When I graduated from high school, I thought that there was one activity that I would never have to participate in again: gym class. I figured that it was a battle that I would have to fight in middle school alone, and I was convinced that I had left the sweaty, always-picked-last activities were behind me. I realized that this was not the case as I discovered that I would have to take my school’s form of a gym class during my second semester of college.
I was sitting outside an ice cream parlor in the city of Oakwood on the eve of my birthday when I witnessed something that I would expect to see on a Bravo reality show, not in real life. My friend Adam had offered to take me out for ice cream in celebration of my impending birthday, and he had suggested Graeter’s, one of those overly trendy ice cream shops. (When I say “trendy” I mean that all of the ice cream is served in incredibly small portions and features hipster flavors such as “Chocolate Stout” and “Fair Trade Vanilla Bean”). Anyway, I digress.
The profession of cutting hair, like that of piloting a large aircraft or conducting brain surgery, requires a certain amount of skill and confidence. Unfortunately, a woman who cut my hair a while ago lacked both of the aforementioned qualities. With a job interview coming in less than two weeks, I knew that I needed to get a haircut. It’s not that I am opposed to having a haircut like Zac Efron in the first High School Musical, but I have neither the looks nor the talent to pull his style off. Armed with this knowledge, I headed to the most renowned hairdressing emporium that I could find: the budget hair salon Great Clips. In hindsight, it has been made quite clear that budget haircuts, like back-alley lobotomies, should be avoided at all costs.
I was standing near the front of the recital hall feeling overheated and claustrophobic as I prepared to step onto the stage. As an Admission Office employee, I had been asked to give the university’s introduction presentation to a group of visiting high school music students. I had given this presentation what felt like one thousand times before, so I wasn’t concerned about it before entering the hall. That quickly changed as I mingled with some of the other presenters for the evening and realized how ill-prepared I was to speak to this particular group of music-focused (antisocial) high school music students.
I recently set out to accomplish my goal of doing something to make myself more cultured. I considered my options as I sat on the couch watching a show about a morbidly obese woman showing the world that you can be both fat and fierce. The possibilities included: journeying into the German Village in Columbus to try schnitzel for the first time, visiting an art gallery to immerse myself in art history, or staying home and having Adam, my hipster housemate, give me a lesson on how to make a pour over coffee. I am mildly lazy/not really into art, so I chose the latter option.
After work on a Friday in July, while staring down the nose of a three-day weekend, I decided that I should do something adventurous. With no planning whatsoever, I logged onto the CouchSurfing website and started sending messages to people living in New York City to see if they could house me for a few nights. For those of you who are in the dark about what couch surfing is, it is a website where people post a profile saying that they are willing to house people for a few nights at no cost. I had heard about it from some friends, and I think that it is really big in Europe and the serial killer community.
In case you were not able to deduce what this post is going to be about from the title, it is about me building a desk. When I made plans to move back home after college, I wanted to set up a home office that would serve as an engine room to my productivity. I had a specific idea as to how I wanted it to look, and I began to scour the internet for a desk in the industrial style that I wanted. I originally searched for the desk on websites such as IKEA and Amazon, but after reading the book Cheap (a book that completely changed my life and inspired a goal that I will be sharing in a few months), I knew that I could not buy a cheaply produced desk from those websites in good conscience.
Whether or not I was still in Ohio was the question I asked after I had been driving for a few hours in Indiana. When I created my 21 goals, I never thought that my goal to interview in a state other than New York or Ohio would take me to such an exotic place as Indiana. I had mere aspirations that I would fly somewhere such as California or Alaska to interview for a position, but Indiana definitely took the cake.
I was going to make a comment about how the title of this blog post evokes images of Julie Andrews spinning and singing in a mountain meadow, until I looked up that song from The Sound of Music. About one minute into the video, I realized that it is not as cheerful as I had remembered and was actually sung in a dark room of a nunnery, and that imagery is not exactly what I was going for. Anyway, moving on…
I have been quite restless lately. It is odd that I should feel this way since I have had the opportunity to travel to New York City twice and Washington D.C. once this summer. But even with these excursions, I have still felt trapped and antsy. So what can I do to relieve this feeling of entrapment? If this were a New York Times bestselling memoir, I would buy a one way plane ticket to Finland and backpack through the country with nothing but a journal and a sleeping bag. In case you did not know, this is not a bestselling memoir, so I have to do more realistic things to make my summer more interesting.