And just like that…boom goes the dynamite. School, work, family, friends. Pow, kabam, watch out for that spark. Life’s back!
School started with a bang, and it hasn’t stopped. And neither have the other components of life, which demand my hours and give me headaches and make me laugh and show up in my dreams. It’s all a happenin’, and with no apologies, let me tell you. And man! I was stuck in this summer sort of state of mind, which led me to believe that life was about sitting behind a desk, eating ice cream, and going on moon-drenched evening walks. I guess that’s why people fall in love in June, because September doesn’t offer nearly as much ice cream (but rumor has it that the pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks, so I can’t really lament the ice cream.)
And with all of that my!-isn’t-life-something talk, I bet you’re wondering what’s been keeping me so busy, or maybe you’re just ready for me to stop with the paragraphs and give you some photographs and make some jokes. I’ll do what I can.
Here’s what I’ve been filling my days with…
Things I’ve Never Done Before
I did one major thing on Labor Day weekend that I’m sure is somewhere on my if-you-don’t-do-this-before-you-die-you-are-one-lame-person list, and that, my friends, was camping.
That’s right. Go ahead, pick yourselves up off the floor and put down that Q-tip. You heard me correctly, no need to clean out your ears. I’d never been camping before Labor Day 2011, and since I’m not getting any younger, my friends decided it was time for that to change. It seemed like a swell idea to me: They promised sleeping under the stars, smooshing chocolate and marshmallows in between two graham crackers in the setting in which such smooshing was meant to occur, and hiking towards a great, big, beautiful wildflower field. Or at least that’s what I heard when they said, “Let’s go camping!”
What happened was a little bit different but a lot of wonderful at the same time. We did sleep under the stars… we just also got some starry rain, if you know what I’m saying. We did smoosh marshmallows… we just did so over a fire in a can. And there weren’t many wildflowers to be seen, but there were some dance parties and tacos to make up for that.
On the morning after the night in the tent, we woke up to rain, and we checked our cell phones like the true roughing-it souls we were and saw that the clouds weren’t clearing in our near future. So we made the best of it, which brings me the second Thing I Did For the Very First Time. And if you guessed that thing was swinging on a rope swing and plummeting into a cold, ferocious lake, why, you’d be correct! I only have one piece of advice for you young whippersnappers who have not yet embarked upon such a swing: Don’t let go. That’s right. Those boys, they just swung on out there are glided through the air until they effortlessly passed into the water and came up glowing and giggling. They told me, “Let go when it feels right.” And there’s the problem: I don’t have one of those built-in mechanisms that coaches me along in such life situations as this one. The coordinated, athletic life I lead is a daily struggle. And so, I let go when it “felt right,” and 15 seconds later, it felt all wrong, because there I was, on the bottom of the lake. I’d let go near the bank, see, and plummeted to certain almost-death. Luckily, I popped right up and lived to tell the tale with only a lake-sized bruise on my right side, but friends, it could have ended much worse.
Things I’ve Been Missing
I don’t know if you’ve heard about Alabama football, but Roll Tide. And well, that’s really all one can say about that.
Additionally, I’ve made several trips back and forth to my home-home, which has been a lot of driving. Some of it was for hanging-out times with my family, and some of it was for less fun adventures, and then some of it was for reasons for which I never want to return. Still, there was lots of this and for that, I am mightily grateful.
Things I Just Gotta Do
You know… homework. Reading. Laundry, dishes, coffee in the morning. Sleeping and dreaming and nose-blowing. Walking to class and walking to work and praying that I’ll get somewhere—anywhere—on time because people, that is not my cup of
tea coffee. I’ve been visiting the Starbucks and playing the Canasta and having the talks with my best friends who live with me.
See, life’s been wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m, just like it always is when the bell tolls and the teachers start expecting us to do scintillating things with our brains. As much as my words describe and my photos illustrate, there are bucketloads I can’t quite show you, and so use your imagination and believe with me. But reader, it’s been fantastic. It’s different than that quiet, lazy pace of summer that wraps you up and sings you a lullaby, and though it’s shocking at first—like hitting the bottom with a thud—you come up for air and start swimming. Before you know it, you’ve caught your breath and you’ve adjusted your pace, and you realize you kind of like it this way after all. And, well, Roll Tide.