This week, Friday Fives asks:
What are the FIVE best ages of your life and why?
Ok, this one is hard. I've been putting it off all day. I graded some papers. I read all of Field Trip Friday (which usually takes all weekend!) I even went online and did that jury questionnaire that got mailed to my mom's house by accident. But I think I'm ready to go:
5) 14. I didn't really think I would include much between like, 11, and college. But actually, my first year of high school, and the very beginning of my second--yeah, I had some pretty good times. I've been thinking about what that actually felt like lately--and it was always exciting. It was frequently awful, but the highs were so high that they actually kind of made up for it. This was especially true my first year of high school, when I was kind of adopted by the clique of older theatre kids, and before I realized that they weren't great friends and mostly didn't actually care that much about me. (A note on the advantages of Facebook--I'm friends with a lot of those people now, and they all seem like pretty cool adults. It makes me wonder about my high school self.)
4) Ages 4-8. This covers the period when I was becoming a reader, and just devouring the children's section at the library. It was the beginning of school, when I still loved it (except for first grade, when I cried every day because I was afraid of my teacher) and before it got complicated with cliques and mean girls and grade anxiety. I became a big sister, I spent a lot of time playing alone in my backyard and making up stories, and I still kind of thought I could fly if I focused hard enough and jumped off the coffee table in just the right way.
3) 26. I feel like not including my current age would be a real downer (and my students ask my age often enough that keeping it a secret is really pointless). My life is pretty good right now. I'm doing pretty well at balancing what I want to do and what I have to do, and my husband (and cat!) make things at home completely lovely.
2) 23. I finished my M.A., got married, got hired, and started teaching. A huge year.
1) 19. I was a sophomore in college. I was really establishing myself as a stage manager. I spent Winter Study taking a Musical Theater Performance class that culminated in me standing up in front of a real audience and singing "Stars and the Moon" by Jason Robert Brown. Garden State played at the little indie theater in our tiny college town and I spent the rest of the year overdosing on the soundtrack. I lived in a dorm way on the outskirts of campus, but I lived there with some really cool girls--and met my husband, who lived in the dorm next door, when he walked me back from a party one night because both our dorms were so far from everything else. That summer, I did the program that made me realize I wanted to teach rather than pursue professional theater. The next fall, I moved to a dorm much closer to the theater, and next door to my friend Lauren, who I can confidently say will absolutely always be one of my very favorite people. College in general was a great time for me, but I would say the year I was 19 was the high point.
I mean, I don't know. Realistically, maybe this should be more specific. A lot of bad stuff happened to me at those ages too, but I find that it's not what stands out. And hopefully, in ten or twenty or forty years, this whole list will be different. But this is it for now.