Normally on school days, I get the kids off to school and then, unless I have something else to stop me, I go to the gym or for a run. Today I had something else to stop me -- I was driving on Will's class field trip, which turned out to be to the Entomology department museum at UCD. So I put on my workout clothes (and a lovely ensemble that is) and my running shoes and packed up my book and my water to ensure that after my field trip duties were over, I got right over to the gym and worked out.
It's a beautiful day today, and being on campus always makes me want to spend more time there. Campus is a special place -- everywhere you look, people are just kind of, you know, loitering. Oh sure, some of them have textbooks open or are discussing coursework with their companions or what have you -- but really, it's all just glorified loitering. Some of them have even given up all pretense of making good use of their time between classes and are asleep. I always thought campus would be just the perfect place to hang out and spend all my time if only I didn't have, you know, classes and work and stuff to deal with. So now, here I am, no pesky classes or job to gum up my schedule, and do I ever go to campus? No. Today I had to buy a $6 parking pass, and it lasted all day, and since it was so gorgeous out, naturally I started thinking about how I should come back and -- what? Run on campus? Walk around campus? And then it hit me like a water balloon in the middle of the desert -- my bike! I could ride my bike to campus! And suddenly my day was all full of sunshine, both literal and figurative.
Getting excited about riding my bike and wanting to be on campus more got me thinking about my mental age again. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this in my blog or not, but a few years ago in therapy, my therapist mentioned that there's a theory of the mind that in our own self-image, we mature to a certain age and then continue to experience ourselves at that age for the rest of our lives. I glommed right on to this idea because I often feel like a teenager masquerading as an adult. I've expected this feeling to lift over time, but it really hasn't. I guess I thought that at some point, I would realize that I was really, finally, totally grown up and mature, and I even had an epiphany that I was an adult once, at Lucky in El Cerrito back in 1985, when I was walking down the baking aisle searching for a container of Chinese Five Spices with Rachel in the backpack on my back. But now, thinking back on it, I realize that although my thought at that moment was "I'm really an adult now," what was really happening was that I was doing things that an adult would do. And now, 10 years later, when I've done all kinds of things that adults do, like signing loan papers and driving carpools and exciting things like that, I still check back once in a while and think, nope -- I still don't really feel like a grown-up. And days like today, when I look back and yearn for my college years, when I get giddy about the idea riding my bike just like I was 8 years old again, on these days, it's hammered home again that I still don't feel like an adult. Maybe I never will. But maybe that's okay.