It is Christmas Eve, and I am at work. I work at a small credit union and in the four hours I have been here I have had one member (I know what you’re thinking, and yes I am trying to contain my excitement). I have surfed every news source, pinned every funny angry cat meme there is, and exhausted the number of solitaire games one person can play in a day while still keeping their sanity intact. I was doing some more web-surfing when I remember once before I tried to take up blogging. I had a total of one post before I got bored and lost interest. However I just went to look at my old blog and it gave me some cheesy but humorous perspective for the Christmas season. Here it is:
“I am a Nebraska girl, born and raised. I’ve been to more than a handful of county fairs; I drink beer in the bed of a pick-up before football games, and when leaving a room, it’s second nature to wish everyone well. Nebraska is my home; it’s in my heart and it’s part of my soul.”
As I sit in my 8:30AM summer anthropology class, I came to a realization; this class doesn’t actually start until I’m about ¾ of the way done with my coffee, which usually roles around at about 9:15 (I like to savor the flavors). I’m three weeks into my five week class and each day my professor spends half of the three hour class teaching the cultures and evolutionary ideas of the world via PowerPoint, and the remainder of the class playing poorly produced VHS documentaries of monkeys having sex. Oh Joy.
Why the university feels that my anthropological educational experience would be hindered sans the monkey sex is one idea I won’t be able to answer, and mid-hump between one specific monkey couple proved many Bonobos Chimpanzees would agree with me. As I am watching this film, I swear to you, the male chimp (who I named Darrell out of respect, due to the fact that I have now seen more of him than any of my closest friends…thank God) looked over his should, through the camera lens, and into my soul. I think Darrell and I connected for a split second and I made every effort to telepathically apologize for not giving the guy some privacy. Then it started. My heart began to race, my breaths became labored, my palms started to sweat, and it hit me, “I’m watching monkeys screw, what has my life become!?”
I think most people assume that inspiration always comes from some beautiful words from an inspirational social leader (Oprah for the majority of you), or some devastating life event, or maybe an encounter with your elderly priest who has all of a sudden taken a special liking in you and wants to pass on to you all of life’s valuable lessons. And maybe that’s how inspiration happens for you, but not me, nope; my inspiration comes from monkey sex.
I went to the restroom to get myself under control when I realized I was having a claustrophobic reaction to my life. There is a famous quote in political science by H.L. Mencken, “Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.” In short, I felt like my life was being run from a monkey cage. Here I am a 22 year old, hungry to learn and improve myself. My soul is open and longing for the world to feed it, and at least until graduation in December, I feel like I am stuck in my own self-induced monkey cage.
The quote italicized at the top of this post is the beginning of one of my essay’s I submitted with my Peace Corps application last month. I love Nebraska; I love my home, but the time is coming for me to leave and take part in something greater than myself. Sometimes I think it takes weird signs, like monkey intercourse, to reassure me and continue to push me in the right direction. My mom calls these “God winks,” and I think that my experience yesterday proved that God not only winks, He laughs too.
I am itching at the opportunity for a change, and I still feel a little claustrophobic. But I think this is the perfect opportunity to practice patience and cherish the moments I have here. Because I’m not in a cage and I’m not trapped; for now, I’m home.
In light of everything that has happened this holiday season, it may appear as if there is a lot of bad in the world. But for everything bad there are a dozen wonderful things to be thankful for. Take tomorrow to not worry about the fiscal cliff, or gun control, or the war on Christmas (though this really shouldn’t be something you ever concern yourself with), and count your blessings.