Quarter Life (minus 2 years) Reflection


My feet were numb for the first half hour. Maybe my pedal straps were too tight? I wanted to vomit the last half hour. Maybe that energy drink prior wasn’t a good idea? My lungs burned like I was a chain smoker. Maybe I shouldn’t have waited over a year to get a real workout in again? And I chugged water like my life depended on it, even though I hate it. (I’m team coco water).

The aftermath of my first spin class (aka first legit work out) since March of 2010: I was weak, exhausted, and famished to death. Rough work out, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel damn good! ..although it better not be like this for more than a month. Hey sixtrain, you’re going to have your running buddy back soon! (After what, a year or two of absence?) It was the first time in a long while since I sweated so profusely through my shirt like that – it’s a good thing I don’t really have body odor (fun fact)! The only time I ever actually reeked was when I played field hockey back in high school, and I blamed the shin guards.

Last night – highly fatigued and semi-miserable after the roughest first spin class ever – I realized that this is the happiest I have ever been in my entire 22-going-on-23 years of existence. I’m satisfied with my job, I’m making a difference and I’m learning more than I ever had at Cornell (no offense to my alma mater). To top it off, I’ve got talented, inspiring coworkers. I see my friends and family a healthy amount, and I keep in touch with the ones I don’t see. I’ve started to work out – all it takes is one legitimate work out to get me going. The birth control that I’m taking doesn’t make my hormones rage out of control (TMI?) I’m making enough money to support my not-that-high-maintenance lifestyle. I don’t have homework, and I don’t have to study. My sister’s getting married to the brother-in-law I’ve always wanted. I live in a fantastic duplex apartment, with four roommates that I get along with quite well. I’ve started writing again. I have an unbelievably supportive, romantic, hilarious, intelligent boyfriend with unabashed good looks that even my wildest imagination couldn’t have fathomed. And his parents adore me. What am I missing? Nothing. Except maybe a tan. And windows in my room/”office”. But I’m not sweating the small stuff!

I was always a relatively happy girl. But looking back, my life then was no where near as blissful as it is now.

In high school, it was all about friends and developing these real relationships. Although not all of those friendships reached the “best-friends-forever” statuses, they were certainly fun while they lasted. Downside? The tedious hours of homework and studying, the frustration with math and science courses, and the overwhelming pressure of standardized exams and college applications. All of that on top of that raging hormonal angst.

Then there was COLLEGE, a term synonymous with ‘freedom.’ Ithaca was a much-needed escape from the guido capital of the nation. Located in the middle of no where, surrounded by farmland, and populated with hippie vegan townies, you’d be surprised at the liveliness of the social scene. There were plenty of themed parties (like it was Halloween every weekend), winery tours (like we were actually classy), booze cruises (which explain why we all had a swim test to pass), formals (an excuse to get drunk while wearing a dress too expensive for your low-income student budget unless you got the moolah from your [sugar] daddy). And when you weren’t busy socializing, you were smoking pot. (I applaud and admire those of you who could actually maintain your sociability while blazed.) And the best part? All those memories, like frolicking half naked through the Arts Quad in the snow and then violating the Ezra Cornell statue, were shared with the most amazing friends. Another plus? It was also always absolutely frigid. I hate sweating, so naturally, I’m a lover of the winter season.

But let’s be real – Cornell wasn’t all play and perfection. I certainly won’t be missing the eye gaugingly hard open book statistics exams. Or exams in general. I didn’t particularly fancy lifting heavy trays full of dirty plates at work, only to be able to afford that weekend dress that showed a little too much leg.There was also a deficiency of genuinely nice, attractive guys who weren’t self-entitled, immature, and/or pretentious. (You have to go to Princeton to find those).

Then there was the immediate post graduate life. Wahoo! No more exams! Or homework or group projects! I had that Cornell diploma, which proudly showed off that hard-earned bachelor’s degree, framed up on my wall. But then I spent months hunting for a job. Then I finally got a job, but the hours were a bit rough. Then I was finally making money, but I never had time to spend it (I guess that was a good thing because I did save a lot). I didn’t get to see my friends and family as much as I would have liked to. I was also somewhat kind of homeless for a while, but we’ll save that story for a rainy day.

Well, all I can say is that a lot can change in just a little more than half a year :)

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Categories: reflections & musings

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