Ah, Spring Break. An absolutely necessary week off for teachers so we don’t dropkick students off our buildings. YES YOU NEED A PENCIL.
It’s funny how different Spring Break is now that I’m a 30 year old teacher. When I was in my 20s in college, in the hey-day, it was like “wooo!!! SPring BREak!!! No bras, no shoes, bikinis all day! Drink weight in beer! Make bad choices! There are no consequences!!” We were on beaches in Mexico, writing the names of our cheap hotels on our hands in Sharpie in case we got separated, dancing on tables and wearing tiny sparkling dresses and were more beautiful than we knew.
Ten years later and it’s like “Yay! Out to a restaurant with some co-workers! Whoooooaaaa I’m lactose intolerant, so this stroganoff is probably going to give me some gas, but…what the heck! I have the next eight days to get over it! Let’s totally order it! Lol. YOLO right? We’re so hip. I’m tired. What do you mean it’s only 9pm?”
One of the things about science I don’t understand is all of it. It boggles my mind that I am having an opposite season to everyone back “home.” Everyone’s posts are anxious for warm weather, worried about drought, tired of being cold. Here in Brazil I’m like “ooooh brrrr it’s like 80? Where is my cardigan?!” We’re knee-deep in Fall, even though I attribute all the crazy student behavior to Spring Fever. As far as I can tell here, seasons are irrelevant in the Southern Hemisphere.
I do still pray for money to fall from the sky for air conditioning in my room. But maybe we’re just getting used to it. It’s no longer torture to cook something in the kitchen, and after eight months, we figured out the shenanigans involved to turn our stove on without burning off our eyebrows. So things are improving. We made cookies. I was literally doing situps in my room (on what is sure to be a failed health kick – more to come on that later) when my roommate walked in and SET THE COOKIES UPON MY TUMMY. What is one to do? They were warm and a baked good. I had three.
That hour I had three. Later that night I had some more. The next day…
I’m getting old. My birthday is next week. I don’t know what it is about me, and I hate it about me, but I get incredibly emotional around my birthday. Weepy, eating everything that doesn’t run, really annoying to be around mess. Last year for 30 I talked my sister into going to Puerto Rico for a week of escape. There was no cake, no party, no acknowledgement of the day beyond Facebook notifications and an unhealthy number of margaritas consumed.
Whenever I reach my birthday still not where I thought I would or should be, I think I feel a weight of self-inflicted disappointment, that no one can possibly shake from me.
“Look at all the married successful people raising babies! I can’t even decide if I want the commitment of a beta fish! I laugh at fart jokes with my students! I MAKE fart jokes! I’m a fart joke.”
I don’t want people to confuse my concern over the seemingly directionless nature of my life with bitterness towards those who are married and successful and contributing to the population. These things aren’t mutually exclusive. I am so excited for my friends who have all the things.
I know it’s never as magical as it looks from the outside – there is fear, there are long nights, fights about all kinds of things, responsibility, kids and their poop blowing through their onesies. I have no disillusion about how difficult life is. And I know it will happen for me. Right? God couldn’t have designed me to live as a single woman for my entire life when I can create entire marriage scenarios with someone within hours of meeting them. (kidding. sort of.) And also I get to do a lot of cool shizz because I’m single and crazy and have very low standards for hostels. I’ve seen awesome things, met incredible people, and I regret nothing. I regret almost nothing.
The problem is that when you don’t have certain “you are now a grown up who lifes well” things by when you think you should have these things, the natural inclination is to blame yourself and question yourself, because there is no one else. And it’s a dangerous and deep hole with no good answers. And honestly nothing makes me feel any better except when people tell me they wish they were in Brazil on the beach eating açai and riding a capybara to work, as I do.
My journey isn’t what I thought it would be, but I think I’m still doing a decent job of being very me about it. So here we go.
Anyway. Be a chum and like this blog or subscribe or comment as a birthday present? It only costs you time. I’m a cheap friend.
Love you miss you wish you were all here.
This post brought to you by “Chandelier” by Sia and a lovely cheap Shiraz from Chile.