From fallingfifth.com. Thanks, Creative Commons!
As everyone in the metroplex well knows, we had some sweet cyclonic action this afternoon. If only it had been on a game board and not in real life, right?
A popular question this afternoon was, “Are we going to die?” quickly followed by “Why aren’t you freaking out?”
I also got, “Are you seriously taking pictures of this?”
Fun times. And the kids weren’t joking, I was cool with this – once I got over being worried about their safety. But these little home-wreckers (the funnels, not the kids) are nothing new to me.
In my life, tornadoes tend to pop up whenever my life is chaotic, setting off the sirens to warn me that the metaphorical is morphing into the literal.
It’s almost as if the weather gods can sense all of the shit swirling around me and decide to compliment it in literal form. Or maybe it’s actually my crazy life’s momentum that causes the funnel clouds in the first place, I don’t know.
Wouldn’t surprise me.
What DOES surprise me is the complete and total lack of a funnel cloud directly over my school. Because it’s not just me that has a billion things flying around in the air. It’s everyone that I work with, as far as I can tell. Teachers are interviewing, experiencing familial strife, filing insurance claims, getting sick, tutoring four days a week, and growing other tiny people in their bodies all around my school. So we’re stirring up some serious movement.
Even though I may sound a little bitter, I’m really not. I’m fairly amused, in all actuality, by the way that my environment tends to imitate my personal life. And they don’t actually scare me at all, in the physical realm or the mental. I’ve seen them too many times, ignored too many sirens.
I know what can happen, sure, but I don’t let it stop me from living my life if the danger is far enough out of my direct line of vision. I’m that person who goes outside and stares at the cloud until it’s like, on the next street over.
The last time that I was around this many twisters, I was living in Columbia, Missouri as an undergrad. My life was a constant mass of swirling winds – I was in college! Of course it was! It’s supposed to be crazy!
And I loved it.
I thrived on the chaos. I’ve never been more productive than I was my two years as an RA, when I had internships and a full double-major class load on top of my full-time job. I’ve also never had as much ridiculous fun. Not normal fun – ridiculous fun.
My life has taken a turn back toward that same feeling lately. I have so much going on in my life that I constantly feel a week behind. There aren’t enough hours in the day. For most people, this is a problem. And maybe it is for me, too, a little. But there are also some rather important benefits to this.
If I’m this busy, I don’t have time to waste trying to be someone I’m not. I don’t have time to deal with pointless drama. I don’t have time to pretend to care about pointless things. And I sure as hell don’t have time for people who don’t value me.
Except for a few side effects (random urges to go dancing, saying ‘Whatevs’ a lot, and a non-existent sleep schedule), I’m pretty pleased with the new/old direction my life is heading.
Do I know where that direction will take me? As one of my more daring students likes to say, “Hell no!” But that’s not what’s important. For the first time since I moved back, I feel like I’m being myself more often than not.
It’s not because I’m visiting Mizzou.
It’s not because my friends are here.
It’s not because I’m drinking a whole bottle of Les Bourgeois wine and watching Box Elder.
It’s because I’m actually letting my real, legit self come out.
It’s because I’m letting myself be happy, and everyone who doesn’t like it? They don’t matter.
That’s a big deal.
Apparently all I need to be truly happy is a little chaos to knock all my plans out and I’m home free. Even if I’m home free standing atop a mountain of debris.
So, the way I look at it, you can either look at everything whipping around you and say “Wow, I’m glad that I have a basement* to take shelter in” and break out the liquor with some good friends, or you can look around and start freaking out.
My advice: Don’t Panic. And bring a towel. Only the non-cool kids will get that one.
*Side note - Missouri houses/buildings actually have basements. Texas homes do not. We have bathtubs. This brings new meaning to 'bathtub gin.'