Home > Thoughts > Glory days.

Glory days.

Last night I needed a night out more than anything. I needed to nurse a cold beer; I needed loud music to drown out my ever-thinking mind; I needed to be around good friends.

But an hour into being at the bar, I was disgusted. Not by my friends by any means, but by the crowds in the place. The town I live in, like I’ve said before, is filled with people who are essentially cut from the same cloth. It’s a college town; there’s sorority girls and frat daddies all over the place. And I cannot stand it.

I left last night because I got sick of having to deal with this.

Lately I’ve been reading travelogues, which are amazing books. One of my favorite things about these books is the chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I love learning about new types of people, new cultures, new traditions.

It makes me hunger for something different.

I want real people in my life. I need to, at some point, get away from the college lifestyle and move in a path that will bring me toward interacting with people who have had actual life experiences.

I know in a lot of ways I’m categorizing everyone I saw at the bar last night, and that’s not fair. But in some ways what I’m saying is true, so I’m not going to feel too bad.

Last night also made me miss Boston. (Whoa, what? Like I never say that.) What I loved most about that place (Let’s say, in the top 5 of things I loved.), was the fact that new people were around every single corner. Whether it was a quick conversation on the subway with a med student, or stopping to listen to a street performer, or an artist who became my closest friend, I was always hungering for that next encounter.  I love different perspectives and opinions and lifestyles.

Some people want to eat their way around the world. Others want to participate in adrenaline-filled activities or see how far they can travel by land rather than by air. I, on the other hand, when I travel, want to glean as much as I can from whichever culture I choose.

One of my favorite books I read this summer was “Tales of a Female Nomad,” by Rita Gelman Goldman. After a divorce, and in her mid-40s (I think), she moved to Mexico where she lived in a Zapotec village for a number of months. From there she’s spent the last 10 years or so moving around the world, and making sure that she connects with the people she lives with in every part of the world she visits. She lived with a royal family in Bali, and hiked in the highlands of Indonesia where she lived in a teeny-tiny village. Rather than getting the quick, “postcard view” of the places she visits, she stays long enough to get an idea of how they live: what activities their days are made up of, or how they grieve, how they celebrate, how they play.

It’s a beautiful thing, and I loved her book. And although I don’t really want to take it as far as she did and be a “present-day nomad,” I do want to learn from people the way she did. That’s why I want to travel.

Boston let me get a taste of that feeling. The city gave me the chance to, like I said earlier, meet tons of different types of people. I miss that.

And that, right there, brings me to my next thought: The glory days.

Since I started my new job, I’ve had lots and lots of time to read gazillions (OK, slight exaggeration) of travel blogs. There are people out there my age traveling around and around the world, and I love reading their blogs.

One blogger–I can’t remember who it is, but I’ll link it as soon as I find it again–wrote a post about the glory days. He likened this to that old man who always talked about “that one football game, back in 1950 where he made the winning touchdown.” And this man never moves past this point: He spends the rest of forever telling this story, and that’s essentially the highlight of his life.

What I loved about this post was that it made me realize how moving to Boston was my glory moment, and it made me sick because I am so much like that old man. In my life right now that move to Boston is the biggest thing I’ve done.

I miss it. You all know this. And I insert it into every conversation with new people: I make sure they know I moved there, that I was scared, but that I did it. Those days I spent living in Boston were my glory days.

The blogger also touched on the importance of not letting that one experience become the only moment worth being glorious in your life.

And I get it. It infused me with determination. Determination to move past a situation, a decision I made I’m unhappy with. It’s made me start planning and thinking about concrete steps I can take to ensure I have more moments and experiences I can classify as my glory days–instead of just one four-month block.

I want enough experiences to fill a book. You all know that when I get in a new place I can write and write and write. My blog took off in Boston, and I’m searching for the next place I can let my words explode. It’ll be wonderful.

So, here’s to the glory days. And here’s to real people. I’m coming for those times.

Thanks for reading. I haven’t written this long of a post since I moved, and I have to tell you, it feels amazing.

The times, they are a changin’.

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  1. December 31, 2010 at 10:38 pm

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