I did something unforgettable in the spring of 2013. No, I didn’t write an earth-shattering exposé about the plight of refugees in the Middle East. I wish that I had done something that was memorable in such a positive way, but this was unforgettable in the worst way.
Last Sunday I got a call that I never wanted. I was in Indianapolis for a winter retreat with students who volunteer for my office when I received news that I was not expecting. I first got a text telling me that my Grandma was not doing well and then a follow-up call to inform me of how pressing the situation truly was.
I lay on my sleeping bag feeling content. Sunlight warmed me as it filtered through the thin material of the small tent that I was inside. Within a few moments, I heard my Mom outside the tent. She unzipped the door and made her way inside.
If you’ve been following my 23-goals, you’ll know that I agreed to visit my friend Rae in New York City during my week of “yes.” We did a ton of incredible activities, so instead of trying to paint the narrative of my visit, I’ve decided to break my NYC adventure into the lessons that I’ve learned.
Most people who have gotten to know me over the past few years find it impossible to believe that I worked on a farm as a teenager. I don’t know if it’s because of my love of Starbucks or my penchant for using mildly intellectual words like “penchant,” but people rarely accept it when I say that I am well versed in farm culture. Since this will probably continue happening, I figured that the best way to explain this era of my life would be through a blog post.
As families across America gather around their tables or TVs to commemorate a holiday that is all about giving thanks, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to list a few things that I am incredibly grateful for:
When I graduated from high school, I thought that there was one activity that I would never have to participate in again: gym class. I figured that it was a battle that I would have to fight in middle school alone, and I was convinced that I had left the sweaty, always-picked-last activities were behind me. I realized that this was not the case as I discovered that I would have to take my school’s form of a gym class during my second semester of college.
I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I distinctly remember the thrill that came from receiving a book as a gift. I relished the opportunity to turn the pages and immerse myself in the world that they contained. And to this day, I still experience joy each time I open a new book. Wow, this has taken a much more nostalgic turn than I originally planned. I should probably give you some context for why I am writing so enthusiastically about inanimate objects.
I was sitting outside an ice cream parlor in the city of Oakwood on the eve of my birthday when I witnessed something that I would expect to see on a Bravo reality show, not in real life. My friend Adam had offered to take me out for ice cream in celebration of my impending birthday, and he had suggested Graeter’s, one of those overly trendy ice cream shops. (When I say “trendy” I mean that all of the ice cream is served in incredibly small portions and features hipster flavors such as “Chocolate Stout” and “Fair Trade Vanilla Bean”). Anyway, I digress.
A new year (birth year, that is) means a new set of goals. Last year I decided to move away from setting a goal for every year of my life in favor of fifteen more manageable goals. To be honest, these goals did not excite me. I wrote them in a haze of uncreativity last year when I was having difficulty finding something to write about, and I struggled to feel excited about many of them.