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.
One year ago, after a lovely evening spent celebrating the 4th of July, I headed inside to journal for the day. I recently came across that entry and was amazed at how things are both completely different while also somehow incredibly familiar. So, just as I’ve done with past journal entries, I am going to “react” to the journal. In it, I wrote:
I was terrified by the thought of attending college. I would be the first person in my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree, and thoughts of failure kept plaguing me. As you can probably deduce from the numerous times I’ve mentioned college on this blog, I ended up completing my degree thanks to the incredible support of my family. And as a result, education holds a special place in my heart.
Peter Drucker, the famed management consultant, educator, and author, once said, “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.” It was this line of thinking that prompted me to create the goal to take five professional development courses this year.
Most people who are around me for more than a few hours discover that I am an introvert. This typically comes as a bit of a surprise since I tend to be confident and outgoing, but it’s usually evidenced by my need to briefly slip away during long group activities. Are you starting to understand why I go by “most boring person” yet?
I have a confession: I am not a morning person. When asked to align myself with morning or night people, I’ve always proudly said how I’m a morning person and don’t understand night owls. That statement is partially true since people who thrive at night baffle me; however, I’ve recently realized how much I struggle to get going in the mornings.
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…