When I was little and feeling ornery before school (I was homeschooled, remember), mom would tell me to go outside, run around the house 3 times and scream. After doing that, I felt ready to face long division, Latin declensions, and even grammar .
Today, it’s a little less socially appropriate for me to run around my house screaming. But do I still feel like doing it? Well…
This post is my tribute to normal life. I’ve received several requests for a blog post, even though I haven’t really been up to anything.
I don’t have any big experiences to write about. I guess that’s sort of something to write about in itself.
I haven’t been riding yaks, ziplining or snorkling like last semester. I haven’t been buying a house, graduating or getting a job. I’ve just been here. Driving to campus. Going to class. Seeing friends. Reading. Running. Swimming. Praying. And watching airplanes fly overhead, carrying people to far away places while it’s my turn to stay put.
As the One Republic song says,”Sometimes there’s airplanes you can’t jump out,” but it’s still a good, good life. Last time I was in this phase (click here), a little waiting gave way to something incredible (click here). So for now, I’m honest to goodness loving the normal life here.
Observations from Normal Life
Sorry, Wrong Number
I’ve been working for a small online publication for one of my classes. I was supposed to interview a Kentucky representative in Frankfort for one of my stories. Like a good reporter, I called him up, leaving my name and a message. Mom happened to be walking by my bedroom door when I did this, and pointed out that I hadn’t left my number. Darn. Ashamed, I called him back and left my number, then went to repeat it. That’s when things got very strange very quickly. Suddenly my mind when blank, but was vaguely conscious that I was still speaking. An inexplicable string of unrelated numbers that have nothing to do with my cell phone number tumbled out of my mouth. I trailed off as the odd amalgamation of my social security, student ID and credit card number streamed out of me and onto my would-be interviewee’s answering machine. What did I do to amend this situation? “Have a nice day. Good bye.”
The Case of the Serial Bunny Killer
I’ve been running on days when I don’t swim in the morning. A series of bad things have been happening. First, it is freezing in the mornings. My exposed arm skin gets that red, tight, blotchy look–the kind that if you touch it, you can’t feel it. Back to last week’s run. I was running along with the aforementioned red skin when I nearly landed on a massacred bunny on the sidewalk. Backstory: The week before, there was a different dead bunny on the sidewalk. There was a bunny on yesterday’s run, too. We seem to have a serial killer on our hands. Backbackstory: I had a pet bunny growing up , so this is kind of upsetting. Really, people? A poor bunny expires in front of your house and you can’t clean it off the sidewalk? In this nice neigborhood? When we used to live in the boonies, my sisters and I would stage a full-fledged funeral (complete with music, designated chief mourner, and a Girl Scout cookie box casket) whenever we found a dead animal. Back to the run. I tried to drown out my sorrows with some nice music, but my nice pink earbuds are too big to fit in my ears and kept popping out. Then a car of maintenance men drove by hollering/hooting at me. Really? Bother a poor girl with wind burn and frost bitten arms stumbling over bunny cadavers with earbuds flying out of her ears? I bet you killed those bunnies.
Losing my head in British history class
I love my British history class. It has been one of my favorites from my whole college career. But I’ve had some pretty bad moments in the last few days. I came in late, sat in my normal seat and made a loud bang with my waterbottle. Unfortunate. Then for some reason the desk in front of me started to really annoy me. Then I started feeling randomly panicky about being stuck in a desk for 50 minutes (ok, 45, since I was late). I got super fidgety and suddenly I had no control over my body. I kept kicking the desk in front of me, knocking over my water bottle and dropping my pencil. It was like being in class with the energizer bunny except worse: I was the person annoying myself. During another class period, we were discussing Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. If you haven’t read it, the main premise is that a man is sentenced to death for fornication. His sister, who happens to be a gorgeous nun in training, comes to plead his case before the judge, begging for his life. The judge says her brother can go free if she spends the night with the judge. She refuses, sentencing her brother to death. I love Shakespeare, so I viewed this as my chance to redeem myself for my class as a Mexican jumping bean. I wasn’t expecting the professor to ask me in front of the class if I would sleep with a judge to save my siblings. Think about the potential answers to that question. Is there one that isn’t incredibly awkward? If there is, let me know. Because I didn’t use it.
Washers should be clean
This weekend my sister and her fiancee bought their new house. He will be living there until the wedding, so we started moving stuff in. Seth, my future brother in law, used to live in a house with 9 other guys. We donated our old washer and dryer to this man cave on steroids. Sarah and Seth will be using this set until Sarah can buy her dreamy brand new shiny red washer and dryer. This washer serviced 10 guys–and more of their friends than I care to count–in a basement for four years near UK’s campus. I didn’t expect much, but I didn’t expect what I saw. I spent over two hours literally carving off solidified masses of detergent and hair. I hate dirty things. My room can be a cluttered mess, but it must be sanitary. The thought of my sister washing her clothing in this washer made me panicky. We turned up the music, rolled up our sleeves, and waged all out war on the grime. At one point, I took a knife to it. It’s so ridiculously clean now that she could eat out of it. We left the men to get the thing working, and I received the following update from one of them: “So when Seth started using the dryer, it made this awful noise. We checked the exhaust, and sure enough there was around a dollar in loose change clanging around in there. We also found the most likely culprit’s [his] Johnson Center ID in there.” I have no words.
Strange occurrences and observations that defy categorization:
I was awarded my official Gaines scarf. It is a registered plaid. Someday there will be a Martha registered plaid even though I’m Italian.
I appeared on the jumbotron for my first time ever. So exciting.
I finished my thesis and promptly sent my committee the wrong file.
I taught 60 students bollywood dancing. I don’t feel like further explanation is necessary.
The song playing on your radio alarm sets the tone for your day. I need to find a channel that never plays “Hotel California.”
The lifeguard at the place I swim asked me what High School I go to. Really? I’m a senior. IN COLLEGE.
I fell down the stairs this morning and started laughing hysterically. This was a less than ideal way to wake my younger sister.
I heard my professor’s muffled voice while studying in my bedroom and became convinced that I had finally lost my mind. I picked up my laptop to see my cell phone with my professor’s number on the display wondering why I had just called him.
I let a baby at the pregnancy home I visit play with my phone for the evening. Now I can’t tell who my texts or phone calls are coming from.
I got confused at the beginning dance class and told my students it was time to sing happy birthday…to a student who whose birthday is in April. I suggested we sing happy birthday to Justin Bieber instead.
I spent forever trying to figure out why my car key fob wouldn’t work on my front door.
Maybe you only give your own telephone number when you leave a message. Maybe you don’t fall down the stairs. Maybe people in your neighborhood clean dead animals off of the sidewalk. But my guess is that there are other little snippets of normalcy that make you cringe at first, then laugh later.
Silly little things make life exciting. The big things are special at least in part because we celebrate them so readily. What really makes them big? These are all moments God has given us, big and small. Moments make up days. And days make a life.
I can’t go outside and run around the house screaming anymore. But this week, I drove myself down to the field I grew up playing Robin Hood in. I parked, slammed the car door and hit the ground running. I didn’t want to stop. I ran and ran until the sun set. Then I got in the car, rolled down the windows, took to an open, empty road and screamed, and screamed and screamed at the night air.
A lot has changed. But I’m still me. And you know what? Screaming and running still works.