And Your Bird Can Sing

I can't sleep right now. I don't know why. Maybe it's the large cup of Earl Grey I had around 8:00, or maybe it's waking up at 11:30 this morning, or maybe it's the overflow of energy that's been pumping through my veins since my flight arrived in Dublin 4 weeks ago...

...I don't know. But I can't sleep, and as such, I do what I always do when I can't sleep. I think.

(I know, it's not the best idea, as thoughts only lead to more thoughts, but here I am. Roll with me, people.)

Lately, I've been thinking about how this entire trip has seemed unreal. I can't help but think, "This isn't real life. Real life will hit when you get back to Clemson. You'll be stressed and feel yukky again...just you wait..." Why, however, isn't this my real life? It's certainly not a fake life.


I just pinched myself.

It hurt. I'm actually in Oxford, I'm actually spending my days exploring and succumbing to curiosity, and this entire lifestyle of constant happiness and wonder is something that can extend beyond six weeks during the summer. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen people make is assuming that once you're out of college, or even once vacation's over, you must have different standards of happiness. Of spontaneity. You must always put responsibility ahead of adventure...but I say, NO!

Who says that you can't always be having adventures? That you can't always say, "I'm going to put work/papers/meetings on hold for a weekend"? The MAN, that's who! That universal MAN, who doesn't actually exist, who people always accuse of holding them down. In reality, there is no MAN. There's only you. You, rationalizing "I can't do this because..." or "What would so-and-so think?" or "Maybe another time." So forget you, proverbial MAN. If this trip has taught me anything, it has taught me that life is more than what Clemson University, what the higher education system in general, makes it out to be. God did not put me on this earth to be a slave to my academics, to research this-and-that and publish articles nobody will ever read, to take on more responsibilities than I know I'm meant to handle. I'm here to love, and be joyous about that love, and that joy cannot be confined to a classroom, released only when a particular trip or time-of-year calls for it.

Thus, from this point forward, I - Adrienne Rankin - do vow to stop chaining myself to my desk for a 4.0, pledge to refrain from saying "Yes" just because someone asks me, and swear to continue living my life as if it matters.

After all, my professor does it. He was supposed to e-mail us our paper topics on Thursday, and as of 12:50 AM on Monday morning, we still haven't heard a thing. Because he's with his family, living his life, and that's not irresponsibility. That's prioritizing.

Good job, Oxford. And Good-Night.


  1. You have always lived your life as if it matters... Oxford is just giving you a different view that you've never experienced before. To see you embracing it the way you are is a joy to watch. Thanks for letting us enjoy the experience with you! I only have one issue: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH A 4.0! lol


  2. What an appropriate post, Ms. Adrienne.

    I find myself needing to do the same exact thing at this point in time; making sure I prioritize not just my job but my life.