July 24, 2007

Lesson Nine: Get Wet

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The last year of my life has been strange. I started off in a pretty sheltered place. I was at Cornell, my parents were taking care of most of my expenses, and all I really had to worry about was school. Granted, at times, school can be stressful, even more stressful than actual work, but school exists in a different world. I then took a semester off to work. I cut the cord to my parents, and I was on my own.

This was a strange new world. I learned a lot pretty quickly. First off, the work I was doing was pretty easy. I could get things done faster than most people expected. After being at Cornell for a few years I was used to being at least somewhat challenged, so I felt pretty bored and uninterested in the work most of the time. I also learned the importance of finding a good housemate. I found mine on Craigslist and he seemed pretty normal and nice before I moved down there. Truthfully, he lived up to that image, but we weren’t cut from the same cloth. He was religious, wanted to get married, and held some, in my opinion, antiquated and sexist views. That being said, he meant no harm. He was misguided but also set in his ways. I could have handled him fine if we simply went our own ways. But we both needed something from each other. I was on my own in a new place where I didn’t know anyone, and about a week after I got there, his girlfriend broke up with him. After about a month, I was sick of him. I found out then it’s probably best for housemates to just stay out of each other’s way.

After the semester was up, I headed back to Cornell for a semester of classes. I was sort of bitter and tired from my previous experience and ready to sink back into the life I had before, but things were different. Many of my good friends were abroad and I ended being forced into a whole new life. It was exciting and enjoyable for the most part. I came out of the semester with a lot of good experiences, but the whole thing was confusing. I was being more and more overloaded when what I really needed was to relax.

At the beginning of the summer I came back to South Carolina, back on my own. This time around my housemates are infinitely better. If you’re still in college, find college kids to live with. My job, however, is actually more monotonous. At least I broke even.

The past year is starting to catch up with me. It’s been a hurricane, and it’s flung me around. I’ve come out of the storm with more experience and absolutely no idea what to do with it, but I figure it’s got to come in handy sometime. As I crawl back to shelter all I can think of is where I’m going to be in another year. Blue skies would be nice, but after a year of rest, I’ll probably be hoping for rain. Next time at least I’ll know to bring an umbrella.