My life has degenerated into a series of countdowns. Three days until my next race. A week until the Common App opens up. Two and a half weeks until fall training for soccer starts, and another after that until the first day of school.

This is good, because it gives me things to look forward to, to mark down on my calendar. I can make lists of other things that need to get done before those dates—buying new supplies and new clothes for school, for example, because I’m as susceptible as anyone to that satisfying feeling of a fresh start. Or trying to fit in a run every day before my race. Or even just rolling my bike out of the garage, broken brakes and all, and getting on it and going somewhere instead of sequestering myself in my room with my new headphones and a bag of popcorn.

But until these things actually happen I just feel like I’m living the same day over and over again. Writing this same piece over and over again every week. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for the monotony. I’ve had a lot on my mind and no words for it and sometimes it’s easier to just lie in bed and listen to music that comes closer to explaining my thoughts than I can. Noise-cancelling headphones make it too easy to drown out the world. ♦