You ever have those moments when you're so far from what you'd normally perceive as your comfort zone, when you're doing something you never really pictured yourself doing, and you kind of feel like you don't really belong but it's not necessarily a bad feeling?
I had one of them this summer in Florida, sharing a hotel room with people I barely knew, miles and states away from everyone and everything I did know, and I had another one of them today.
I was sitting in the second row of a minivan, being driven around by someone who last year was just another girl in my art class I occasionally shared looks with, surrounded by people whose names I hadn't known a few months ago. I was thinking, this is weird, because I've never really done anything like this. I was thinking, I feel like more of a teenager than I usually do. And I was thinking, I am happy.
I suppose I should back up for the sake of clarity. Today was our cross country district championships and we got to skip school (second Friday in a row for me...) to compete. My school did quite well: first place in both varsity and JV boys, and second place in varsity girls. JV girls (that's me) got an honorable mention, at least.
Right before we ran, our coach told us, "Have fun!" And I did have fun; not for the seventeen or so minutes I was running, but pretty much the whole rest of the time. I enjoyed dancing to the music (the people in charge really liked Rihanna today) and chanting & cheering right before the start and clapping so hard at the finish line my hands turned red. I enjoyed all the high fives I gave & got after running and watching people's faces light up as they received their medals & trophies and, yeah, the fact that I was there instead of in APUSH writing an essay analyzing the effectiveness of Eisenhower's administration in dealing with foreign and domestic issues.
Afterwards some of the team went to Jason's Deli where I had lunch and a laughably awkward conversation and a complimentary soft serve ice cream (it's all good). Then we kind of circled the city for a bit and that's when I found myself thinking about situations that a lot of other people probably don't dissect to such lengths. We ended up at a park and I sat back and thought some more. I thought about how some people say you should always carry around a notebook so you don't forget anything, but I think that sometimes it's best just to let things play out without interruption. I thought about how taking opportunities almost always ends up better than not taking them. And I thought some other thoughts that I don't remember because they were halted by loud noises. By that I mean there was a man in the creek by the park playing the fricking bagpipes. In the woods. By himself. Playing the bagpipes. So that was the background to much of my afternoon.
It's so weird the way the world works, isn't it, how one decision made several months ago can have so many implications later on. It can affect what you accomplish and who you talk to and how you feel. Even though my head hurts and I have new blisters, today was a good day. And I am happy.