Chapter 2

I will finish the questionnaire by the end of January, read the first line. Well, she obviously hadn’t. She had finished it by the beginning of March, and it had taken her another three weeks to bring it back to the career counselor. Right on time in fact, to change her major, again.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? She remembered writing the quotation in the notebook after finding the magnet, and the promise she had made to herself.

I will not talk to Tamba again, the last resolution stated. She had kept that one, well, at least for a while she thought remembering how much she had meant it.

She could still see herself writing it, exactly one year ago to this day; she had just moved in her new apartment, 2005 was only a few hours away, and she had decided to spend New Year’s Eve unpacking.

Even though it was thrilling to live in Manhattan, she felt insecure and lost. After all, how could she ever be sure that she had made the right decision? Everything about herself and her life was confusing and scary. She hadn’t been able to choose a major that suited her since she had started college the semester before. So she had to finish the questionnaire for his career counselor, which was beyond annoying; her advisor had referred him, and she just felt both of them were completely useless. They didn’t seem to understand that it had been that way for most of her life, for most of the things she tried, and this was just how it would always be. So she knew that answering 250 questions wouldn’t help, which made it even more aggravating; as much as she wanted to figure out what to do with her life, she just couldn’t imagine how that questionnaire could give her the perfect answer.

In the meantime, her apartment was a complete chaos, which was okay, she kept on telling herself, since she had just moved in the night before. She couldn’t get herself to clean it though, mostly because she didn’t know where to start. Instead on focusing on one task, she spent the morning randomly opening boxes, emptying half on them on floor, stopping to answer a question or two, or to think about her intentions for 2005.

She hadn’t labeled anything, and hadn’t been organized when packing the week before; all she really wanted then was to be as far as possible from Tamba, as fast as she could. The six months she had spent living with him after their breakup had been hard on her, and she just couldn’t wait to leave his place. Still, she thought as she found one of her socks in a tea-cup, she should have been a bit more careful when she packed.

Her boxes were all over the floor; piles of clothes, shoes, books, magazines, CDs, candles, and other knick-knacks crammed the space between them, making it nearly impossible for her to navigate through the room.

She kept on going from one box to another, vaguely looking through them, carelessly putting most of the thing on the floor, actually wondering where her clothes were, her Petit Bateau shirts especially, until she found one of her favorite magnets stuck inside the toaster; quite sad considering how meaningful its message was. She decided that from then on, she would be more considerate of things that bear important words of wisdom.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

She read it several times as if she wanted to imprint it in her heart, to never forget it, and quickly began to think she should answer the question. And if she did, she would just be okay. So what would she attempt to do if she knew she could not fail? She had no idea. She wrote the quotation in the notebook deciding that she would have to answer the question by the end of 2005. Or maybe by the beginning of 2006. What difference a few weeks would make?

Later that morning, somewhere between two or three questions and one intention, she found the other magnet. Carelessly placed on a pile of magazines, it read her favorite quotation, the one that always made her feel better. She wrote it on the very last page of her notebook; everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.


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