College is over half done already. I want to stretch it out and I want to quit at the same time. Another semester begins next week. I am ready. Textbooks, notebooks, and folders are neatly lined up on the shelf, ready to be grabbed and stuffed into the backpack on the way out the door. Detritus of bygone semesters is cleaned from the depths of the backpack, pencils are filled with lead, stapler is full of staples, bike is sold, ID card is loaded with money for campus food. Because campus will be my home away from home away from home for the next three months and I will not have time or energy for another life. I plugged everything into Excel and it said I have 77 hours a week of time commitments; this is not including time to eat, sleep, keep house, mountain bike, or attend recruiting events. Excel did not tell me how this is going to work..
I still have my mountain bike, but today I sold the road bike I just finished rebuilding. I wanted to keep it and enjoyed riding it…the perfect bike to ride downtown without worrying about theft, but I just don’t have time to ride it and work on it as a hobby bike. There is a slight chance that I will be an SI leader this semester—a peer tutor for math students. This involves holding study sessions, office hours, and developing practice tests and other study guides. I enjoyed this class when I took it, and hope I get the position. I’m taking 18 credits this semester, the max I can do mentally and still work two jobs. My objective this week is to do a mental taper in preparation for a marathon semester. I have few commitments other than going out for coffee with a few people. Life is good, it really is. As I told someone earlier this week: it’s surreal—these opportunities that I used to dream about, now they get thrown at me every day. It’s like a dream…a really good dream.
Last night I went bowling with some friends as a going-away party for a few international students. Friday I drive to Phoenix again for an airport shuttle run and, hopefully, to buy a different car. The Subaru is great for camping and mountain biking trips, but in actuality the car spends more time on freeways and in parking garages lined up with BMWs than it does under the pines. I idle into a corner of the garage, slink out when the coast is clear, dust off suit and shoes, and escape into the elevator. The cold reality is slowly sinking home. Someday I might live more than a mile from the forest. Someday it might not be possible to slip away for an hour mountain ride. Someday I will tire of kamikaze alley rides in heavy traffic. Someday the logical will override the whimsical. I am ready.