Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meandering Back

When I was younger, I would play a game with myself - I'd memorize license plates and people's features in the hopes that something major was about to happen and the police would need an eyewitness. I wanted to be that eyewitness. Now, I also enjoyed reading a book full of crime scene photos to try and figure out what happened, so perhaps I was a bit preoccupied with justice from a young age ;) That, or I was just a weirdo. But anyway. 

(Now, before you say, "Why would any parent let their kid read such a thing?!" - because you know you're thinking it - let me tell you that I'm not even sure where the book came from, or that my parents knew I had it on my bookshelves in my closet. Yes, shelves. I had many, many books. So they can't be blamed for my interesting reading habits.)

I could memorize phone numbers after hearing or seeing them once. It was no trouble for me to find my way places after one visit (which, thankfully, I can still do most of the time. Being blessed with a sense of direction is nothing to sneeze at, trust me). People's names and faces were easily connected in my mind, along with what they were wearing, where they stood and even how they spoke.

Honestly, I had a gift.

And yet, somewhere between then and now I've lost it. Gone. Never to return. Not sure if it's my old age (I mean, seriously, I'm practically hobbling along) or the fact that I've given birth to two small humans, but my brain has left the building. Let's blame this one on the kids. During both pregnancies I'd lovingly refer to my children as parasites. Dan didn't like that so much, but he didn't experience the mind-numbing effects that a pregnancy can bring on - exhaustion from sharing all you have with another being, and slowly having your brains drip down the umbilical cord. This has led me to a theory that the reason we have generational sin is because as our dear children are in-utero, they are able to basically download all our past transgressions and store them for future use. Whether it be a stubborn and contrite spirit, or a general mischievousness, those kids have learned it all from sucking out my memories.

Anyway, scientific hypothesis aside, suffice it to say that this old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be. And somehow this makes me develop a restlessness like never before. I've always been a fairly restless person. I'm not the type to want to stay home all the time. Let me go, let me out, let me run free across the mountains and prairies! I could not wait to leave for college and explore the world. Every other week as a child I'd want to be something else, go somewhere else, find something new to discover. Basically I was, and still am, a career schizophrenic. Truly I think there are so many jobs I'd love (as long as they allow creative freedom and don't make me sit behind a desk 9-5).

I was reminded of this last night. For the past few days I've been messing around with different signs, cards and other goodies that let me flex any creative muscles my taxed brain has left. Whenever I start getting involved in projects like this, I think to myself, "Self, you could have a lot of fun as a graphic designer." You can also insert fabric, stationery (but definitely not stationary), cake or just about any art for graphic in that sentence.

Then, I watched an interesting program on KET about an anthropologist named Melville Herskovits. I don't remember hearing about him before, but it's entirely possible I spent a semester on him. (Please see previous paragraphs for explanations as to how this is so) He studied under Franz Boas, an anthropologist who is considered the founding father of American anthropology, and someone who is near and dear to my heart. (Not like that hag Margaret Mead, but we won't go into that here, since most of you are already lost I'm sure) At any rate, it made my heart ache to be back learning under Dr. Hummer and Dr. Meneses. I think the time I spent at Eastern in the Anthropology & Missions dept. was one of the best of my life. The friends in those classes are on my mind often, and just bring a smile to my face. Watching just made me so wistful, and I began to think of all the different paths my life could have taken if I had made different choices to pursue academia more.

But my life didn't take those paths. There are no alternate universes. (I have never ever seen an episode of Lost in my life, but noticed a lot of Facebook status updates today regarding this show and the idea of alternate universes. Any references made in the comments will be utterly lost on me - no pun intended) And I think part of the working out, as it were, of my restless mind and nature is one of the reasons I so often fail when I set goals for myself. I get bored, distracted and forgetful, and abandon half finished projects for the next thing.

Lately I've been so busy, then sick, that I've had nearly no opportunity to run or work out. And I find myself half wanting to head over the the track, and half wanting to just say, "Oh forget it, it's only a fun run, so I can walk that whole thing". That, however, would mean I had once again failed to finish, and let my restless (and yet lazy) spirit take the victory.

So tomorrow I'm going running. (Tonight we have potluck at church, and I've missed two weeks in a row already. Since this is my primary social event of the week, I just can't miss again or I'll go crazy). And this weekend I'll go running.

I've got to give focus to the wanderlust of my heart. Or it may just wander off on to another trail again, and we can't have that now.