Saturday, May 21, 2011

people observation #17: GET A LIFE!

It's week nine, and I am starting to catch my breathe after the marathon of a spring quarter I have had. Seriously. My day: wake up. run to breakfast. run to class. run to, well, to run. quick shower. quick meal. run to meeting. run to next meeting. work on a paper. run to work. read achapter. collapse in my bed. have a weird dream about running to so many places. wake up. do the whole thing all over again. Why do I involve myself in so much stuff? Well, the truth is, that I actually enjoy doing what I do, Imagine that.

So I'm sitting here trying to think about a time, even before college, that I was not so busy, that running from place to place was not my life. What does that feel like?

I find myself in my memories of the sixth grade. This was the year I decided I was going to save the world. I was dancing for two hours a day, four days a week, and spending my nights I had off in metropolitan Columbus for doubleheaders on my travel softball team. Because I was going to save the world, however, this meant that it was necessary to run for a position as a sixth
grade student council representative. Oh, the things I would do, the changes I would make!

I ran with the campaign slogan a breath of fresh Erin (get it?) and taped little slips of paper with my witty words to Lifesavers and star mints. We were suppose to give special speeches to the class at lunch one day, and instead of coming with a long list of why the students should elect me, I stood in front of them, took a good hard look at their big twelve-year-old eyes and said, "Erin McCarthy. Remember the name."

I think back to long before that, and find myself still a busy beaver. When I was in second grade, my parents had to have a long conference with my teacher because I was too crazy. I was hiding in the fire truck on the playground when everyone else went inside. I didn't want to sit in the classroom and learn about why it was wrong to call Emily a teacher's pet (she totally was). I didn't want to sit in the classroom at all. I didn't want to get yelled at for "yawning too loudly." People weren't meant to sit still. I wanted to do. So they put me in classrooms where I filled out those logic puzzles where you used process of elimination to figure out what sibling played on which team with what color uniform, tell me you guys know what
I'm talking about. This still wasn't enough. I wanted to do.

And there's my point. Long before I knew what a resume was, I wanted to do. I have always been a DOER.

It's important to not let ourselves be comfortable with things the way they are. There's always a change that can be made for the better. One of my favorite quotations by Howard Thurman says, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

My parents always encouraged me in whatever I wanted to do with my life, and I thank them for that. Building my resume wasn't the reason they showed up to my field hockey games to watch me chew my mouth guard on the bench, and it wasn't the reason they helped me make campaign posters for my election at 11o'clock on a school night (back when being up at eleven was an abomination). What they were doing was helping me figure out the things that I was passionate about. When it turned out that I wasn't willing to sacrifice my love of music for field hockey, they supported me when I stopped playing.

I find my passion in a number of things, and I realize that everyone's is a different thing. I find that beautiful. In sixth grade, when I won the sixth grade spot on the Student Council, I found myself getting to be involved in a part of my school that I wouldn't have otherwise, and it's all because I went out and looked.

When I'm running from place to place, I get to know some pretty cool people with a variety of stories. And I get to learn about all different kinds of things. Sometimes people tell me, "Erin you need to take some time off! You need to get a life!"

My response to them is this is my life. This is what I love. This is what makes me come alive.

1 comment:

  1. First comment!!!! Love this post, I have to agree with you on many points in this one. I too was the kid that couldn't sit still and didn't want to come in from recess. I also was the kid that was preoccupied by the tricky word problems. I love being active and not just sitting around, I am a DOER and I have a LIFE!