You know those friends who, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen each other or even had much of a conversation quite frankly (read: primary means of communication = FB chats), you can pick up with right where you left off so many
days weeks months years ago? That was the story of my last weekend. An old friend, from what seems like another lifetime now, came to visit Dr. Trot for the weekend. We hadn’t seen or spoken to each other, much less seen each other, in over 5 years so while I had high hopes, the four days really could have gone any number of directions. To my delight it was immediately clear that any/all fears I had were totally unfounded. It was like those 5+ years didn’t exist. It was like we could have last seen each other yesterday. It was like we could have been staying up and going out and drinking and dancing like never-tiring, hangover-resistant early 20-somethings all this time. And so, this is exactly what we did. All. Weekend. Long.
In three short days we consumed more Yuengling than I have in my entire life, de-briefed Dr. Trot on a number of music genres for which her working knowledge is slipping, walked the entire city of Philadelphia – twice (this isn’t an exageration…not at all…thanks to the good Dr.’s market finding deficiencies…), toured a prison (Eastern State Penitentiary to be exact)
(not what you do when you go on vacation? what’s wrong with you?), pretended to be Rocky, chased our favorite form of public transportation (not a week goes by without…), played board games, watched bad horror movies, hiked the Appalachian trail
(well, 10 miles of it anyway),
and gorged ourselves at (not “on”) Tortugas (which you can read all about here)
In the blink of an eye we were back to being 22 — enjoying a carefree yet exciting weekend in perpetual motion.
Then, all too quickly Tuesday morning reared her head and with an equal but opposite eye blink — BAM!!!
It was back to reality.
A harsh, tired, achy, coughy, 30-something year old reality. 😦 It was 4 days of playing catch-up at work (complete with plenty of fumbles), the cough turned into a sore throat and more coughing and stuffiness and sneezing, and the tiredness and achiness pretty much staying put.
So it goes.
My pre-weekend risk assessment suggested this might happen. But, sometimes you just have to go for it anyway, 22 yrs old or not.
Now, my most-definitely-NOT-22-yr-old self is wrapping up a
#%@&ing lovely Saturday at work, with a economy sized bag of cough drops
and a bottomless mug of green tea.
For those of you who have made it this far (and are wondering WTF the title and content of this post have in common) I have saved the best for last. The best part of this whole mess is that today is exactly the 1 year anniversary of my PhD defense! One year of being
in the real world as a post-doc and getting my professional priorities in order and making progress towards the end game of landing a fancy, big-time, grown-up academic position…
One year seems like such a long time, but how little has actually changed (aside from the jug-handle left turns and no longer pumping my own gas). Maybe academic careers, and the
crazy people who chase them, are (for better or worse) like old friends. They are interesting, fun, challenging and exciting. Yet (at times) they can be careless, necessitating lengthy recovery regimes. Finally, changes is slow and bad old habits die hard, so when you choose to stick around, it had better be because you enjoy the ride (or are truly that bat shit crazy)
And with that, please excuse me while I go and fetch myself another celebratory mug of tea.