[Photography: Jeff Thibodeau Hair: Andre Davis]
When it comes to my history as a chronic procrastinator, the gist of the matter can most seamlessly be synopsized as follows: no one is better versed in learning how to pay electric bills only after receiving at least six Termination of Service notices from ConEd than I am.
Returning to an apartment that more closely resembles a large refrigerator than it does a First World dwelling, I’ve often found myself scrambling to make an absurdly simplistic online payment, one which, had it only been rendered upon its initial due date, would’ve precluded the need for a last minute, panic-stricken effort to restore warmth and overhead lighting to my broken Midtown Manhattan based igloo.
The strides that I’ll make just to avoid doing things like: getting out of bed before 10am, consuming a vegetable, boarding a treadmill, and/or visiting a doctor’s office, are truly staggering. And while I’m armed with a repertoire of thoughtful justifications for all of my indefinite postponements (Sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of historical duhhhsasters, like the destruction of the Challenger, you know, so you’d do well to make the responsible decision here and slip right back underneath those covers, Self!), I never feel enthusiastic about tackling what might otherwise qualify as a totally enjoyable endeavor when I’m running on manic energy and iced venti black eyes alone.
All of this basically just means that I’m short changing myself, failing to make the most out of of my moments because I’m more focused on stuffing them into the same rapid fire increments that are generally reserved for coffee runs or cigarette breaks than I am on actually living them. The incessant tick-tock of pressurized deadlines serves as the self-imposed soundtrack to the backdrop of my unnecessarily cluttered life.
In the same way that I used to sorely regret cramming a semester’s worth of information into my throbbing, bruised brain two nights prior to final exams, I’ve come to resent the act of missing out on the full vibrancy of an experience because of my perpetual deferment of various tasks. For instance, my weekly failure to adequately prepare for ‘date night’ generally renders me half dressed behind a bathroom door, shouting “Ready!” to my ever-punctual fiancé (bless him, that cute little alien) who’s putting his coat on and exiting the apartment. Drenched in stress-sweat, I take two more seconds to adorn my bare eyes with globs of mascara and throw on a sweater — or, any garment, really — clamoring to ensure that I, alone, won’t be the reason that we arrive after the restaurant closes its kitchen and stops serving for the night. Instead of feeling relaxed and beautiful, I’m frustrated and undone, scolding myself for watching that extra episode of Dr. Phil via YouTube when I knew that I should’ve been getting ready for our night out.
As such, when I recently looked at my Day Planner and ingested the fact that my wedding was exactly six months away (breathe!), I had a serious discussion with myself. Crystallizing a vision of exactly what I wanted the experience to represent, I made a devout resolution to prepare as thoroughly and as well in advance as possible, ensuring that all of my best efforts would go into the meticulous creation of an event that I believe should be comprised of personal touches and close attention to detail. Because, prior to the sixth month mark, I found myself experiencing a recurrent nightmare in which I’d wake up on the morning of the wedding and realize that nothing, sans the church and the venue, had been booked. While I would continuously rush to make an emergency appointment with GlamSquad in a last ditch effort to look reasonably suitable for my walk down the aisle, I would become overwrought with frustration, disappointment and anger.
Because, candidly, there’s always been an enormous difference between what my top tier, “Best Brooke,” performance manifests itself as versus what transpires/emerges when I make an attempt to offer anything less than that.
When I take authentic initiative, adequately prepare, and then execute with the confidence that can only be borne with doing the proper groundwork, I find that I enjoy, rather than dread, the process of checking things off of my To-Do list — even when it comes to tackling those tasks that aren’t necessarily meant to be fun, like stocking my refrigerator with healthy groceries or reviewing lengthy brand contracts.
In varying degrees, isn’t this the way that it is for all of us? I mean, do you ever really have a stellar morning when you press snooze four times and then slip into the office twenty minutes late, praying that you won’t be found out?
And so, while I pin away at 4am every single morning, explain my ideas to florists/lighting techs/musicians who look at me in such a way that would denote that I’ve suggested a departure on par with pruning hedges in the nude, get a wedding worthy weave sewn into my head by Andre, the Hair Whisperer Himself, and try to ensure that every last guest is wildly entertained and fantastically satisfied, just know this: I’m all in now, and I’ll never come home to a cold and dark apartment again.