In many coming of age films, there is a scene where a teen thrusts their head out the window and screams into the wind to emphasize the freedom they feel in that moment. I had a similar experience—minus my head sticking out the window—last week as I began my five-day exploration of Maine.
This is the second year I've set the goal to publish a blog post each week, but unlike the first time, I've struggled to experience the creative inspiration that a deadline typically generates. In the past, the weekly publishing requirement compelled me to write some of my favorite posts, but instead of finding that to be the case this time around, I've published many posts that make me cringe when rereading. Because of that, I've decided to eliminate that goal to focus on higher-quality posts in the future.
I was recently out for a drive through the hills surrounding the town where I grew up—there isn't a lot to do in rural New York—when I passed the place of an unforgettable experience. I checked back through my posts and realized I wrote about the memory, so I've decided to share it today. It was a 2017 post titled That Time a Permitted Driver and a Pastor Crashed Near a Former Insane Asylum, and, as the title suggests, it is quite the tale.
I walked with them into a darkly lit gymnasium and tensed up as I saw the colorful lights strobing on the other side of the room. Loud music was blaring, and the kids were growing more and more animated as we grew closer to the source of the sound. I thought to myself, “This is how people are ritualistically killed” as we drew nearer to the music and lights. Unwilling to die by the hands of high schoolers, I said goodnight and left the "party" to explore the campground.
Back in 2013, I was given some news that threatened to upend my life. I was midway through my third Klondike bar when my Mom informed me that we were finally getting family photos. Normally, I wouldn't have been so averse to having my picture taken, but I had put on some serious summer weight that I didn't want immortalized through a family portrait...
Before we get into today's post, I must admit that I did use a dramatic title to get your attention because, like an obsolete YouTuber desperate for views, I am not above click-baiting my followers. With that being said, I do need help when it comes to one of my goals, so I am using my blog as a form of accountability.
One of the best parts of sharing memories with someone is the enjoyment that comes from discovering the different perspectives you have about the common memory. With that in mind, I've decided to start a series called Dueling Memories where I share a one-sentence memory with someone and then provide three prompts for us to each answer. We then bring our notes together and view the shared memory through our unique perspectives.
I like to think of myself as a pretty tech-savvy individual, but that has notion has been seriously challenged ever since I started working from home. Upon learning that I was going to work remotely, I considered quite a few things. I wondered how it would feel sitting in my mid-century modern desk chair (immensely uncomfortable), how the lack of a commute would start my morning (a little jarring), and if I had forgotten any files from the office (thankfully, no). However, throughout all of my thinking and worrying, I never once wondered how video conferencing would be.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I, like many other people around the world, have been cooped up inside my house for the past week and want nothing more than to avoid thinking about the widespread disease. The problem is that it's quite difficult to avoid it when there seems to be a new negative development described in detail every time I go online. And while I do hope to write more uplifting things in the future, it's honestly been too tough to switch from my negative headspace to a creative one this week.
After graduating from college, I began work as an admissions counselor at my alma mater, and let me tell you, I tackled that job with all the gusto of a My Strange Addiction subject devouring a box of dryer sheets. I knew it was a blessing that I had gotten the job, and I wanted to do my absolute best. The problem is that although I am quite gregarious, I am not a natural-born salesman, which makes it pretty difficult to convince people to choose your school over the myriad of other options they have.