Simply scrolling through Facebook one afternoon I came across a status that stated, “When the water finally runs dry that is when you realize how much you really needed that water.” It seemed to me like the truth but honestly I never had even thought about such a thing happening. And then suddenly I realized, it didn’t necessarily mean the water but also things in life in general. We, as humans take everything that is in front of us for granted.
It is funny that I got personal verification of this exact situation on Saturday February 2, 2013 living in Flannery O’Connor on Loyola’s campus. Around 10AM that morning we received an email from the director of student life that our building’s water was going to be shut off until 5PM due to maintenance. At first, this didn’t seem like that much of a task until a few hours had past. No water meant no sink water, toilet water or shower water. Saturday was the day I started to observe my everyday routine and it was then that I noticed how many times I made a trip to the general bathroom area. Weather it was to just wash my hands, look in the mirror or even wash a dish I had just used to eat my lunch in. I use to think I spent my whole Saturday on my bed either watching TV or doing homework. This amazed me. I really did need that running water.
Until the water came back on I decided to take a trip to the FAC and get a little work out in. Observing along the way, I took my normal path to Boulder then caught the bus to the gym. I found myself saying the same exact phrase every time I passed someone I knew. It was nothing more than “I’m good, How are you?” I thought to myself – “was this the only conversation I held with my acquaintances at school.” And the answer was: “Yes!” I realized that I had sheltered myself so much last semester, I never really made friends to hold a full conversation with. Why haven’t I noticed this before? This was a problem I knew I had to work on.
Meanwhile, after the FAC, I headed back to my room. Although it was after 5PM, the water still remained off. This time when I checked my email, the director told us another hour. This gave me time to do the “no electronic” part of my day. Now, anyone who knows me well enough knows that I can’t go a minute without my phone. A “typical teenager” as most would call me, but being with my phone makes me feel connected to the world. The most important thing being that I text and call my family and friends from back home every day. “Well here goes nothing,” I thought to myself. As I turned off my phone, computer and unplugged my television, I picked up a book. It wasn’t even a book I was interested in reading, it was just a book for Psychology class. After about five minutes, I was already instantly bored. Every time I looked at the clock I felt like the seconds were going by like minutes and the minutes like hours. I honestly could not read anymore of that book without falling asleep. Therefore I then decided to clean. And I cleaned from top to bottom, left to right. My room was spotless. I still had twenty minutes of my hour left and I got started on the rest of my homework. “Jeez, what a productive hour.” I thought to myself. And my hour was complete. I couldn’t wait to get back to my phone, but the hour wasn’t that bad after all.
Observation is something I don’t do often. I never actually find myself thinking about the moves I make or the thoughts I speak. I literally just go along with my everyday routine and whatever happens seems to just happen. But taking one day to reflect helped me notice who I am. It helped me see what others see in me and how I present myself as a student here at Loyola.