My life of late is that of a jack rabbit running from one thing to the next. Either I’m stumbling out the door to work, dodging angry Hoosiers in traffic, or rushing across campus to class.
When I’ve finally arrived I feel like a panda sitting in a tree, or rather at my desk, or in class or in traffic.
Thankfully, when I have time, yoga keeps me centered. I feel like an alley cat stretching my back in an upward facing dog position. My joints pop in the joyous sound of relief. Relief from all the long hours of sitting.
I also find relief in watching a good episode of Friends. My roommates and I laugh how the premise of Friends so accurately depicts the life of American twenty-somethings. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke and your love life’s DOA. Not entirely keen on the DOA description but somehow it fits, at least for me.
What is this notion that people in their twenties should be dating and in love and getting married?
While I’m not always happy with my relationship status, I must admit there are more important things to worry about than being “perpetually single,” if I may quote the Lizzie Bennett Diaries. Of course when someone admires you romantically, there comes a certain element of self-affirmation. But if, in the words of my college roommate, “When you know, you just know!” is a true statement, then I’ve yet to reach that tree branch. Yes, in this scenario I’m still a panda.
She was telling me about her boyfriend and the assurance that he is the one. I pressed the phone to my ear, drawing in my knees as I sat on my porch steps breathing the cool September air. There’s something nostalgic and familiar about college friends. It’s like you don’t have to pretend to have your life together because they knew you before you were anyone.
But now I’m in graduate school, and my new-found college friends think I am someone. Someone with a fancy government title who knows a bit about policy-making, state government, and the legislative process. But really, who doesn’t.
In night classes I’m a barn owl, wide-eyed with caffeine, pecking at the desk for whatever snack crumbs I have left, half starved from no dinner and staring at the professor with a piercing glare, “You said we’d be out by 8:30!”
But my owl self drifts into a sloth as I wander through the night to my parking garage. I cross a glimmering canal where couples walk hand-in-hand.
“Wouldn’t it be nice?” I breathe in a long exhale. And suddenly this idea that people in their twenties should be in love doesn’t seem all that ridiculous, at least you’d have someone to hug when you came home.
If I was really a jack rabbit this morning, now, as I unlock my heavy front door and crawl into bed, I’m a sleepy bunny, the cartoonish kind who rubs her eyes and lets out a big yawn. There’s something worthy of gratitude in the simple routine of life, whether we rush from one thing to the next, or slither along like an observant little snail, we somehow all make it back to our warm comfy beds to reset the alarm, to shut out the lights, and to wait in silence as the earth spins on.