"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go.
So make the best of this test and don't ask why.
It's not a question but a lesson learned in time."
Before you go assuming that I've employed this epic Green Day song as a lead-in to the inevitable birthday blog that will come this week, let me assure you that I'm using it to convey a very different sort of message.
You see, this Green Day song, besides being an amazing throwback to the days of music before the Ke$has and Gagas, holds a very, very special place in my heart due to a certain camp counselor named Sean.
Sean was the resident dreamboat during one of my weeks as an East Bay camper almost a decade ago and remains in my mind a perfect specimen of a crush that every young girl must have: the summer camp crush. He sat center stage on talent show night and belted this song, creating an image that remains burned in my brain to this day.
Blonde, tanned and tone, Sean was exactly the man my 12-year-old self wanted to spend the rest of her life with, but, alas, these things never do seem to work out, do they? Pesky counselor-camper regulations...just kidding. ;)
What makes me laugh every time I hear this song is that never once did my young self question the fact that with Sean I would find absolute happiness. It seemed so clear. He had a guitar, a great voice, and I would be the envy of every other girl in the cabin. What more was there to ask for?
Well, quite a bit, actually, but that younger version of myself couldn't concern herself with the little details. For her, it was enough to see his big blue eyes glance toward the general vicinity of my fifth row bench seat.
The 12-year-old me had little business deciding anything more than what I would wear each day (and even that's debatable). But decide she did and these choices stick with me even to this day, as evidenced by the slight blush that reddens my cheeks whenever this tune comes on a radio station.
So the real question is, do these decisions really become "lessons learned in time"? Will I ever stop asking myself "Why, oh why, did you do that?"
The answer to this great debate remains impossibly negative, as I continue to be someone who shrugs off the same advice she happily doles out to others.
If life lessons were graded on a 4.0-scale, my gpa would be woefully lower than the one next to my name on my University of Iowa report card.
I talk a big game in these blog posts, but the fact is, I've never really left behind that little girl on a wooden bench who believed that just thinking about something makes it true.
A friend told me this week that I treat love like a monkey treats a Rubik's cube- examining it from every angle, determined to understand it.
Aside from the slight disturbance that comes from any simile linking me and an ape, I winced at the idea that just like anyone simply holding a Rubik's cube is missing the point of spinning the different pieces, I'm missing the entire point of love by just sitting on a couch discussing it.
I'm perfectly happy counseling friends through their romantic dramas (and for some, it should be a paying gig) but when it comes to me, I'm painfully afraid of making the leap from initial thoughts of "Oh, gee, Sean sure is cute" to "Hey Sean, wanna share my bug spray at the lake this afternoon?"
If I'm spending all this time crafting the perfect answers, why do I never force myself to take the tests?
So for my class of one, my assignment this summer is to stop staying in with my books and movies, and get out for some field experience.
Because I think we're all getting a little sick of my rom-com references.
Maybe Green Day was really on to something when they said,
"It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life."
Love isn't something you chart on graph paper, it's something you live and learn from.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to unpredictability.
It's time I had the time of my life.
Peace, love and pocket watches,
"It's a risk to love. What if it doesn't work out. Ah, but what if it does?"