This direction

Monday, February 9, 2015

At the beginning of every week growing up my dad and I watched Monday night football. He looked forward to Viking touchdowns the same way I looked forward to half time. Those 15 minutes seemed like an eternity then, and we filled the space by playing “tackle the guy with the ball.”

I would wait all week to hold that foam football in my hands and run from my dad’s outstretched arms. It was familiar. It was ours.

Through the ensuing years, routines ruled. Electives followed classes and my identity hinged on how I combined the two. My classmates and I experienced life at the same pace. First kisses, getting buzzed at the expense of our parents' liquor cabinets, scoring the game-winner, graduation. We were in it together.

As we got older, the same milestones we once shared dissipated and marks of progress became more subjective. We had traded syllabuses for diplomas, and it felt like starting over.

I look around now and there are retirement funds and double shifts. There is settling down and traveling the world, and a thousand choices in between.

It’s hard, really hard, not to wonder if I’ve made the right decisions. What if all of them mattered? What if none of them did?

What I know for sure is that no matter the answer, everything that's happened got me here, standing in the living room on Monday night, deciding which direction to run. 

(Photo) NE 26th Street, Portland, OR. Taken on a ride to the store. The tires were flat, and I forget what I bought, but it was one of those perfect fall days. 


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