19 Going On 90

Do you ever have those moments where you question what on freaking earth you are doing with your life? Because I had one of those moments today while eating chocolates with a bunch of old people.

When I first came to Milwaukee four months ago, a few things happened 1) I began hosting at a restaurant 2) My social life mainly consisted of conversing with strangers on the bus and 3) I woke up one morning and found a British man in my grandparents kitchen. Interestingly enough, all three of these things happened again.

I recently resumed my hosting position at the restaurant here in downtown Milwaukee. I was really nervous to go back because I was scared I forgot how to do everything after being gone for a month. Luckily that wasn’t the case and it was easy to snap back into things. I remember how when I first started I nearly poured scolding hot (I’m being a little dramatic, it was room temperature) coffee on a lady and secretly prayed to the heavens to spare me, they listened, and that woman was able to enjoy her coffee burn free. Nothing quite as dangerously lively has happened at the restaurant since then but I did pour water for about 14 people last night so that was some risky business.

Another thing I have unfortunately resumed since coming back to Milwaukee is riding the public bus. I should probably just invest in a broomstick or a unicorn because that would make my commutes so much more efficient. But until I can do so, I am forced to continue to wait for the bus. Yesterday I was meeting a friend for lunch and waited an especially long time. After about 10 minutes of waiting, some guy came and stood at the bus stop too. He set his bag down on the bench and began pacing up and down the block. I eyed his bag suspiciously, why did he leave it on the bench alone? Was there like a bomb or a big pile of dog poo in there? It still throws me off when people leave their stuff unattended here. If he left his bag alone on a New York City bench, within a matter of seconds, a crack head would emerge from the bushes and steal it (well maybe not exactly but something bad would happen.)

After a really long time, the bus finally came and we both laughed and shook our heads, grateful and annoyed about the arrival of the bus. When we got on, he sat behind me and we started talking. He told me about how he’s studying mechanical engineering at the university here and I told him about how I want to go  back to school and study English but that I don’t really know where I’m going with it yet. We had a really nice conversation about pursuing something you are passionate about vs. practicality and then it was my stop and I wished him luck in all his future endeavors and told him I would see him around. I’m not sure why I said that because realistically I will never see him again and I’m also not sure why I used the phrase “future endeavors.” For some reason I say really awkwardly formal things when I don’t know what else to say, maybe that’s because I’ve been spending so much time with my grandparents.

So after I got lunch with my friend I got back on the bus to go see this classical music group with my grandparents. Remember how I mentioned that I woke up one morning and there was a British man in my grandparent’s kitchen? Well he happens to be a cellist who travels around the world with other musicians and is sponsored by the music department here at the university of Milwaukee. I’m not sure how my grandparents became friendly with him but it doesn’t surprise me considering they charm everyone. I was slightly late to his concert so I snuck in the back and got some really dirty looks from this one old couple. About every other person in the audience had grey hair so, naturally, I stood out. During intermission, my grandparents and a few of their friends gathered in the hallway and chatted and gushed about how beautiful the concert was. Then this one woman pulled out a bag of chocolates and we all grabbed some and started comparing flavors. This is the pivotal point where I thought to myself “what on freaking earth am I doing with my life?” I’m standing in a hallway eating chocolates with my grandparents and their friend and I’m almost positive that’s not what I’m supposed to being doing at this point in life.

But as I reached for another chocolate, I began to laugh. I’ve learned this year that as much as you draft and blue print and blog about your great and mighty plans– life usually never goes as planned. I’ve learned that no matter where you are, some feelings just never go away. And most importantly, I’ve learned that a great sense of humor can bring light to any situation. I’ve come to the realization that you can’t judge your life in terms of “exciting” and “non-exciting” because there’s just so much more to it.

A wise, old friend, and by friend I mean a tea bag, told me some really insightful advice the other day “the key to happiness is contentment”– and I couldn’t agree more.

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