The Vista
Column
February 17, 2011

Last April, my roommates and I decided to defiantly ignore our budgets and put a deposit down on a two-bed, two-bath, two-story apartment one block away from the beach. Though I was hesitant about signing a lease that required us to split the $1,795 rent only three ways, my roommates are boys, and their active, beach-going ways were hard for them to deny.

So we moved down to an area with more parking, and into a place with a backyard that had an outdoor shower. The three of us had big plans to surf, lay out, go running and cook in our own kitchen on a regular basis. But big plans are hard to commit to, and we did all four of those things extremely rarely (as in maybe two or three times each in one year).

I’ve since considered myself to be quite lazy, or overly busy with too many responsibilities that are separate from my home life and well being. I tell myself that I never have the time to cook because I never have the time to grocery shop, or that I never have the time to go to the beach because I have class until four and I’ll get home around 4:30 p.m., at which point I would only be able to sit in the sand for about 10 minutes, since it starts to get dark and cool down around 5 p.m. or so.

My favorite excuse is the one I make when I should exercise. I justify my lack of activity by explaining to myself that I’m so worn out from thinking and from doing too much work, which makes it okay for me to sit in my bed and play Words With Friends until I get sleepy and put on a Netflix movie to relax my brain before I settle in for six hours of effed up dreams.

But I’m beginning to learn that these excuses are stupid. The other day it was absolutely gorgeous outside. My class got out half an hour early, I had a delicious sandwich at La Paloma and realized that it was hot enough outside to go to the beach. The day got even better when my boyfriend called me to say he got off work early, so we decided to go to the beach when I got home.

As soon as I walked into my house I had that urge to just put on my pajamas and take a nap with the fan on, but my boyfriend and I somehow resisted. I put on my bikini, he waxed his surfboard and we started our five-minute trek to the beach.

Between the time I left campus and the time I got to my house, the temperature had dropped about 15 degrees and I was covered in goose bumps. My boyfriend sighed that the waves were “gonna be shitty” as we neared the boardwalk, and he was right. But we stuck to our guns and walked down the wooden stairway to the sand.

The wind picked up as soon as we chose our spot, and it was nearly impossible to lay our towels down, but we managed, and we talked about things important to us for about 45 minutes until the wind and the cold became too much and we needed to go home and be warm. We were so happy and refreshed that we let our indoor cats roam through our tiny backyard, until they started to eat grass and spiders, at which point we lured them back in with catnip.

I haven’t had another free moment since that day, but I understand that I can if I decide to, especially if I put my bikini on before I convince myself otherwise (kind of like ripping off a Band-Aid). I look forward to the next day that I can lay down and let the wind pass over me in waves while I contemplate my future as a college graduate that has two cats, no money and, as of press time, no job.