Is This Real Life?

(Quick note: I’m going to try to post on Fridays but my computer is out of commission and my internet has been shut off so I have to go to the library to post, yeah the one that doesn’t like me. I’ll do my very best but I apologize if I disappear from time to time. Now for your semi-regularly scheduled blog post.)

There are three moments in my life that I consider top-tier pride moments. Meaning there are three things in my personal history that cannot be marred by time, as long as I live those will be sources of pride for me.

The first is graduating from college.

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That was kind of a big deal. I worked really hard and I think I deserve that moment of pride. Not everybody goes to college and fewer people graduate. So it is kind of a big deal. It isn’t something that I think makes me better than others it is just something that I am super proud of myself for. My degree is in a beautiful frame and is on display.

I would say that is something that I deserve to take a lot of pride in.

The second is one I have been talking about a lot recently. My second moment of great pride is writing and finishing the first draft of my novel.

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Hand-written too.

I can say all day that I had a lot of help and support from friends writing my novel (and I did) but I take an incredible amount of pride in writing it because I did it myself. Nobody else sat down and poured hours and more than a few pens worth of ink into those notebooks. The thing is that I have started a lot of “novels” in my life but I have never actually finished one (my collection of essays that I’ve been trying to publish doesn’t count because I wrote that one essay at a time its a completely different kind of writing). This one I finished (actually 2 but they’re part of a series), this one I spent 18 months working on and thinking about and swirling my pen over the page whenever I could whether it was convenient or not. I am very VERY proud of that.

Then there is the third. ¬†I realize that these are all things that not everyone might share in my puffed up sense of pride over but this one they definitely should but most people in “the real world” don’t which vexes me so. I’m terribly vexed.

The third thing in my life that I can point to and be proud of is the fact that I am a kajabba jabba can can champion (if you were at camp with me you know how excited I am about that and if you have never attended camp bethel then you don’t really care). I don’t care that my belt is “only” for the women’s competition or that the other champion now has three belts. I care that I have one.

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No no no! You don’t understand! I have been playing kajabba jabba can can since I was a freshmen in high school. I have gone after that belt almost 10 times. Whether it matters in the real life doesn’t matter because I know how difficult it is to get and I know that as a cabin leader I probably shouldn’t have been fighting so hard for it (all of the cabin leaders fight hard for it though so who cares?) (also being a champion is totally going on my resume. I’ve just decided.).

But people in the real world, in my real life, are not as impressed by it as I think they should be. In fact, when I return to “real life” after being at camp for a couple of weeks (it always feels longer than just two) my “real life” doesn’t feel real anymore. It feels different. It feels like people don’t think the things that are really important are important anymore. I’m not just talking about kajabba jabba can can either. I’m talking about the way people treat each other, the fact that I can make a joke that would be hilarious with that crowd but people here give me a sideways glance with a look that says “really?” I’m talking about the fact that people wonder why I’m wearing 21 friendship bracelets (“could you not wear those to work? They’re distracting.) and that I don’t get to talk about my relationship with God all the time. The real world is a much darker scarier place than camp (and I have seen some scary things at camp) there is a lot less love and grace and people don’t understand why I talk about people who I only see for two weeks a year as if they are some of the closest relationships I have.

I know I can’t live at camp all year, and that if I did it wouldn’t be as special, I’ve just spent a lot of the last few weeks thinking about how being at camp changes you but your real life doesn’t change along with it and after almost 20 years of being part of the camp bethel family I still don’t fully know how to make the course adjustments I need to when I get back.

Mostly I just wanted to talk about my Kajabba jabba can can belt. By the way, have you seen my belt?

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