Freedom

by Mark Chmiel

Month off between semesters
14-hour days

Smiling at mile 18 of marathon
Straining to do five pushups

“We are pleased to accept you as a Corps member”
“We are unable to take many qualified candidates”

153 people came to the protest
Fund-raiser a bust

Acclaimed as a rock star
Denounced as a sell-out

Seven thousand miles from home
Stuck in traffic two miles from home

Unconditional parental love
Extremely conditional parental love

Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
Triple espresso with a free extra shot

39 on MCAT
134 on LSAT

“A visionary work of astonishing perspicuity!”
“How is such adolescent drivel even allowed to be published?”

Hit on seven times in the space of three long city blocks
Totally ignored on the bus day after day

Dow Jones is having a great day
Portfolio takes a big hit

73 Likes
22 Friends

“BFF!”
“Don’t ever text me again!”

Perfect tan
Thinning hair

Don’t be swayed by external circumstances

The last line is one of 59 mind-training slogans (lojong) in Tibetan Buddhist tradition; see Pema Chödrön’s commentary, Start Where You Are.

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