Saturday, April 13, 2013

Things That Remind Me Just How Young I Am


Music on Campus
One of my brothers has a band on campus (The Flying Jays, check them out!).  They’re great.  I recently went to one of their shows, and picked up their cd, at one of our campus coffee houses.  The show was free, the room was packed, and there were people standing on the windowsill outside to listen.  Some other brothers and I had claimed a corner couch/table area and sat on the windowsill inside in order to see over the standing crowd.  This is not the first (nor the last) free music show I’ve been to this semester.  There are open mic nights nearly every other week, the College of Arts and Sciences hosts an event called “Rock the CASbah” which has free music performed by CAS students and faculty, the choirs almost all do free shows, as do the other on campus bands.  Even just sitting on the quad I get free music from other students who play guitars, violins, banjos, or sing.  
Last year I attended a concert at the 9:30 Club and the ticket cost was fairly low for them, but still more than I would’ve liked to pay.  When I get to attend free music events on campus, it reminds me that I’m not yet in my mid-twenties, that I’m barely a twenty-something at all.  Free (good) music where I live?  Yes please.  

Being on Campus in General

My campus is not very large, the homeland security facility next door is actually much larger.  We do have a quad, but it’s pretty small too.  This week it’s gotten into the eighties and nineties, so people have been out on the quad in droves, including me.  Even just walking to class, let alone the time that I spend reading on the grass and just lounging in the sun, reminds me that there are so many other people on my campus, and it’s reminded me of just how young I really am.  I can feel ancient, but I am only twenty, and I’ve just barely started my life journey.  
The fact is that I’m a college student, yes I’m a college student who is about to leave college, and a college student with a fairly mature mind, but I’m still a college student.  I’ve got a lot of future ahead of me, and I realize that most when I’m walking around my campus and see other people my own age just quadding and reading and living.  Being on my campus reminds me that my days are still full of infinite possibility, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.  

My Friends’ Love Lives
I’m not going to go into detail, and I’m not going to discuss my own love life on here.  But to speak in general terms, a lot of the long high school and college sweetheart relationships I know are breaking up, and then those people are going out and dating others.  I’ve always seen these relationships as static, as permanent parts of my social landscape.  But they’re not.  They’re changing, growing, reshaping, and sometimes breaking apart.  This has, so far, always been for the better of both people involved.  
Even though most people would probably have expected these relationships to break up, I didn’t.  Coming to terms with the fact that all of these relationships are impermanent and just as subject to the winds of change as my master’s degree plans has reminded me that even though sometimes I feel 32, I’m still 20.  Change can be a really good thing.

Wanderlust

This is related to the next one, but it’s also individual.  I’ve had wanderlust as long as I can remember.  Traveling all over the world just me, a duffel bag of clothes, and a notebook, sounds amazing sometimes.  Most of the time I’m pretty grounded.  But sometimes I just really want to go somewhere new alone.  Since I moved to DC I’ve loved wandering around various parts of the city alone.  I hop on the metro, pick an area, and just go.  
I also really love driving around Missouri with my mom and just seeing what we can find.  We discovered once that Kimswick, Missouri is closed on Mondays (not just a few stores, the whole town shuts down).  Right now I’d love to get on a megabus and go visit somewhere like the beach at Ocean City, Maryland, or Durham, North Carolina where a couple of my friends live.  I’d love to hop on a plane and go see Venice or Edinburgh or Cardiff.  
My wanderlust forces me to remember that even though my mind sometimes feels really old, I really am young, and even my old mind/old soul remembers that subconsciously.  Even if I don’t remember all the time that I’m twenty, in those moments when I look out at the gray sky of Washington, DC (or more recently the bright blue sky of Washington) and I just want to leave, then I remember.  

Looking at New Cities to Live In
After I graduate from college I want to go straight to getting my master’s degree beginning the next fall.  After that I want to take a break and work for a while before I keep going for my PhD so that I don’t burn out.  Both while I’m in my master’s program and in that period away from school I want to live away from my parents and off the east coast.  Right now I’m looking at schools everywhere, as I mentioned in my last post.  My main prospects, at least as far as those in the US, are Chicago and Indianapolis.  I love the Midwest, and I really want to live here or in the Rocky Mountain region.  I’ve felt really tied down for a long time, really stuck.  But I’m not tied down yet, and I may be sticky, but I’m not yet stuck in any one place.  
Looking at all of these new possibilities makes me feel so unbelievably young.  I can move to Chicago and get a job in a museum there after graduation if I want.  I can go to Indianapolis and teach high school history after I get my master’s (I think....).  I can move to Wyoming and freelance write for a historical magazine or National Geographic.  Looking at grad schools may show me my options narrowing, but at the same time looking at the possibilities in the future really does remind me that I’m still young and I still have hundreds of options.  

So friends, even though sometimes I feel really, really old, I also sometimes feel really young.  Some things remind me that even though I’m about to end this amazing chapter of my life, I still have a lot more chapters to write.  



Stay Tuned.

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