We had to write a story. They were in our group, and they wanted to be princesses. You knew we were birds. Little hummingbirds. Chirp chirp chirp on your neighbors’ trampoline. We bounced. We flew. Is nine years old too old to play pretend? Mrs. D said we had to write a story with the other girls. Them. The girls who dreamed of being beautiful princesses locked in a castle. But we were birds. They took control. Too assertive for young princesses, but still. We kept the real story in our heads. But. The birds needed to be heard. I took your pinky finger, and I squeezed. You screamed. I screamed. The birds finally sang. Mrs. D yelled at us, so everyone could see that we were villains. But on paper, we were princesses.
So there I was, mindlessly driving down the road, singing off-key to the bouncy pop music from 97.9 FM, unaware of what would happen.
In the greater Columbus area, it seems like there’s always construction, always the sharp orange workers filling the side of the highway. But at the same time, carefully driving over the cracked, faded roads, we get used to the conditions, never expecting a fix. Construction lurks day to day as a mythical creature, manipulating time and our experiences. Several years we crawl the traffic-infested, broken paths at rush hour, hearing whispered promises of the roads fixed, but the empty promises fall on lost ears. Several years we encounter the orange men on I-71 South, narrowing the highway to one lane and worsening traffic, but this time because of their presence and not lack thereof. None of us expect the change, the arrival and departure of construction, to be true; none of us expect our eternity to be interrupted.
But on one soft summer morning, the sight of bright orange cones shocked me away from the new Taylor Swift song. The very path I used every day, the same path I remember from childhood that twisted next to the Scioto River, was no longer my path. The very orange cones we had been promised for years were suddenly in front of me, keeping me from my path, keeping me from my routine.
I quickly spun the volume control to the left, emptying the notes from my head in favor of brain waves. Where the hell should I go? I thought to myself. Which new road should I take?
My quick decision of a new path energized my soft morning, jolting me awake and alive. Driving on the opposite side of the river filled my route with new scenery, the dark green deciduous trees and pastel-painted local businesses stealing my interest.
I never would have used my brain that morning, had there not been construction. I never would have broken my mindless routine. I never would have discovered a new path that I liked even better than the old one.
So far in my first semester of college, I’ve made friends and met new people, always with the introduction of name and major. Some people have known their whole lives what they want to be, the future doctors, engineers, and teachers.
But me? First semester and even most of winter break, I had no freaking idea. My majors bounced from psychology-premed, to middle level education, to communications. By learning all I could about majors, careers, and my identity and goals, I finally feel at home with communications. I took a detour my first semester, but the scenic road the rest of my life will be worth it.
This blog is a chance for me to document my experiences throughout college while practicing and polishing my writing. I am excited to share my life and potentially help readers, but if my blog changes course, I won’t worry about it. I know to embrace the detours.