I've decided to start calling these "activities" instead of "days," seeing as I don't do one everyday. Yesterday I visited Colburn music school for the first time. It's actually very similar to many a music building I've been to. For some odd reason, art schools are kept impeccably clean. I'll never understand that. What I love about them is that everyone there is for the same purpose. I love it and I hate it too, because it means that you're not special. People who are incredibly focused fascinate me, and this was the environment for it.
I've been thinking a lot about decisions, and thinking about at what point is a choice no longer available to you. Maybe this is the aging me talking, but lately I've realized how different my options now are compared to 10 years ago. I have massive Peter Pan-complex, so this depresses me greatly. And I will probably reflect on this more for Activity 13.
But for now... Ethiopian food! I cajoled a couple co-workers to go to Little Ethiopia. Unfortunately, I was too stupid to make a reservation at the restaurant we wanted to go to, so we went across the street to another one. My co-workers hadn't eaten all day and we tore apart the menu and ordered a ton of food.
I've only seen Ethiopian food on tv before this, and what makes it so exciting is the complete difference in how you eat it. The menu described it on the front cover, and we read how you use the bread as your knife/fork/spoon. I can only really think of sopping up extra sauce with naan while eating Indian food. Oh, and once in Switzerland I stayed with a homestay that served sausages and potato salad for dinner (yum!) and then the girls wiped their plates clean with bread which they then ate. My friend and I did not react very well to this new method of eating and left our plates dirty.
I decided to prepare myself for the hands-eating part by washing my hands (we ate the appetizer with forks). Which was perfect, because when I got back, a giant plate was on the table with all of our food. We unrolled the bread, whose consistency reminded me of martial arts training mats, and dug right in! Lamb stew, strips of fried beef, chicken, collard greens, tomato-based stews and lentils. I started off nibbling everything separately because I wanted to taste everything for the first time and soon found myself wiping at the plate with bread and grabbing greedily at fried onions. The food itself didn't feel too foreign. In fact, sometimes while I ate I'd get a whiff of a flavor that I felt like I just knew.
Afterward, we walked around Little Ethiopia a bit. I was mostly interested in seeing if I could buy some of the main spices, but nothing was labeled well enough for me to trust myself. And then we headed back.
Activity 13 is the first activity that wasn't intended to make me feel better. I'm currently taking an online class. Or rather, I was. Today I had a little bit of an epiphany, and I dropped the class. In college, there was a class-dropping policy up to 4 weeks into the course, but this is the first time I've dropped a class after finishing a significant portion of homework and coding.
The last time I dropped a class was senior year of undergrad. I was taking a cryptography class, and after struggling with the first homework assignment, I had a complete breakdown. I simply could not take anymore. I called my mom at work and she calmed me down from her office while I blubbered to her that I could not do this, I refused to try to squeeze in so many classes. I've been driven my entire life, and it felt like such a letdown. I also decided to take a year off of school at that moment.
Luckily, this was not the same. It was simply a realization. Last week I turned in the homework 5 minutes before the deadline. And I realized if I'd done this 5 years ago while I was in college, I would've felt this incredible rush of "OMG I DID IT!!!"
I'd probably start a slow clap to myself that would turn into applause and then finish it off by eating junk food for 2 hours. Last week when I ran that close to the deadline, I slunk back in my chair and muttered in an old man voice "Uggggghhhhh... I'm getting too old for this s***."
I consider myself driven for knowledge, so quitting on a class that I know I can do simply because I don't feel fulfilled by it feels more like a letdown of my personality than my intellect. It also made me realize how much of an adult I am. I have more choices now. I'm not a student anymore.
I feel like I ought to replace that with something more fulfilling. And I think it's similar to when I broke up with my ex-boyfriend. He found another girl about 6 months later, and I realized, heartbroken, that I made a choice. I have to live with this choice. And I have to make it the right choice by doing the best with my life I can.