I believe in taking the long road. In an age where everything needed to get done five minutes ago this may seem like an odd idea. As a child I was raised in a house where everything was finished in its own time. At my friends’ houses I witnessed their parents baking, cleaning, organizing, carpooling, and working all at a ferocious pace. I felt odd like my family was weird in an unproductive way. I decided when I grew up I would be different. I would learn to use every moment for achieving something and fill it with efficiency.
Years later, I begin to ponder if my parents knew something all along. As I look back I appreciate the way they raised me. I wasn’t the child who had soccer, music lessons, and dance every day. I look at my peers and notice we have childhoods filled with different things. Sure they made more friends, contacts and have more reference to put on resumes, but I feel I gained something more. I learned about my parents, not just their names and birthdays, but who they are what they’ve done. Sitting around gives the opportunity to find out things you couldn’t while being efficient.
My dad was a draft dodger and played in a band while he lived in Canada. They were called “Banana Bike Band” and girls would throw bananas at them while they played. He traveled across the country climbing any mountain he could find. My dad always reminds me when he tells me his mountain stories that rum and ice picks should not be used at the same time. He also talks about how hard it was to go back to school for another degree, encouraging me to get it right the first time.
My mom worked as a nurse’s aide and recited poetry in a pub called Suds. She ran away from home once to see what Montana looked like at sunrise. She flocked to San Francisco to join the hippie movement but found it to be far too smelly for her taste. My mom also reminds me not to try to carry a full punchbowl if ever I become pregnant. Sure I’ve heard these stories a million times, but I heard them, some people aren’t lucky enough to say that. Slowing down brought me to the people I love most. More importantly it’s what brought me to me.
What I learned from taking the long way makes me appreciate my life more. Many people lose themselves and those they love by living in a whirlwind of activity. My parents taught me to take time to breathe, learn, read, and enjoy myself. I might not graduate in four years, but I won’t leave unlearned. I know who I am, it’s simply because I had the time to look.
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