I’ve never really been an impulsive person. I’ve always hated the mess that comes with it. Anyone can come up with a spur of the moment plan, but putting that plan into action is hard. I like to know what I’m doing when, how much that activity will cost, if I need to drive or walk there, how long that will take. The minor details. The things, essentially, that matter. And maybe I got this quality from my mom, who would ask me all these things back in middle and high school when I wanted to go out with friends, but it also makes sense. You always want to be prepared.
And it wasn’t until coming to SCAD that I realized it’s okay to let go. To understand that things don’t have to always be planned out, and in some cases, the best plans are the ones made up without a sense of if it’s a good idea or not.
It was last year, winter quarter. Michelle, my best friend, prompted me to join her in going to her friend’s house to paint, talk with friends and have some wine. It must have been a Friday because I don’t drink on days I have school work to do, but I remember I was still reluctant to go. She assured me it would be casual though, so that must have broken me. We left the house and it wasn’t as chilly as I thought. For being January, I was comfortable in my tank top, thin zip-up and leggings. When we got there, it was fun sitting on the floor of Michelle’s friend’s house, watching four girls smear colors around on separate canvases. And as the hours got later, our laughter got louder. It was two thirty in the morning, and all five girls had gathered around a busted mirror, when someone mentioned Tybee Island. “Wait,” I started, “Why don’t we go to Tybee?”
“Wait what, you mean now?” Michelle’s friend asked.
“Yes now! Why not?” The girls all shrugged.
Before I knew it, we were grabbing towels, backpacks and keys, and getting in the car, the sober girl of the group driving us smoothly down to Tybee. We rolled down the windows and blasted songs that reminded us of elementary school, the wind carrying our screaming voices back down the road. And then there we were. Three in the morning, dancing and singing in the soft waves on Tybee beach. And it wasn’t until I finally sat down with all the girls and I looked up at the moon bouncing off the gentle tide that I realized this was both the dumbest decision and the best decision I’ve ever made. I had no idea when I was going to get home or what even possessed me to want to run on the beach with friends at three in the morning. But I’m glad I did. It was out of my character, and I liked that because it reminded me that life should be about making amazing and dumb decisions; decisions that will leave a lasting memory.
And while I still like to know where I’m going and how long it will take me to get there, I like the small detours that can happen along the way. I like that while sitting in Forsyth park with my two best friends, one of us can sit up off the checkered red blanket and say, “Hey. Wanna get a piercing today?” And the other will reply, “Yeah, okay let’s go.” It’s funny and ridiculous and when you have people who make impulsive decisions worth your while, it makes it easy to let go and enjoy.
So this piece goes out to you, the impulsive decision makers. Thank you for having no fear, for living life in a way that is exciting and maybe a little stupid (but in the best way possible), and for helping those who aren’t as impulsive see the beauty in the unplanned adventure.
Illustrations done by Logan Barone