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
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