22 Thoughts and Observations from “The Sticks”

Originally posted on Facebook on Saturday, June 14, 2008. I was working at a summer camp as a lifeguard/waterfront instructor. Life was no where near what I expected it to be. But I was in Indiana, and here’s what I saw in my first month.

Rather than posting a play by play of the past month, here are some jots and thoughts from my experience in Indiana thus far:

1. Expectations are generally not good things.
2. There is a noticeable culture and perspective difference between those in college (19-22) and those out of college (25+)
3. I have a lot of my personal belongings in my car. I also have supported myself for 4 years, which includes paying my own car and health insurance while saving for retirement – take that!
4. Attitude is contagious
5. I no longer hold a romanticized view of lifeguarding due to the events in #6
6. Being called “Wendy Peppercorn” by an arrogant and selfish volunteer counselor did NOT make my day; neither did getting pushed in the pool by a different arrogant, selfish counselor.
7. Seeing a turtle swim in the pool was the best start to my week (no worries: we caught it and put it back in the wild.
8. I no longer hold a romanticized view of camping (with or without a tent).
9. I have not only learned, but have practiced, the proper technique for peeing in the woods.
10. I have cooked over a campfire with make-shift equipment; my culinary life is nearly complete.
11. Willingly not moving my car for 11 days and being stranded for 11 days are two completely different feelings of doom.
12. I miss my mattress, especially on camp-outs when very little is between me and the lumpy ground.
13. Everyone is always in transition, some are just more aware of it than others.
14. Loneliness can begin at the most random times.
15. Once a culture is dependent on electricity, it’s hard to adjust back to pioneer days.
16. I’m reminded of why I don’t like chick flicks and the lies they tell me; I’m also frustrated at not being able to say anything so college girls don’t fall for the same crap that I did.
17. I have a new realization of what enriches lives and what are mere conveniences. Wireless internet, good coffee, and electronics are convenience.
18. I like having only 2 bills to pay every month.
19. I’m very thankful for my friends that want to hear of life in Indiana and tell me what is going on back in Kansas.
20. I’m convinced that Indiana doesn’t have spring – it has monsoon season.
21. Being responsible can have many forms, it doesn’t mean settling down to a “Leave it to Beaver” life when you’re 22. Sometimes being responsible is acknowledging that you have no clue what God is doing with your life, but you go where He leads.
22. It will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. (I must credit Hephzebah for sending me that on a card)

May you see the unexpected in the ordinary. May confusion cause us all to run towards truth.


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  1. Trackback: From Teaching to Nursing | tallrayofsunshine


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