For the Pursuit of Fun

When I was in school, everyday was another day. Every single day and every single hour was different, exciting, unexpected, fun. When I came home at the end of a long day, it would be hard for me to run out of stories to tell my roommates as we sat in our dark room on the shoreline, listening to the waves come in and our old crappy apartment rattle in the wind.

Those days, fun came pretty naturally, because even the work you did involved all of your friends. I guess because you’re surrounded by kids all day, you kind of feel like you deserve to have fun, like it’s just an expected everyday occurrence. Even still, you knew it was special. You knew you were happy, you knew this was the life, and you also knew it wasn’t going to last forever.

The moment I graduated, everything switched around. All of a sudden I felt guilty for having fun, even for just spending a lazy day having breakfast with friends and bsing with the neighbors and harassing the cat. As I peer over at my looming to-do list, I always feel like I should be doing something else. 

This is an easy mindset to fall into once we quietly tiptoe into the real world – it’s easy to get caught up in running errands and making sure the laundry is done and you took your vitamins and the car has a full tank of gas. Soon, you’re spending everyday just preparing for the next, and you’re not even really sure what the point of preparing is if you’re just going to do the same thing tomorrow.

I miss the days where I lived life for the pursuit of fun. I miss when I felt like it was normal to hop on a bus to go to another country, or spend the day window shopping on the streets of Florence, the most beautiful city in the world, or it was just another day when you turned off your shower radio in the morning to listen to the man playing the accordion in the piazza outside the window.

So you know what? Let’s forget about the laundry and a dish in the sink never killed anyone. It may be a while before I’m out of my parent’s house and back in a real live city again and, oddly, actually live in the real world and maintain a real life, but I’m sick of that being the reason that I feel bad for wanting to remember what I did yesterday.

Never get so busy living that you forget to make a life. 


Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Eventually.

Seeing as I am currently sitting in my childhood room painting my nails pink and watching the Sex and the City movie, I guess I can’t really proclaim that I am a part of the “real world” quite yet, although the “Graduate of the Honors School” medal and my golden, red, and blue cords hanging on my wall as a result of my Wednesday graduation would say otherwise. However, even though the actual reality of graduation hasn’t really hit me yet, there have been a select few parts of the whole debacle that have squirmed their way into my head.

During my sophomore and junior years of college, I actually wasn’t really sure if I wanted to study abroad. I was afraid to leave my friends and my family, and as silly as this sounds, I didn’t know if it would be worth it to miss out on all the shenanigans of one of my precious last few semesters at school with all the people I had grown to love. It definitely wasn’t one of my deciding factors, but one thing that people (okay, older people) would always stress was, This is the only time in your life you can do something like this. 


To me, this sounded so sad! So negative! I knew what I was doing– I knew that upon graduation I would be gainfully employed with a fantastic job, traveling the world and writing, basically living the dream– and why not? I was great!

Ha. Ha. Ha. How sweet. I’m actually glad that no one told me what an idiot I was being because it would have really just made me sad before I really needed to be sad. Now I am a graduate, and I’m slowly but surely realizing that yes, I have a nice resume, but so do eight million other people in the world competing for the exact same entry-level job. Not so sweet. I don’t mean to come off too negative here, because I’m sure things will work out eventually, I just don’t think that time will be when I’m 22 and living in a house with my mom in a town with one traffic light and a general store.


However, being back here, surrounded by lots of other hard-working people down on their luck because of the economy, does make me appreciate the small parts of the world that I have had the pleasure to venture to. I used to silently scoff to myself when people would tell me that they just couldn’t wait to go on their next trip to Point Pleasant or the Poconos. Now, I realize what they were doing. They were doing all they can. With a smile on their face, they’re doing all the traveling that their wallets and their work schedule will allow. Maybe they’re sad they’re not headed to Bali or Vegas this summer, but they’ll never tell you that. They take what they can get and they aren’t bitter about it one bit.

And you know what? I think that this is what a true traveler is. They aren’t someone who necessarily has a bottomless wallet or lives a glamourous life or has their father’s name on their credit card. They aren’t necessarily someone who can boast they have hit every continent.

Instead, they do what they can, and they do it with integrity and dignity. They may be crammed back in their boring hometown where the closest gas station is 15 miles away, and the only vacation they may be able to take will be a three day weekend on their old roommate’s couch. However, this isn’t the point. The point is they’re going somewhere, they’re doing something new, and they’ll be damned if they’re not trying their hardest.

Point Pleasant today, Bali tomorrow.