Lately, people have been asking me where I come up with material for this blog, and I’m never sure what answer they expect. From Cat’s litter box? From assuming someone else’s identity every now and then? From the creativity-infused air in my bag of chips? (I mean, I might as well be paying for something.)
It’s anyone’s guess, really.
“Well,” I usually say, buying myself 1.5 seconds to come up with an intelligent answer. “… Me.”
They laugh, like they’re expecting me to shout “October Fools!” before giving them an actual response. I laugh because that’s what I resort to under extreme duress. Probably in hopes that doing so will scare away further conversation.
It’s a great defense mechanism, except it never works. After the forced laughter fades and they’re still standing in front of me, they try again. “Like, do you record the highlights of your life or something?”
From this I deduce they either haven’t read a single post of mine or have an extremely low opinion of me. I mean, it says a lot if they think highlights of my life would include a) me sprinting down hallways at 6:44 AM, screaming “I hate myself” between slaps of tropical flip flops against tile, b) kindergarteners trying to stick their fingers up my butt, or c) my realization that being early to the party is not always a good thing, especially if the room you were supposed to be in is one floor below and the room you’re actually in is full of people at least twenty years your senior. And especially if it’s not a party.
… Because those are the types of posts I would write. In fact, there goes my content for the next month. Do you see what I’m getting at here?
Let’s elaborate on C.
So a couple weeks ago, I was at the Business Symposium, which—long story short— is this annual event where high school students mingle with professionals in different industries and run through stations of interviews, networking, and presentations.
Upon entering the building, we picked up color-coded name tags and schedules detailing where we needed to be throughout the day. After ascertaining that I was in the “White” group and therefore would start in the upstairs Flex Lab for interviews, I slipped into a random classroom and hid my purse under a microwave before joining in on the networking activity outside.
8:30 AM, upstairs
The crowd is thinning, I notice, as I see students making their way downstairs. I check my schedule. WHITE-SESSION 1-FLEX LAB. I’m supposed to be upstairs.
I find the room without much trouble and follow someone in. I say “someone” because it’s one of those guys who you can’t really tell is in high school or his thirties because he’s got chubby cheeks but also a rather impressive beard.
Immediately, I sit across from a nice-looking brunette lady and extend my hand. She takes it, gestures for me to sit. Perfunctory greetings are exchanged. She talks a bit about herself before giving me some interview advice, on which I gladly take notes.
We’re still talking. The buzz of conversation has risen a couple notches. I notice my teacher at the front of the room, setting up his PowerPoint. Casting a cursory glance around the room while the lady skims my resume, I remark to myself that everyone in the room looks rather… old. Older than me, anyway.
The lady looks up, having finished, and we resume our conversation.
“Looks like we got a head start,” the lady says.
The presentation has begun. My teacher calls for the room’s attention, and the conversations filter into silence. I smile when he looks my way, but I don’t think he notices.
I swivel in my chair as he proceeds with his welcome. People begin to pull out brochures I’ve never seen before in my life. And then I realize.
Actually, it’s not a sudden realization. More like, over the past half hour, I’d picked up on various little clues, begun halfheartedly assembling the puzzle pieces, gone out for coffee midway, and then come back to see the completed picture on the box and understand exactly what it was I’d been building toward this entire time. Except no one really does a puzzle without closely consulting the model picture. I’ll remember to work on my comparisons, in the future.
I’M IN THE WRONG ROOM. Have been for who knows how long. All these people look older than me because THEY ARE.
My teacher and I make prolonged eye contact. I wince.
My legs are so tightly crossed by the time he finishes that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to walk again. The lights turn on, and I jump to my feet. “I suggest you make a break for it,” the lady grins. I laugh nervously before fleeing out the door.
The “White” group is beginning to gather outside, and I slip into the crowd easily.
So, where do I get my blog posts from? Me. That’s still my answer. I do this entirely to myself.