Well, I guess it’s no secret that I never got a science internship this summer. Okay, I applied to, what, two? But I must admit, I think deep down inside, I was hoping I wouldn’t be accepted into one all along. I didn’t want to live in St. Louis all summer. I didn’t want an apartment. I didn’t want to spend the days inside, under fluorescent lights, missing out on the rays of the sun that my skin seems to crave so much. I may have told myself at one point in the semester, when I was trying to be somebody I’m clearly not, that staying in the city would be great for me. But boy was I wrong about that. I needed to be here, at home. And I’m glad that’s how it ended up playing out. So, on that note…
…Last Monday I got recertified by the American Red Cross for lifeguarding. As in, I spent TEN HOURS IN A SWIMMING POOL. And also, I didn’t get paid for it. OOOBNOOOXIOUS! (But I’m not bitter about it at all.) Yes, I spent the day with a few of my coworkers, relearning how to approach an active or passive drowning victim, strapping each other onto the backboard (This is terrifying. I kept whimpering, “Guys, please don’t let this thing flip over while I’m strapped to it…”), and practicing CPR on really creepy fake babies with hyper-extended necks. It was actually a lot of fun, in a really, really bizarre way. This is my fourth year at the Water Park, and I’ve come to like it. Probably more than I should. And I think deep down inside, the high school kids I work with enjoy it, too, and probably more than they should as well.
I think the thing that makes sitting in the sun for hours on end so obnoxiously enjoyable is simply the fact that I work with people just a few years younger than me. Being around a bunch of goofy high school/soon-to-be college freshmen has made me slowly strip away the whole serious act and replace it with a happier, lighter version of myself, one who isn’t afraid to speak up. One who embraces the fact that she looks like she’s fifteen and not twenty-one (at a recent family event I was deemed “the youngest looking college senior…EVER”, a title I would have cringed at in the past, but now happily accept.). One who sees the importance of the F-word:
(…Wait, what’s that word mean?)
It makes me wonder: Why do I need to be so serious? Why do I lock myself for hours on end in my dorm, *alone*, studying over and over again? Why do I let myself spend time with people who stress me out? When and why did I decide to stop living?
One of my primary job responsibilities (I believe this is one of the questions on one of the two written tests we had to take that day as well….I’m cool with the fact that I had to take two tests. Really.) as a lifeguard is to enforce the rules (duh.). While it is super important for obvious reasons for me to tell kids to not run, to not dive in the shallow end because being strapped onto a backboard is scary, or to stop splashing me because I’m cold, when did it become so necessary for me to make up a bunch of rules for my own life? Rules like, I can’t eat chocolate at breakfast. I can’t have fun. I can’t go pursue this dream or that dream for this reason or that reason. I have to study for hours on end. I can’t pursue that career field. Blah, blah, blah.
…I’m thinking it’s about to time to start breaking them.
“Lose Yourself to Dance” by Daft Punk (This album…the soundtrack of my summer, for sure…)