After my Freshman year at SFA, I for some reason decided to stay in Nacogdoches for the Summer. Looking back, I have no idea what lead me to make that choice. I had very few friends at the time, all of which were leaving town for the break. Given my lack of planning and foresight, I wasn't able to secure any on-campus housing, and only at the last minute found a bedroom in what would turn out to be the most ridiculous living arrangement I have ever stumbled into.
Most of my belongings fit into a few extra large garbage bags, and it only took one trip in the trusty Intrepid (I do sometimes miss that land yacht) to get all my worldly possessions the .3 miles from Hall 16 all the way to the other side of University. My room consisted of an air mattress in the exact center of the floor, one lamp, clothes in the closet, underwear and socks on the closet floor, and one computer chair with no desk. Both of my roommates had already graduated. I was 19 years old with a place to sleep, a limited knowledge of the tiny town I lived in, and my parents' credit card to my name. Oh, and the Intrepid.
It was terrible.
Other than my 2 o'clock class I spent that entire summer in my empty room staring at the ceiling fan wondering what the rest of my life had in store for me.
The next year was the best of my college experience, but every now and then I find myself right back on that air mattress, staring at the ceiling feeling like a directionless teenager who has nothing in store but acne and bad first dates.
But now I long for that bedroom. The empty floor. The bare walls. The good enough bed. The unnecessary chair. The ability to collect everything I own and be on the highway in 45 minutes flat.
I used to resist that feeling, the one everyone likes to call running away. I suppose it more or less is. But I think the basic assumption that you are running away from your responsibilities, which is a cowardly thing to do, is wrong. The things we struggle with aren't always a millstone around the neck, that's crazy American talk.
If your responsibilities are a big, scary, werewolf-ish type monster that stalks you in your sleep and will only grow until it kills you... running away doesn't seem so cowardly does it?? The shame you would experience from walking away is only equal to how much of your self-worth you put into your own baggage.
I'm just ready to do something that doesn't just feel like only what I'm supposed to be doing. Because that is easy, and it pays the bills, but it's no fun.
It's just a slowly turning ceiling fan reminding me how small my room is.
Saturday, August 11
Posted by Paul at 15:46