:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

zondag 22 oktober 2006

I can count on one hand the number of times that this has happened, but... words are failing me. I spent this weekend in Myrtle Beach with 9 members of the UF club swim team - several of whom were close friends of mine - and I'm having a hard time explaining just how great that was. I mean, it was amazing to see everyone again after so long (six months!), especially Anna and Shannon, and staying in an awesome hotel less than 100 yards from the beach was really cool too, but the biggest thing was that it felt so great to just be accepted, without question. (Ahh, THAT's it - words no longer failing me!) Here at UNC, I still feel like I'm trying to 'prove' myself to most people... professors, students, swimmers... pretty much everyone except Jenna and Liz... and I'm quickly losing the motivation to even continue bothering. But these guys know me, through and through. I don't have to worry about what they might be thinking about me or whether or not I'll be accepted - I'm just 'one of them'.

It was such a relief to fall back into my old role as one of the senior team members. It felt like UNC might have been just a dream, or maybe another exchange program or summer job, and that now I was finally back home again where I belonged. I savored everything... the Walgreens junk food run at midnight with eight people in a five-person car, Jenna accidentally beaning an innocent passerby square in the face with a disintegrating ball of wet beach sand, floating in the (71 F) ocean with Anna for a full hour while we got caught up, yelling encouragement to everyone during the swim meet, getting asked to enter as a deck entry and swim a few events myself (and declining - "I'm here for the food. And the beach."), roasting s'mores over a (very smoky) mini-bonfire whilst freezing outside in the dark in our T-shirts, not being self-conscious about wearing a two-piece swimsuit, driving and listening (and singing) to Shannon and Michael's random selections from all the music on my iPod, the mass (silent) laughing fit over the old, obese, oblivious man in Walgreens whose sagging pants revealed a good six inches of butt crack and white underwear as he deliberated among the selection of condoms (!), asking Conway cops for driving directions, gossiping with the girls about the guys on the team, cramming 10 people into the hot tub at 1:00am, eating shrimp at Margaritaville while singing Jimmy Buffett, mastering the workings of the waffle irons at the hotel continental breakfast, lying in the sun on a beach for the first time in what felt like forever... yeah, it was an awesome weekend. I missed some of my team friends who didn't go to the meet - Hayley, Nika, Jason, etc. - but it was great to see those who were there.

In a way, though, it's also made me a little more homesick (if that's the right word). I'm quickly realizing that what I was told about the 'Carolina attitude' really is true. A lot of people on the UNC team are... I hate to say it... snobs. Or at least a lot of the good swimmers are. Most of the people in my lane are pretty nice - there are two or three girls I like a lot - but others, most notably the team president, act like they don't want to have anything to do with me. They're not mean, per se, but they just totally ignore me. Granted, there could be all kinds of reasons for that which have nothing to do with me as an individual - it's a big team, I don't swim in their lane, they have no REASON to say anything to me, etc. - but because I'm new, it feels like it's me as an individual that people don't like. Same with my classmates and even professors. I just came off a summer spent working with people I hated, and I don't like having to 'work at' making friends in arenas (school and swimming) in which I've always been happy and fit in well (since after middle school, anyway) without having to really work at it. I don't know if the difference is in the school or in me, but it's frustrating.

Upside: Liz comes back from China tomorrow. Yippee!

And: Obama just might run for president after all! Double yippee!

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