Monday, April 12, 2010

Forever Young

Good news: I am officially keeping my job. Hooray!
Bad news: Now that I no longer have to worry about my financial situation I have time to worry about, well, time.

I turn 25 this year.

In a little more then six months actually.

One could possibly accuse me of suffering from a mid life crisis.
And one would be absolutely correct.

I realize that a mid life crisis does not normally occur this early in life, but you have to understand that I don't really plan on getting Old. Old is not for me. When I was in elementary school I read a biography about a women who lived to be 103 years old. She lived a very full and interesting life. However, I noticed that her adventures stopped being interesting around age 50. After that point she slowed down. A LOT. By age 70 she mostly talked about the past. And then she spent another three decades sitting in a chair watching everyone around her have interesting lives while she continued to talk about her interesting past.

And that's when I realized I don't need to spend three or four decades sitting around thinking about the past. I already spend a lot of time doing that.

This idea was reinforced when I was 19 years old. That year I spent a very happy and very busy period of time in Ireland. There was one weekend that myself and three fabulous friends spent down in the southern area of Ireland. I think we were in Killarney this particular day. The four of us went to see a pretty waterfall and being the not so bright but enthusiastic youngsters we were, we decided to jump rocks in the river until we were right under it so we could get a better picture. As we recklessly endangered our lives for picture I remember looking back and seeing a tour bus of Old People unload and gather at the appointed waterfall picture taking spot. And as Jo fell into the cold river and Chris fell in trying to help her and Van and I laughed until we slipped too, I remember looking at those Old People and thinking, why travel when you are old and can't do more then take pictures and complain that the local food tastes nothing like olive garden. What's the point of traveling if I can't climb old buildings or get caught in rainstorms while walking to whats sure to be another adventure and catching a three week cold because of it?

And with that I renewed my plan to never be Old.

So here I am, quickly approaching 25. Suffering a mid life crisis.

It's to the point that it is affecting my daily activities. I needed new jeans for work (that's right, I wear jeans to work. AND I like my job. Go ahead and hate me) and I decided I'd get some new shirts too. I'm not a big shopper, so I usually plan ahead what stores I'm going to go to so that I can get in and out quickly. Suddenly I realized that the stores I was planning on going to were pretty much the same stores I went to since high school. And suddenly I was panicking, wondering if I was that girl, the one who keeps trying to dress like she's 19 even though she's 30. I frantically texted Mckenna, because I trust her fashion sense above anyone else I know. I'm pretty sure she laughed at me, but at least she set aside my fashion fears.

This midlife crisis doesn't affect most of my daily activities. Mostly I feel this pressure, like I'm running out of time. Like my youth is running out. I sometimes look at my life and feel like I should have done more than I have. Shouldn't I own a house by this point? Or have a degree? Maybe a kid or two? Then I remind myself that those things are not super important to me. I have no desire to own a house, or have kids. Not for many years, if ever. What has been important to me? The time I spent exploring new places, my personal library, the many irresponsible times I've gone repelling at night or any number of things that wouldn't have happened if I had stayed on a traditional path.

But I still feel this pressure.
So I made a list.
Which is in five years. Eekk!

Hike the Appalachian Trail.
Visit: Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey,Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Wales, Russia,Egypt, Russia and Australia. At the very least.
Become fluent in another language.
Own a dog who travels everywhere with me. And I don't mean one that fits in my purse.
Own a private library that is wall to ceiling books on all four walls filled with only books that I've actually read.
Own a motorcycle.

And that's it. That's my whole list. I've thought about this list for two weeks before putting all this to paper, eerr, keyboard. But I honestly can't think of another thing that I desperately want to do. Owning a nice car isn't on my list, or making a six figured salary. Finding love isn't on my list, nor is getting my degree, although I wouldn't mind if those things happened too. But those six things are the ones that matter.

Five years.
I can do all that in five years.
No sweat.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What would Freud say?

I didn't get up early to work out like I normally do
Because I dreamed of you.

