Put your record on
I went over to the sports center for a run a little while ago. It was a pretty crowded scene out on the track, reminded me of an old skool vinyl record. All amateurs, we were running pretty much at the same steady pace, at uneven distances. Warm summer air. Guys in raggedy jerseys playing football on the center field - Belgiana if ever I saw it. No discman this time, but an old mp3-player, with the same tracks I ran to in Canada. "SOS", Oksana's old ringtone. "Hung up", Hilde's Madonna track. My Brendan at Timmie's song, "Sunrise". Earlier that day, I played a birthday cd that got sent to me in Toronto for my 23d. What a difference a year makes.
I won't make it across the ocean any time soon for lack of time, but the mountain is coming to Mohammed. Anna's traveling down from Amsterdam for Werchter and Tina is doing a grand tour of Europe this summer and will be passing through Brussels in a few short weeks. I can't wait to see them again & catch up. I have a feeling we've all taken some serious steps since we last sat around the sticky Tartu kitchen table (turns out flipping over the table cloth is only effective so many times). Tina graduated, moved back to the West coast, and is now thinking about starting a masters back in Toronto. Anna packed up and headed to the pot capital of Europe, looking to stay there a few more years at least. And me, well, I start work tomorrow. A temporary contract for now, but I still see it as more substantial than the summer jobs I've had so far. Plus, I have no plans of returning to school coming October.
I've had a few people welcome me into the labour force with less than luke warm smiles. "You should travel more first". "You'll see, it's not all it's cracked up to be". "You should have asked for more money". "You'll wake up one day and realise you're 32 with a dresser drawer full of flesh-coloured panties and a head full of shoulds". Well, you know what? Telling me what I should be doing or feeling to achieve freedom, nirvana and bright white laundry doesn't seem to be getting me any closer to heaven. In fact, it's actually more demotivating than - as I keep hearing - the working life routine is supposed to be. An office in Brussels. Colleagues of all ages, types & hair styles sitting at adjacent desks. A water cooler out in the hall way, wall to wall carpet. The daily commute. Could it be the stuff nightmares are made of? Absolutely. Do I think I'm smarter than other people and will avoid the pitfalls and regrets they all seem to share? Not at all. But let me find out for myself, let me slide into "TGIF!//Where the hell are my keys, I can't be late again this week//I need a brand new word to capture the extent to which I hate Monday mornings and that guy who works across the hall//Wow, that meeting could have easily been a full hour shorter//Who keeps sending me these inane emails? Are there actually still people out there who believe their accounts will be deleted unless they forward this message to their entire address book? Do these people fall down a lot and type with their mouth open?//Ugh, forgot to do laundry again, guess the flesh coloured pair will have to do" - extravaganza at my own pace, instead of knocking me over the head with it before I even get my own office chair. Let me navigate, despite my eye-patch and dubious map reading skills and trust me to turn my ship around before it's too late. At this point, I'm excited and I am curious and I'll have butterflies in my stomach when I yank out my ear phones and walk through the doors tomorrow morning. A fresh track. En avant!