I was standing near the front of the recital hall feeling overheated and claustrophobic as I prepared to step onto the stage. As an Admission Office employee, I had been asked to give the university’s introduction presentation to a group of visiting high school music students. I had given this presentation what felt like one thousand times before, so I wasn’t concerned about it before entering the hall. That quickly changed as I mingled with some of the other presenters for the evening and realized how ill-prepared I was to speak to this particular group of music-focused (antisocial) high school music students.
I recently set out to accomplish my goal of doing something to make myself more cultured. I considered my options as I sat on the couch watching a show about a morbidly obese woman showing the world that you can be both fat and fierce. The possibilities included: journeying into the German Village in Columbus to try schnitzel for the first time, visiting an art gallery to immerse myself in art history, or staying home and having Adam, my hipster housemate, give me a lesson on how to make a pour over coffee. I am mildly lazy/not really into art, so I chose the latter option.
After work on a Friday in July, while staring down the nose of a three-day weekend, I decided that I should do something adventurous. With no planning whatsoever, I logged onto the CouchSurfing website and started sending messages to people living in New York City to see if they could house me for a few nights. For those of you who are in the dark about what couch surfing is, it is a website where people post a profile saying that they are willing to house people for a few nights at no cost. I had heard about it from some friends, and I think that it is really big in Europe and the serial killer community.
In case you were not able to deduce what this post is going to be about from the title, it is about me building a desk. When I made plans to move back home after college, I wanted to set up a home office that would serve as an engine room to my productivity. I had a specific idea as to how I wanted it to look, and I began to scour the internet for a desk in the industrial style that I wanted. I originally searched for the desk on websites such as IKEA and Amazon, but after reading the book Cheap (a book that completely changed my life and inspired a goal that I will be sharing in a few months), I knew that I could not buy a cheaply produced desk from those websites in good conscience.
Whether or not I was still in Ohio was the question I asked after I had been driving for a few hours in Indiana. When I created my 21 goals, I never thought that my goal to interview in a state other than New York or Ohio would take me to such an exotic place as Indiana. I had mere aspirations that I would fly somewhere such as California or Alaska to interview for a position, but Indiana definitely took the cake.
I was going to make a comment about how the title of this blog post evokes images of Julie Andrews spinning and singing in a mountain meadow, until I looked up that song from The Sound of Music. About one minute into the video, I realized that it is not as cheerful as I had remembered and was actually sung in a dark room of a nunnery, and that imagery is not exactly what I was going for. Anyway, moving on…
I have been quite restless lately. It is odd that I should feel this way since I have had the opportunity to travel to New York City twice and Washington D.C. once this summer. But even with these excursions, I have still felt trapped and antsy. So what can I do to relieve this feeling of entrapment? If this were a New York Times bestselling memoir, I would buy a one way plane ticket to Finland and backpack through the country with nothing but a journal and a sleeping bag. In case you did not know, this is not a bestselling memoir, so I have to do more realistic things to make my summer more interesting.
It’s been awhile since I have written about my attempts to spice up my life, so I decided that it was about time to sit down and share some things that happened at the start of this semester. The biggest thing, other than getting back into the swing of things at college, was that I attempted to add working out into my routine. Right now you are probably rolling your eyes thinking of the millions who commit to working out at the beginning of the New Year, well…I am one of those people. However, I did not plan on ending in a few weeks since I had a firm belief that I would start to actually enjoy working out. Haha, not really, I just believed that after repeated workouts, my brain would respond to the perceived trauma by pumping me full of endorphins to numb the misery.
The day after my sister’s wedding was the first time I was able to try out my newly purchased ski equipment. A friend’s dad, who had been skiing for most of his life, had offered to teach me the basics. I had gladly accepted the offer because the only other time I had been skiing had not gone as smoothly as I would have liked. A few years ago some of my sister’s friends from Connecticut were visiting our house and thought that it would be fun to all go to a nearby ski resort for the day. My sister had begged me to go along since she had never been skiing before and didn’t want to be the only one to look like a fool. I agreed to join them (mostly because my sister had offered to pay for my lift ticket and ski rental). Since skiing wasn’t exactly a regular occurrence, I didn’t have any proper ski clothes, so I chose to wear my dull, brown Carhart coat and Wrangler blue jeans. I looked like a farmer boy and felt like an idiot, but I told myself that other people there would be wearing work clothes. They weren’t.
Typically that phrase is followed by, “Short, fat, and wide.” However, that would not be truthful since at the wedding the bride was stunning and beautiful. The day of my sister’s wedding finally arrived after months of planning, weeks of preparation, and days of emotional highs and lows. I was awakened at 7:00 AM by a loud knock on my door and the voice of Olivia, one of the bridesmaids, telling me that it was time to get up and get ready for the day. I tried to ignore her gentle prompts to get up, but after a few minutes of lying in the quiet of my room I decided that it was pointless to try to sleep and had better get out of bed. I made my way downstairs and was surprised to see that there was no one there, so I took a shower and ate breakfast, enjoying the calm of the house. It was after my shower that all hell broke loose.