When I adjust myself to a specific angle, the perspective shifts, and I’m no longer at a designated community park, these views are my own, and I’m free to manipulate its design. 

This malnourished lake seems to shrink each time I catch its dumpster green gaze from this grassy pedestal, a 7-year old  cool-down seat of contemplation. The lone weeping willow is all cried out like allure from three months worth of sunburn, and its neighbors sympathize its pain and declining health.  

Sitting cross-legged under the conifers makes me forget that i’m in San Diego, and it feels safer to situate myself in this space than the preferable, but sketchy redwood circle(or any natural spot) at Balboa. 

A light breeze sweeps the stray hairs away from my eyes and tucks them behind my ears. I eliminate the distractions: the ducks, the children at play, the joggers, the traffic. With the suburban volume turned down, the illusion is complete, and everything inside gets amplified and transformed into a physiological symphony.

The amygdala counsels the inner critic, a shifty entity prone to handing out 2-star reviews on the quality of life and creative decisions out of sheer doubt during the heightened emotional sensitivity of Shark Week.

Inner critic: Shouldn’t I be doing…more?

Amygdala: You’re doing more than enough Bruh. Lower your standards of productivity–school’s over, your stress-levels have reached an all-time low, and your passions now align. You’re no longer enslaved by weekly all-nighters, weekend lab sessions, a full load of three-hour courses, and four-hour daily commutes. Remind yourself that you deserve this.

Inner critic: Deserve what?

Amygdala: Time.

Inner critic: It’s my break year. It’s my break year. It’s my break year.

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