that!? Not today Satan. Me thinks not.  

I can’t be the only one who misses simplicity. But the funny thing about missing something is just that: you miss it because it’s gone and you have to restructure your reality without it. So you’re stuck in a limbo or sorts, potentially just existing on auto-pilot until normalcy returns. If you’re like me, you struggle with change and become a tad bit cynical. Nothing extreme, just quietly reiterating “Art is dead and nothing is real” to yourself on the Plaza. Deep, I know. I got that from a Snapple lid so I can’t take all the credit. But if you do have some credit I could have that would be greatly appreciated. 

Currently, I am trying my best to combat the monotony of life but then I got lazy just typing out the word monotony. I have noticed that being an adult is mostly a lot of pretending that you know what you’re doing, being tired all the time and wondering how you hurt your back.

My question is how did we get here? Where did the fun go? Why am I worrying about if I am too late to capitalize on the decline housing market?

I remember feeling like I was going to be sixteen forever. Like I was trapped in adolescence, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If my “adult” self could go back, I would shake her and tell her to take a nap. What was I looking for then? Have I found it now? If I am being completely logical and taking my finals stress out of the picture, I’d like to think that I have made pretty successful life for myself since sixteen.  I am able to go to my dream school, granted this dream is somewhat of a point of contention right now. I believe I follow my heart and live passionately everyday. I know what temperature water to use for dark clothes, and that red wine doesn’t come out of anything, no matter how hard I scrub. I know how to write a professional email, just as well as I know how to reblog a photo of a dog sitting in spaghetti sauce. I feel proud to be a stable shoulder to cry on, a source of laughter and affirmation for my loved ones, and knowing my worth does not lie in my test scores or my GPA. Besides, I have always said that I will weight my success on how many alpacas I own one day. I don’t need a diploma for that, but it might help with the loan I’ll need. There’s still time for this dream to come true. And there is still time for your dreams to come true as well, my little turtle doves. We’ve got time. We’re going to get through this. 

Only conceivable problem I can see is if your dream doesn’t fit into global capitalism. Then you’re screwed. Good luck on your finals everyone. Don’t let perfection ruin you. We’ll all figure it out one day.