Peaking Too Soon

Submarine (2010)
Submarine (2010)

On a normal Tuesday night, a young lady worries about her future.

She wasn’t a dim girl. In fact, she is actually a particularly smart girl but this fact is obscured by her terrible chronic laziness. The word “chronic” here means that her laziness is “absolutely and totally controllable, it’s just that she chooses to be lazy all the time to the point that it might be mistaken as a medical condition”.

It’s nearing 9 o’clock, and she’s listing down all the things she must do in a list aptly named: My To-Do List.

  • Organize my room
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Create an impressive resumé
  • Get a job (anything, really)
  • Give the dogs a bath

She puts her pen down and tacks the paper to her small cork board. After doing her pre-sleeping rituals–checking if the front door is locked, getting in to her night gown, and applying moisturizer to her face–she turns off the lights and goes under the covers.

She could not fall asleep. She stares at the dusty ceiling. I really should clean that up tomorrow.

She turns and hugs her hotdog pillow. What if I peaked too soon? she wondered to herself. The phrase “peaked too soon” here means “the most successful years of your life being that too-good-for-everyone girl from high school who passes judgment so easily and also complains a lot about how the school works”.

She had a marvelous time in high school. She had a solid group of friends, good grades, and the occasional dramatic love life (a phrase here which means, going steady with the person she liked all throughout high school). She wasn’t the best at everything but she always thought that she could be if she only exerted more effort.

Now, she is single. This doesn’t bother her too much until someone asks her if she’s dating anyone. Why can’t I just be alone and happy? Is that too hard to believe?

In reality, she spends some of her idle time fantasizing of a greater love than she had ever experienced. A real life knight in shining armor, a phrase which means “totally cool and good-looking guy who can also connect with her intellectually”.

She is also unemployed. She does not miss the sound of disappointment from her mom’s voice over the phone or the frustrated helplessness from her dad’s letter. She sleeps at 4AM and wakes up the next day well after lunch time. She wastes her time on the couch watching the telly. (To be fair, they are good TV shows)

And to make it worse, she is terribly demotivated. She feels like she cannot do anything more. That this is the end of the road for her. Sometimes, when she’s feeling extra depressed, she gets this terrifying mental image of her fifty-year old pudgy-self eating cheap peanut butter from the jar. This is it from now on: television, unhealthy food, and insomnia.

She closes her eyes and willed herself to sleep. Tomorrow, she will fight her battles.

Writing 101, Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.

I tried to mimic Lemony Snicket’s way of writing in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Try being the operative word since I recognize that this doesn’t even come close to how he writes. Also, in my mind, there is someone narrating this in the background ala Pushing Daisies (I’ve been watching it lately) or Cat in the Hat.


7 thoughts on “Peaking Too Soon

  1. I am very happy that I found you through Writing 101. I greatly enjoy your writing. You have a very good future in this. I need to put you down on my MUST read list.
    Much Admiration

    • Thank you so much! 🙂 I’m really enjoying Writing 101. I’ve also been visiting your blog regularly and I’ve been enjoying some of the ones I’ve read. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  2. I’m leaving some feedback here so I can refer to the paragraphs with some ideas. Overall, I like the voice in this very much. It sounds just like someone would whom you describe. Well done.

    I also like the way you put meaning inside meaning – or outside – whichever way you want to put it.

    Sometimes I became really confused in a paragraph and had to back up and read a couple of times… I.e. here’s an example of how you might give your reader’s sense of things some credit and not have to always say “meaning……”

    …. this fact is obscured by her terrible chronic laziness, meaning that her laziness is “absolutely and totally controllable,…. (not sure where this direct quote comes from however – Lemony Snicket?)

    In one paragraph you write She sleeps at 4AM and wakes up the next day well after lunch time.
    And the final line is…She closes her eyes and willed herself to sleep. Tomorrow, she will fight her battles.


    You have a fine style. I like the rhythm of many sentences. What might be helpful for you is reading your essays out loud to see where the sentence wobbles or seems unclear. Reading out loud is something I still do after 40+ years of writing.

    Hope this helps!

    • (not sure where this direct quote comes from however – Lemony Snicket?)

      I see why you got confused with the quotation marks. I probably should’ve been consistent in putting marks around my fake meanings. It isn’t a quote; it’s kind of like a definition of the word that is purely applicable to the context of the story. 🙂

      And with the character’s sleeping habits, in my head, she willed herself to sleep because she wants tomorrow to be a different day. That’s why she wrote her to-do list. 🙂

      Thank you very much for the feedback, it really helped! 🙂

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