*does not compute*

Surely I’m too young to be feeling this… this strange dream-like quality that some chapters of my life have taken on with the passing of time.

I can very easily recall walking the beaches of the Adriatic with a sleeping newborn Nino in my arms; I remember the ease of back hip circles and sole circle dismounts and the one time that I managed a front hip circle by myself; I wonder that I was not afraid of strapping my hands to a plastic sheath ’round a metal bar placed across a deep pit, and I would swing, the bottom of the pit being more than seven feet away from my toes even if I pointed them, and I would try all sorts of techniques that I never managed to master by the end of my eight gymnast’s years anyway; I remember the seven-mile runs at Mellow Park; doing front hand springs and back hand springs on Aunt Sue’s neighbor’s trampoline; when I play Hosanna or Mighty to Save or Now That You’re Near alone in my room, I can hear Kuya Vin and Matt and Gabe and Mariel and Kim and Candisse and Paolo and Gabriella, to my left and to my right and behind; if ever I am unwise enough as to let my mind linger on that first and last perfect side aerial, or the two highest and fastest jump front kicks I ever threw, or that back tuck that landed me on my stomach, I can feel the shock that ran through my body as my bones snapped out of and then back into place, and the recollection still causes me to grit my teeth and cringe inside.

All these things and so much more, I can know and summon with perfect clarity… and yet there is a disconnection about them – or maybe about me – as if they happened to another person, a person that I was simply fortunate – or unfortunate – enough to be able to step inside of for a little while.

Two decades is small in the grand scheme of things, and I shall be the first to own it, which is why… I wonder.

I don’t mean for this post to be nostalgic or melancholy or anything of the sort. On the contrary, I’m high on life at present.

~ TANGENT ~

Jillian: Aurora, what drugs are you on?? Whatever they are, I want them.
me: Girl, I’m high on life.
Jillian: Oh, Life? Is that what they’re calling it now?
me: Ma’am, I have never had anything questionable in my life; nicotine being questionable and alcohol not so.

Seriously, I must confess to [still] being slap-happy from last night. (It is currently 22:02, 06.15.11.) Team Bada-Bing FTW!

~ TANGENT ~

Nino’s been saying “bada-bing” over and over again since yesterday; I’m still not entirely sure how he picked it up – it’s not as if I’d been saying it at home on a regular basis…

I woke up this morning and was all set to wear camo cargo pants and a black t-shirt… and then I saw the pink dress I sewed back in… 2007? perhaps? and all of a sudden, that I was bound to have a perfectly wonderful day today was unquestionable. But I’m getting rather ahead of myself.

I must begin in the middle, which was 1PM in the BTD office with Dean Nissley. He got me to talk about YFC and Tang Soo and Italy and Missouri and Texas and Pennsylvania, among other things, and it was then that I began to mentally articulate to myself the growing sense of disquiet that came with the realization of the existence that disconnected feeling I was getting as I shared bits and pieces of my life with him. I carefully use life rather than past, because I am perfectly aware of the fact that I can still count on my two hands – if not merely the one – the number of years between the majority of those bits and pieces and today. The reader must allow that with this being my tenth residence and only because we moved back from the eleventh, and with all the traveling Mom and Dad did and that I was privileged enough to join them on in the first six years of my life, that I have traveled to and lived in more places than many see in four times my current life span. Still, aren’t I more than a little young to be wondering at past chapters and how they could have happened and why it seems as if I cannot ever get at them again? If I strapped my hands to that plastic sheath now, would I find that I did not have the strength to touch my toes to my finger tips, much less master the bar by raising myself onto it by means of a pullover or a kip? the latter of which I never could do, come to think of it. No, no bitterness; a little wistfulness perhaps, but nothing negative about it. Just reality. I’ve still never been brave enough to do a front tuck into the pool even though I’ve done it countless times off the end of a beam.

At any rate, there you have it, some twenty-ish minutes of reminiscing, and voila, the title of this post.

Further reflection prior to the writing of this post led to… well, let me backtrack a bit. Team Bada-Bing rocked it last night. I’m going to miss everyone tons and tons and tons. It’s was terrible… leaving that kitchen and realizing I’d never have another class in it. And looking at every kitchen and remembering the apprehension of the first day of each lab and walking into a new and unfamiliar setup. I’ve got honoring to do, so here goes:

Jeff – We totally could’ve pulled off that entire project and gotten a heckuva better grade for it on our own. Bother. Oh well, what’s done is done I suppose. That being said, I honor you for keeping it real.

Brian – I think in Dining Room 2, I was subconsciously conditioned to listen for your laugh. Hearing it from the other side of the kitchen always made anything and everything better! I honor you for that.

Neil – Happy Daddy! I honor you for balancing work, school, and home life. Enjoy that lovely newborn daughter! She’s quite a lucky little lady to have such a father.

Alice – Love you love you love you! Thanks for being my chef mommy =) I honor you for your perseverance! You are such an inspiration, Alice =)

Patrick – Peaches, I honor you for having the thickest skin I’ve ever known a body to have. Geeze! Thanks for the laughs, they were the best.

Aaron – So we ended as friends! I’ve quite forgotten how to hate you =) I honor you for your mad and epically slow shredding-and-occasionally-eating duck confit skillz.

Jessica – I honor you, dear, for smiling and smiling and smiling, in the midst of hardships that I cannot imagine myself being able to even hold my head up through. I wish you the best!!

Tessie – Ma’am I honor you for holding your own [in the midst of a otherwise male line] and staying sweet while doing it! Love ya!

Rob –  WE MADE IT!!!!! :D :D :D I honor you for your gravity, positivity, optimism, and kindness.

Matt – I honor you for your super awesome crayzeeenesss when it comes to food. Anything can be elegant. Especially duck nachos. That is what I learned from you.

Kelsey – I honor you for being unpredictable. In a totally good way =) *hugzz*

Jillian – Sous chef! I honor you for your creativity, your passion, your daring, and your vision. I love you! and I hope to see you again one day.

Oh, and a big THANK YOU to Alice for the bubbly =) Quite the incentive, now that I think about it.

So, as I was saying, further reflection led me to wonder if, in a few more years, this MCI chapter of my life will also begin to seem like a dream… bits and pieces of it already do, like working in Receiving… and perhaps this is what I object to most. Life’s always fast, but it’s been speeding up exponentially of late. And I’m finding it difficult to compute.

And yet I’m still super slap-happy! and not least of all because of a certain math teacher, a grandfather, who kept me after class and said that he was proud of me, wished me the best, thinks I’m making great life choices and is convinced that I’ll be a wonderful mother.

It’s been quite the perfect end-of-term.

Bittersweet, but still perfect.

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