2018 · About Me · Grad School · Halifax · Self Reflection · white noise · Writing

A Filler Chapter

cliff, girl, wanderlust
Photo by Andrii Nikolaienko from Pexels

I’m hanging out on a cliff right now, metaphorically speaking.

There aren’t any cliffs near me in Halifax.

I’m not standing up. My toes aren’t curled protectively over the edge. I’m not windmilling back from the drop. I’m just here. I’m sitting with my laptop set on top of my crossed legs. I’m just hanging out. My life feels as if it’s hurtling forward like a European bullet train, except I’m not too clear on my destination at the moment. My next step is hidden and it’s driving me nuts as per usual. I like to know what’s next. I like to plan. I like to know what I’m getting into, but life doesn’t work that way.

My new friends tend to be a fairly chill lot. They help me come back down to earth whenever I panic about major or mundane things. I’m pretty lucky to have such solid people around me. Since my program is only one year long everything feels like it’s going by so quickly. I feel like I just met these people. I just started to really connect and jive with them and now in a few months we’ll be facing summer and then (hopefully) graduation. Part of me just wants everything to stop. I always said that if I had  magical powers I would want to freeze time — for only a moment or an eon I’m not too sure. All I can picture is me walking down the street looking at the tableaus of peoples’ everyday lives. I wonder what I would learn?

Of course, I don’t have the power to freeze time. If I had that type of power, I’d make sure that I get eight hours of sleep a night. I’d freeze daylight and make myself go running more often. I’d read. I’d read until I fell asleep and then wake up without any real time having passed. I’d edit all of my essays to death. But then again, if I froze time I wouldn’t be able to Skype my friends, call my parents, or even order take out. I wonder, if you pause time, can you still cook? Would my timed slow-cooker work? Maybe I’ll explore that idea in a short story someday.

I suppose it’s good that I can’t freeze time. Most of the time, I’m glad that my days are limited to 24 hours, because I would be afraid of filling more time with filler. I would be afraid of wasting extra hours. I find myself intimidated by the prospect of unlimited time. I’m no seeker of immortality. One day someone will say my name for the last time, and while I think that should scare me it doesn’t. Everything has its time and its place. We’re all here on Earth at the moment and our lives are all bullet trains hurtling toward something… So, until I figure out what that something is I’m just going to hang out on this cliff, appreciating the sunset, typing on my laptop, and keeping up with my loved ones. Eventually, I’ll jump to a new cliff and a new adventure, but right now, I’m okay where I am.

*Regarding the title: A filler chapter is exactly what it sounds like, a chapter that’s not overly essential to plot or character development, but for some reason finds its way into a story. I first encountered the term when I started reading fanfic.

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