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I’ve had a recurring dream for the past decade. I am trying to finish a race of some sort–running (I know, right?!) toward a finish line. Suddenly I find myself in a pool treading water. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to reach the finish line. I’m not struggling, but instead, just treading water. I usually wake up frustrated and exhausted.

That pretty much sums up my life for the past month. I have been trying so hard to reach the finish line but I have only been treading water. But I finally crossed that finish line last night. All work is graded, all major items in my classroom have been moved, and now I am ready to finish the rest of the school year. I wonder if my feet have dragged a little this year because I don’t have to close down my San Francisco life for three months and move to my Vermont life. Perhaps.

I have been searching through old college pictures because 6 of my friends are busting out for a weekend on the Hood River in a few weeks. I have a few party tricks up my sleeve, but it’s somewhat torturous to look at these pictures. I can’t believe how young I look. I guess I can’t believe how long it has been…We graduated from Colorado in 1999. It’s hard not to look at these old photos and think about where I am in life. I’m not in a bad place at all–I absolutely love my life. But, I am the one who has changed the least. I am the only one not married (still single, like college), and only two of us are not moms or moms-to-be.

Is there a little anxiety on seeing everyone? Absolutely. I remain in touch with all of them, but we are scattered between St. Louis, Colorado, Oregon and California. We don’t see each other that much. Usually at a wedding. I think about the treading water dream. I wonder if that is how people see me. Not quite idle, but not really gaining any ground. I sure hope not.

This stupid city dating crap is hard. I went to a Match.Com “mixer” the other night because I don’t want to just tread water. I know I need to dive into the deep. Well, old insecurities came out despite being thinner than I have in many years. I was overwhelmed, and people were really drunk for a Thursday night. I did meet two nice guys but I know none of us are interested in anything more than a chat in a bar. I did also attract two very freaky guys. One kept showing me his Indian Robert DeNiro impression, cornered in the bar. I’m sure everyone who saw this fabulous moment thought I had never been in a social situation before. I looked like I was in a wind tunnel.

I think it was so much easier in college and in my early twenties, but I don’t think I took advantage of that time in my life. I write this as Jackson Browne’s song is playing and it is very strange how my thoughts reflect his lyrics. “People speak of love don’t know what they’re thinking of”. Anyway, I think I want to end this thought. I’ll keep on diving in to the dating pool. I think it will help not being away for the summer.

So now, I am unscheduled for the next week. I have an awards night, graduation itself, training for summer school, and a very important bocce tournament, but I don’t need to juggle events and grading. Or events and planning. Perhaps instead of treading water next week, I will slide my hands behind my head, lean back, raise my toes to the surface, and just float wherever I want to. It’s easier to cross the finish line floating than just treading water.

Sing Me Back Home–Merle Haggard

Rio–Duran Duran

You Took My Breath Away–The Traveling Wilburys

In the Shape of a Heart–Jackson Browne

What a Wonderful World–Louis Armstrong

She Walks in So Many Ways–The Jayhawks

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