I literally laughed at her. Politely, of course.
I realize that 27 years do not make me an expert on the stages of life, but I have lived enough to figure out that 16 is most certainly not the prime of life.
When I think of high school, I think exhaustion. I feel cold mornings in the parking lot, waiting until an appropriate time to go up to campus--we had to arrive super early to get a space. I see rows of green lockers holding books I didn't want to open. I hear gossip--who's going to ask who to the dance, who got into which college, who hates their best friend this week. I feel the aches--mostly mental--of daily dance classes.
When I think of college, I think of lessons learned outside of classes. I feel the stomach-churning last heartbreak of an unsuccessful relationship. I smell Chai tea during late-night studying. I taste dorm food and unhealthy choices despite plenty of options. I think of moving every year, changing roommates every year, sharing a room with not one but two other girls. I feel the embarrassment of not knowing how to cook pasta. I feel so, so homesick, wishing I could see my parents more than a few times a year.
taking on two of my favorite jobs as a tour guide and orientation counselor at UCLA, joining the dance team, and of course, meeting Terry the summer before my senior year of college.
So, the point? Even when life is going really well, there's always so much to look forward to. I thought high school was pretty great, but looking back now it didn't even compare to college. And the real world isn't nearly as scary as everyone says--I love being married and having a job and having a pet and planning for--not just dreaming of--my real future.
What I'm looking forward to, in no particular order:
- Rescuing a puppy
- Buying a house
- Having children
- Taking another cooking class
- Our second anniversary, because I just thought of an awesome gift idea
- The Great Gatsby movie
- Valentine's Day
- The three-day weekend ahead, including a little trip to San Diego!
- Tomorrow night's dinner, a variation of these sandwiches
And let me tell you, when I look at my parents, in the midst of their retirement, I get pretty excited about that, too. They are currently in Hawaii, updating Facebook every three hours with a new photo or check in about their jaunt in paradise. Not that I'm jealous or anything.
But let's be really honest. I get most excited about food. Here's what I ate today:
10:30 am - Snack - Unripe pear :-(
1:00 pm - Lunch - Leftover minestrone soup a la Ina Garten
5:00 pm - Snack - Homemade peanut butter granola bar after a 30-minute treadmill session
...which actually turned into this
Still delicious, but VERY crumbly.
7:00 pm - Dinner - UCLA dorms
Terry and I had a meeting tonight with our young alumni volunteer group, and we got to eat in the dorms! How perfect for today's topic, huh? So I ate like a college student: mixed greens salad with balsamic, piece of pizza, bowl of cereal, some pasta, and an ice cream cone. That's how you do it Bruin-style. (No photos, because I didn't want people to know I'm weird.)
And now it's super late, so we're skipping the morning workout. Please don't judge.
So what do you think: Is life better now, or was it better at age 16? And what's something you're looking forward to?