And I wanted to enjoy those few moments with you.

I haven't thought of you in months. Haven't dreamed of you in months. And then you have the audacity to take over my dreams like you belong there.

Which you don't.
I dreamed that you showed me your new house. It was elegant and tasteful and nothing like the houses I've seen you live in. You showed me your room and it was covered in your paintings, which is exactly like the rooms I've seen you live in.

On the floor of your bedroom, kicked in a corner, was lingerie. My waking mind flashed to a unknown females face. My sleeping mind made the lingerie disappear. I didn't want realities, I wanted the comfort of you. I wanted to pretend, just for the length of the sleep button.

You smiled. Not a smirk, but a real smile. You were happy. Really happy. And you cupped my face and uttered words that my ears used to ache to hear. "I miss you".

And I was happy.

But instead of replying with a lingering kiss which is what I always dreamed of before,
I stepped back and said regretfully,

I'm sorry. I have a country to explore.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.

Remember how I said I was going to try and write more about the day to day things?
Feel free to tune out now.

A common theme in my journals is working out. I love being active. Rock climbing, hiking, swimming, dancing, as long as it doesn't involved a ball I probably love it. But exercise in it self? Not such a big fan. So I've been trying out different exercise routines over the last few years, searching for a good fit. I've tried just going to the gym. I've tried taking classes at the gym. I've tried going to the gym with a friend. I do p90x off and on. Last summer I worked out with a girlfriend who was training for a half ironman. Currently I'm a member of Az combat sports which I love and have written about.

I'm not sure if my exercise style jumps around so much because it's just my nature to bounce around from thing to thing, or if it's because I still haven't found something that fits yet. Something I'm interested in doing day in and day out. Because let's face it. Rock Climbing is fun. Pull ups are not.

So despite a pretty wide range of workouts there is something I've always hated and never been good at. Running. Oh dreaded running.

I've never actually run a mile straight. I mean, sure, on the elliptical machine. I can run a few miles on that, no problem. Especially if there's something good on tv. But I've never a full mile without stopping on the pavement. I would usually run a half mile, tie a shoe, take a drink, then run another half mile. Or quarter mile. I'm also unbearably slow.

But last night I ran my first mile on the ground, without stopping. It was only a mile and I'm not even going to tell you what my time was. But I did it, and I'm awful damn proud of it.

Proud enough to write a whole blog about it.

But wait, there's more!

This morning, Travis, Mom, Bodhi and I hiked Camelback. Which was simultaneously loads of fun and frustrating. The loads of fun came from the fact that its a great hike. It's more bouldering then a leisurely stroll, which is how I prefer my hiking. And since Bodhi is part Australian Shepard part Mountain Goat, he did just fine. The frustrating part came from the amount of people! I prefer my hiking to be more solitary, less push and shove. Camelback is clearly a popular hike. But it was fun. Bodhi scampered up the rocks and everyone was charmed by him. Travis had a good time telling people that Bodhi had rabies and Mom had a good time smacking him upside the head.

Also, not to be disloyal to The Boy, but one of the perks of this hike is all the fitness nuts who RUN up and down the mountain. They generally tend to be shirtless and beautiful. Yum.

A dislike? The funny tan lines I currently sport thanks to wearing a shirt instead of a tank top.
Oh, and the fact that my trusting hiking boots of the last two years have finally perished.

Hiking today also renewed my desire to hike the Appalachian trail. I really, really want to do a thru-hike. It generally takes six months, so it will be a few years before I can take off the time from work. But it's on my bucket list. Hell, it's on my "before I'm thirty" list. I can't wait to spend six months walking, six months with just me and a pup and whole lot of nature.

"How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, and the hills and the sky? Anyone knows they are. How can you say it is time your pulse responded to another rhythm, the rhythm of the day and the season instead of the hour and the minute? No, you cannot explain. So you walk." ~Author unknown

Read A Walk In the Woods by Bill Bryson. Then start packing and come with me.