Ah, what a week, temperature wise. Only towards the end did we get up into the 90s and humidity return. I doubt many of us will look back on the summer of 2014 as that summer that so many days were mild and the humidity was down. We’ll likely forget pretty quickly how many days we got to sit out on the porch and sip a warm cup of tea in the mornings and enjoy the breeze. But, we really should–summers like this don’t come along very often.
The week was a fairly slow one compared to the last several. There were no trips to national parks. No week long educational marathons. It was mainly a week where I tried to get my internal sleep clock back into a routine that fit with my work schedule. I felt unsuccessful most of the week, floating from task to task in a haze that left me happy if I completed whatever there was to be done without completely going unconscious. It felt like the only time I wasn’t taxed with being “on,” was when Allyson and I would take an evening walk, or Saturday night when we dressed up a little and went to Jasmine to split a bowl of soy sauce noodles.
I am not a fan of these weeks when I push myself so hard that I don’t really feel like I’m there. For many years, I was an overachiever in school, spending most of my spare minutes studying, because I could not stand to be imperfect. I didn’t really do all the studying because I loved it–I had just gotten a taste of success, and I wanted more, until I wanted it so bad, I didn’t really understand why I wanted it. I was incredibly gifted in math in high school. Probably one of the greatest academic achievements I’ll ever be able to brag about is that I made a 36 on the math section of the ACT (that’s perfect if you’re wondering). And yeah, I am bragging, because most of you can’t do that, and I worked real hard for it.
So, when I went to college, I was felt like I should go into math, be an engineer and make a lot of money. I jumped into the most advanced calculus that I could sign up for, and my path was seemingly set. But, as time went on, and I got into my second calculus class, I become so disillusioned with it that I stopped making myself study. I looked at my math professor and how he spent so much time working formulas, clicking on a graphing calculator, and I just didn’t want to do that with my life. I remember the day that I was off to calculus, and I felt I needed to go because I had a quiz. I met my roommate (who was in this class with me and actually would go on to be an engineer) with a group of guys and a basketball. He said if I joined we’d have even teams. I told him, hesitantly, I didn’t think I should, there might be a pop quiz. He said, forget it, come play. I couldn’t resist. I loved to play basketball. I had grown to hate calculus and any prospects of ever using it.
I would later go into public relations, and in that major find I was spending more time on my English papers than I was on my PR projects. I was beginning to realize I didn’t see myself in public relations either. I loved to read and write. I knew my chances of making money were much smaller there than pr, and infinitely smaller than engineering, but I also knew what made me happy. I finally ending up with a degree in English. Then I went on to work at a camp for 12 years after that, even though there were plenty of times people thought I was just holding onto my childhood. They were wrong. I was choosing my path, as an adult, and that path would make me happy even if it meant more work.
Sunday, I went out to the Murray State soccer field to run. I took off my shoes and ran barefoot, feeling the grass on the bottoms of my feet. Every ten minutes, I stopped and did push-ups, until I had been out there about 45 minutes. I stretched and did a few yoga poses to wind down. As I sat on the bleachers, a group of guys showed up to play flag football, ranging in ages from teenager to about 40. I could have gone home then–I have a lot to get done, but I wanted to stick around. So, I sat a little while and watched these guys, laughed at their smack talk, picked out the showboaters, the serious, the crafty veterans. It was so relaxing to people watch for a little while and not feel the clock demanding my every move.
As I walked back, I came upon a group of international students playing cricket on the quad. I had no idea what they were doing, but I watched curiously for a while, trying to figure out the game, looking for the similarities and differences in them and me. There is so much out there to see. I got back home in time to make dinner and clean the kitchen, to write and read some of my school assignments. But, I can also tell people I watched part of a football game and cricket match Sunday evening. It’s funny how we often tell ourselves we want to see something based on someone else’s wishes for us and not the things we love the most. There are consequences for every decision we make. In the end will we look back and remember the path that brought us here? Will it be one we’re proud of? Will it be full of happy, memorable moments? Will we remember those summer days that felt so nice and be glad we chose to do what we did?