Lately I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing with my life and what makes me happy. The new house has enough space for me to have a home office and I’ve found my photo albums, museum maps, posters, and old crap I had up in my college apartments in Minneapolis. The more I unpack the things that were important to me and think about where I’m headed in life the more I want to get back to my college days.
I shouldn’t complain about my life too much now. I have a fantastic job that is rewarding on so many levels – I can pay my bills and buy a car, I get to travel until my heart’s content, I actually look forward to going to work. Now I have security and a not uncertain future. In college I lived in cramped apartments (often with filthy roommates) and I was so worried about my future since I had no idea where I was going.
What do I envy about my college days in the frozen north? I guess what I miss the most is my sense of independence, my sense of self. I did things that made ME happy. Although there are plenty of decisions I should have made differently and I should have worked harder to make sure my school life was on track I did what I could to take care of me. Friday nights were burritos, books, and beer and on Saturdays I would walk down to Duffy’s in Dinkytown with a book to eat pizza and watch people. I would watch my favorite VHS tapes and crochet or play MMORPGs with pizza.
Sure there’s plenty of nostalgia involved. There were hard classes, bad relationships, frostbite. I was so poor I would have a bag of Combos, peanut butter M&Ms, and a Coke as my lunch and dinner. I ate tuna casserole all week, almost every other week for a while. I had low-paying jobs that required a commute at late/early hours and sometimes through sketchy parts of the city. A lot of times were lonely and I went through my fair share of heartbreak. Still, it was worth it.
So what can I do to get back the glory days in this rewarding life I have now? I need to take care of me, work for my own happiness, and find pleasure in the things I do. When I travel and I explore I need to do it for me, not just thinking of all the people back home. I need to be more proactive in finding something to do. Maybe the problem is Las Vegas and it isn’t me – this town is crazy and it can be difficult to find things to do, especially now that I live on the edge of the desert.
I remember being happy and I’m going to go chase it.