Friday, April 29, 2005

Holding Pattern's over. The last weekend was gratifyingly successful, despite the absence of SEVERAL of my friends who had every chance to come check it out. Hmph. Though I suppose it's not much of an incentive to see a show in which your friend...moves furniture. Dressed in black. I probably wouldn't pay $15 to see me do that, either. But still.
The post-show letdown is no less pronounced now that a) I'm only a stagehand, and an b) the performances were all a week apart. I don't know what I did with myself the week after the show closed. Mulched, watched TV, mucked around at work. The usual, I suppose. I DO know that by Friday I felt like a very old dishrag, but we'll get into that later.
That Saturday, the 23rd, I headed up to Haverford for the annual Corporation meeting. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the perfect candidate for a seat on the body that legally owns my alma mater, because I am a totally shameless proponent of it and all it stands for. It's almost embarrassing the degree to which I can immerse myself in my Haverford-cheerleader mode. To wit: I cried for hours on graduation day, getting snot on the good clothes of everyone within reach; I went back up to visit a mere 3 weeks after the ceremony, and again no few than half a dozen times that academic year. Then I realized that if I wasn't careful, I'd turn into that pathetic alum(na) who's always hanging around because she's not making much of her life, and may in fact be at risk for becoming so stuck on her past that she'll NEVER make much of her life, and so after the Corporation meeting last year, I didn't visit until this year's meeting.
Even so, I can't shake the feeling of absolute normalcy that descends as soon as I step on campus. I can't make my brain register the buildings and paths as unusual or different; my mind slips into such absolute familiarity with my surroundings I begin not to notice them.
And yet.
I've forgotten names of people and buildings (ok, just Hilles, and that's a forgettable name AND building, but still). People I know rush up to greet me, get the bullet on my life and times, and then rush off just as fast, to class or a meeting or lunch, reminding me that I DON'T have class or a meeting or lunch, and that I will never be more than a visitor at the place where I became the person I am now.
I caught a few episodes of Felicity in Japan, and my favorite was the one where they're all doing their exit interviews. Felicity has a whole monologue where she describes how cruel college is, to throw a bunch of smart, fun kids together, make them happy to be there, encourage all sorts of bonding and love, and then scatter them after four years, just when everyone was (usually) deeply happy and comfortable with their lives.
I know this melancholy is the result of being in a barely-tolerable situation at the moment, and that when I get up and out and start a life that's much more fulfilling than the one I'm living now, this feeling will disappear. For now, though, it still sucks.
A really good book that helped me a lot was Conquering your Quarterlife Crisis, by Alexandra Robbins. Highly recommended for anyone who's annoyed by the fact that your life doesn't match all the hype that your twenties are supposed to be the best years of your life. If that's true, what am I doing shopping at Payless and living at home? The book proves that you're not alone in your anxiety and worry by providing dozens of testimonials from people who lived through it all (fairly recently, so you don't feel lectured) and, more importantly, their tips and tricks for getting through it.
I'll go up for Commencement and hug my friends, and tell them that it's ok to spin your wheels for a little, but that the important thing is not to give up while you're doing it. And then I'll go up again for Alumni weekend with my dad, and talk to a few old fossils and remember that what I told those grads 2 weeks before applies to me, too.

One of these days I'll start writing many short posts instead of great big honkin' ones every 3 weeks. Promise.

FUN FACT: When I was a kid watching The Little Mermaid (before I knew all the nonsense about phallic undersea-castle towers and suspicious bumps poking out from the priest's robes), I liked the scene where the seagull is trying to tell Ariel and her friends that Ursula is charming the pants off of Eric, but no one understands. He gets so frustrated and carried away that he picks up Sebastian and starts whacking him on the deck for emphasis as he shouts (capitalization indicates the beats where the unfortunate crab hits the boards): "The PRINCE is MARrying the SEA witch in disGUISE!"
I ALWAYS heard "disguise" as "de skies", and even as an 8-year-old, I thought that was a very nice line, poetic and evocative of the ocean-land dichotomy, even Biblical-sounding. Now I know I'm a)some sort of bizarre verbal savant(e), and b)probably going to need a hearing aid sooner rather than later, if I was making mistakes like this at the age of 8.

1 comment:

Cad Grublygold said...

Hi Hazelnut, glad to hear your show went well. I try'ed to make it I really did, lacking modern transport, I built my self a dugout canoe and set out serching for that elusive water route across the continent which has for so long eluded all travelers. Needless to say I never even made it out of California. The promising creek I was paddleing up petered out near the border of Death Valley National Park. So agin sorry for the no show. Next time you are going to do a show, try to let me know five years in advance, so as to allow me enough time to build a wqagon and run the overland route. Keep up the posting by the way, I love it.