Work, this morning. Up at six, with far too little caffeine. The sun rising, all reds, oranges and blue, through the trees, sprinkled with a lousy covering of snow, barely an inch to be generous. Either I magically became a wimp over the summer, or it was cold outside. Difficult to tell sometimes, you know? The drive was quiet, and beautiful too. Can't explain why I didn't turn up music. Sometimes it's nice to allow yourself a moment of peace. Seems like lately all that's been coming into my brain is more and more information with less and less time to fully process it. I'm like a child, in a way. Waking up on Monday, sure of my future status in the New York City ballet, then deciding before lunch that an English teacher at Yale would be preferable. Suppose it would be only fair to be honest. I don't know where I am going. Barely figured out who I am, for that matter, and they want answers already.
That is not the entire truth, come to think of it. I know where I want to go. I want to move far away from these subdivisions, and strip malls. Somewhere that I do not know roads naturally, some place I could rediscover for myself. The realist inside my head whispers that all places are essentially the same, and while I know that has some truth, it still leads me to pursue this train of thought with a passion.
They built a water tower near the office. Tried to make it look like an old Lighthouse. It's the most pitiful thing you could ever see, really. Chicago is land locked, you know? And though you can see the Willis/Sears tower from there, and the lake isn't all that faraway, it's about as nautical as the Sahara.
There are younger teenagers at work, in the hallways, awkwardly shuffling to their appointments, their parents sitting in the waiting room, with their copies of People Magazine or Golfer's Digest, or whatever sort of inferior reading material lies around on the table out there. If it were me, I would fill all of those sorts of waiting places with books about a million different topics, something would be bound to fascinating to someone.
Wonder how they would see me. Just a short girl, with ordinary brown eyes and ordinary brown hair, dark circles under her eyes, too pale skin, and a small smile, bending over file cabinets in a much too large sweater, my fingers cold and blue in the florescent lighting.
Doubt they would care.
The funniest thing happened though, I was getting some papers from the manager's office, and I had the huge box halfway into the hall. Some teenagers passed, maybe a year or two younger than me, off to the consultation room. And something shocked me of out the blue.
I'm no longer one of them really. There was a sensation that I had crossed a barrier of no return. In a state of panic, I attempted to recall the last time I engaged in a teenagerly conversation or act. Even with my friends, we act so old, our conversations are nothing like those that I overhear.
It is true, I have never been the epitome of normalcy for the fact, either. So it's hard to say for certain whether or not I can judge my growing up based on those around me.
But I looked at a Christmas card from Freshman year. A friend, my Dad, and I were compared it with our card from this year. And I looked at that dorky girl, with that ridiculous look on her face (I'd like to believe it was just an awkward phase and I'm more attractive than that now, but it might be wishful thinking), and think to myself:
"Who the hell is she?"
Myself, now, today, and the girl in that photo have entirely different views. We want different things. Have different relationships. Care about opposite things.
Our whole basis of what life means is so polar, that it's hard to see where the shifting happened.
Some things are definitely for the better. Others are debatably worse. I'm a lot less shocked by things then I was then, but in turn I'm also a lot less phased by things.
(Side note, I'm a much better writer than her, don't you dare go into the blog archives to the dark ages)
And worst of all, there have been people, things and dreams I've had to toss to the wind.
Life is just a revolving door, bringing people and adventure in and out of your particular window of life at an alarmingly fast rate. You need to learn to love without being shattered when you lose. You need to cherish every single moment you're given.
So I'm going to be in the now. Because I want twenty-five year old me to be able to look back and say "Hey, I was on the right track" when she thinks about me.
Just some very long winded thoughts.