On Summer, and Impatience

When I was a kid, we had a pool in the backyard.  From the age of 10 until I was about 15, summers were a golden, privileged time, divided between splashing around with the neighbor kids and generally lounging, listening to the leaves rustle in the breeze, and getting strange tan-lines from holding books in my lap in the sun.

If I was still a kid, still at home, still with nothing better to do than read until I dozed off from mild heat exhaustion, that’s where I would be.  By the pool, with some Neal Stephenson in hand.  But I’m not.  In fact, 5 more days and I won’t even be in Wisconsin anymore.

If I recall, after a couple of summers of practice, I was all business when it came to jumping into the pool back home.  To keep myself from getting too hot while reading, after every chapter I would stand up, walk over to the ledge, dive in, swim across, get out, towel off, and sit back down, repeating as necessary.  The pool wasn’t heated, and the waters were often icy.  But I was the dive-right-in sort.  At least most of the time.

Here’s the point where I draw a parallel to what I used to do when summer came around and what I’m going to be doing shortly–leaving for Tulsa and then Phoenix for a long summer of training.  Unlike, I feel, most of my TFA Corps Members (henceforth CMs), I did not have a senior semester of college to juggle on top of my TFA responsibilities these last few months.  If our facebook updates are any indication, most of my fellow CMs are stressed out of their minds, trying to fit graduating, jobs, paperwork, planning, and a small mountain of pre-reading into just a few short weeks.

I, meanwhile, have been pretty much just… well… lounging by the pool.

I’ve been organizing and packing for months now.  I’ve been taking my pre-reading nice and slow, with plenty of note taking and reflection.  This is my last week before I leave for Tulsa, and I have enough time for at least four “gatherings” with friends, sleeping-in as usual, and reading a biography of Malcolm X at various cafes–all punctuated by a few errands.  This is sick and unnatural.

I woke up this morning and all I could think was, gosh I just want to get this move over with!  No more reflection.  No more staring off, imagining the future.  No more goodbyes.  No more wrapping breakable things in old copies of The Isthmus.  I’m ready to be done wondering!  I’m ready to actually do something!  I’m a dive-right-in-er, a bandaid-ripper, an if-you’re-gonna-sock-me-just-do-it-and-get-it-over-with-er.  I’m not the most patient, and I like to go in and fix things, but for a year and a half now, I’ve been doing very little but waiting for the next phase of my life to begin.  And it’s so close!  I can’t handle it!

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~ by Rachael on June 1, 2011.

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