It’s a beautiful morning, warm and windy and late-winter. After weeks of dour gray skies and freezing drizzle and dirty snow, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. As I trudge up the hill to work, I pass students without coats, in jeans and cute sweaters and flip-flops. And I am positively pea-green with envy.
It’s times like this when working at a university a scant three years after my own graduation strikes me as surreal. I’ve got the diploma and the job and the apartment, but these are not always enough to make me feel like a grown-up. I see upperclassmen a few years younger than me, clearly just tumbled out of bed, ambling to morning classes in bleary-eyed packs. I feel more akin to them than I do the sharp, stylish, undoubtedly very caffeinated businesspeople I pass in the halls of my office building.
I wouldn’t exchange my life now for my life a few years ago, not really. I’m starting to grow into myself, feel more at home in my own skin, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. But on warm days like this, as I head up to my office to begin a cheery day of photocopying and filing, I’m tempted. This sunshine makes me feel so restless. I want — I don’t know what I want, exactly. To be free of a 35-hour workweek and bills and other grown-up responsibilities? To sleep ’til 11 and wear jeans all day, every day? Maybe. Maybe I just want something. And it’s sure as hell not a day filled with invoices.
I’m remembering other late-winter days like this. Spring semester of my sophomore year, I had only one class on M/W/F, an hour-long acting class that didn’t start until noon. Afterwards I’d nap the whole afternoon away, or curl up in the lounge with the latest issue of Cosmo, or head off to a round of rehearsals. Sometimes, on warm days like this, I’d end up hanging out with friends, drinking beer on the roof of the creative arts dorm and people-watching as the sound of guitars and laughter drifted up to us from the porch below. Getting drunk on a Wednesday afternoon wasn’t necessarily the purpose, though sometimes it was a pleasant side-effect. Mostly, it was just for fun. Just ’cause we could. I miss that.