I wasn’t listening to my crispy rice cereal but to the sound of my right leg while lacing my running shoes.
Slowly unbend the knee. Snap!
Wiggle the toes. Crackle!
Stretch the hip…
Instead of the anticipated moment, which brings simultaneous pain and pleasure, my hip stubbornly refused to pop. It wasn’t the temperamental rebellion of a toddler, who can easily be tricked or cajoled into acquiescence; this was the resigned, set-in-her ways rebuff of an elderly woman.
That was three days ago.
The old biddy still won’t pop.
Absurdities like this only add to my suspicion that my body is doing things without my consent: creaking without motive, sagging in mysterious places.
Are the rumors true? Am I getting old?
Sunday on Facebook, I was added to a group called Class of ’91 Twenty-Year High School Reunion. When I went to remove myself from the group, because, obviously, someone was in error, I found the avatars of people I knew.
Mavis (of course it would be Mavis, who has known me since the days of puffy hair and shoulder pads) triggered a discussion that brought back a flood of memories. The pipe bomb! The machete incident! The chemical spill in the bathroom! The hairspray-plus-lighter induced fire in the gym!
It WAS my class! But had twenty years REALLY gone by?
Aside from the pains that have me periodically reaching for Ibuprofen, I don’t feel much different than I did in high school. I have a lot more knowledge now about English Literature, thesis writing, German slang, and the biological functions of infants. And if I’m picking you up at Frankfurt International Airport, I know EXACTLY where to park, but it’s a secret I won’t divulge here.
In high school, I took my first international trip (if you can call it that) to Puerto Vallarta with Mr. Hollingsworth’s Spanish class. I’d never flown on an airplane before. I remember packing enough Dramamine to drug the entire class–just in case. These days, I’m trying to decide whether to spend the long holiday weekend in Pompeii or Cairo.
I distinctly remember running twice in high school: during a Commedia skit; and away from that pervert who stopped Mavis and I along Urbandale Avenue. Now, a medal from the Königschlosser Romantik Marathon hangs from my bulletin board; and if I don’t run every 2-3 days, my kids gently ask if I’m “stressed.”
Life was full in high school: emotional, turbulent, despairing or triumphant in a bipolar sort of way (with no middle ground). I buried my insecurities in drama class and played a role every day without knowing who I truly was or where I was going. The kicker is that in all those adolescent years, I felt I knew everything, except myself.
And now, while I am evolving into the woman I’m meant to be, I realize there is a LOT I don’t know. But that doesn’t frighten me as it would have 20 years ago—it inspires me.
Fullness in life is derived from constant learning; learning not only in the sense of intellectual knowledge, but in matters of the spirit, and of the heart.
My body tells me it has been twenty years since high school, and I’m okay with that.
While I don’t enjoy the growing pains of this stage of life, I love who I am at this moment, and I often wonder who I will become.
For me, life keeps getting better, despite the snap, crackle, and…
How do you say”chiropractor” in German?