The following was a part of the weekend described in the last post, but I felt it deserved its own space.
We were driving back from Rapid City and the return drive always seems to take longer and just be more boring. For some reason, though, this time it was even worse. I felt anxious and restless and like I just wanted to tear out of the car and sprint as far as I could until I puked or collapsed. I felt like I had spent too much money, eaten too many sweets and was about to bust or scream. The whole day was nice, but sometimes “nice” can be suffocating. Some part of me wanted to fight. Not necessarily get into a fight, but struggle and persevere. That only makes sense though, it if accomplishes something, right? (Note-the only issue here was me. Everyone I saw that day was absolutely lovely.)
When we got home, I jumped on the exercise bike and pedaled hard for 40 minutes. I wanted to go longer, but Monica and I had agreed to watch a movie and it didn’t feel fair making her wait around while I tried to stationary bike myself to exhaustion.
We ended up watching Julie and Julia, where a woman decides to cook every single recipe listed in Julia Child’s The Art of Mastering French Cooking in one year. She blogs about it, and eventually is offered a book deal. Watching this movie released within me a desire to fulfill dreams. I keep noticing a reoccurring theme in the movies and tv shows I watch and books I read: don’t ever stop dreaming. My only problem has been, though, that I don’t know what to dream. I have no idea what I want “to be when I grow up.” (I still don’t. The movie wasn’t that inspiring.) But I started thinking about how much I would love to write and to take on a challenge. Lately, there has been a trend of people accomplishing these odd but intimidating challenges, like cooking every meal in a famous cookbook, reading the entire encyclopedia or living off of McDonald’s for a month, and then writing about them. These challenges are kind of silly if you take them out of context. However, the author then roots some deeper meaning out of the discipline involved in their task, discusses how they grew from the experience and relish the rewards of their journey (I not going to start on my musings about how we are in a society that both harshly criticizes the Catholic Church for being out of touch and then rampantly steals their teachings and ideas on discipline, fasting and other fantastic freaking ideas about being happy in life, but I want you to know I’m thinking it. Thinking it real hard).
I realized there are certain goals, maybe even a few seemingly pointless goals, I’d like to achieve. And maybe some lofty goals. I’m not going to list them in detail quite yet though, because most of them are on hold until after JVC and you might just consider this a teaser trailer to Challenge Accepted 2: After JVC (they might involve running, wine and/or weight lifting). I had such an internal push to begin something though that I knew I had to create a challenge for myself while here in South Dakota. Yes, I understand that the whole JVC year of service deal is supposed to be a challenge. Help people and all that—remember, Mello? This challenge, however, would be less…philosophically taxing…moral-quagmire creating…scary, intimidating…less all those things. Basically, I can relish in the triviality of the matter. If I don’t succeed, so what. No one dies, I don’t feel like I’m letting anyone down or disappointing anyone or breaking a promise to an organization (So I also have musings on how we replace “real” challenges—that is, challenges that could stand to make real impacts on our surroundings—with trivial challenges in order to make ourselves feel like we’ve accomplished something without having to take any risks of failing or dealing with real consequences. But again, won’t get into them).
So are you ready for my challenge? It had to be cheap, easily accessible and something I enjoyed doing. Wait for it…
I’ll tell you on Wednesday.
In the meantime, I like to pretend I have readers who are genuinely interested in this blog, so you should indulge in these daydreams and leave a comment guessing what you think my challenge will be.