Saturday, October 17, 2015
The Last Game in the Old Stadium at ENMU
I am taking a trip next week that I am so excited about I have a case of the butterflies. Something on the horizon that is so special, it's as if my whole system can''t wait to go. I am going back to my college town - Portales, N.M.
A small dusty town nestled in the southeast corner of the state, next week-end Portales will be my Paris or London.
I live thousands of miles from where I went to college. In what was a blip in an otherwise smooth experience of east-coast-ness, at 17 I left home and traveled from Maryland to New Mexico for higher learning with a side of desert sunsets. It was a culture shock, an adventure waiting to be had, and a savior to a perpetually restless personality - a trait that would continue, in ever-lessening frequency, for a lifetime.
Restlessness is not cool; it does not make one mysterious in that good way once you're a grown-up. It is a fatiguing, sometimes frustrating need to always see more than what you are seeing; do more than you are doing. It has been a lifelong lesson in appreciation of the now, to mostly overcome restlessness.
I live an ordinary life and am happily immersed in my work as a journalist and the day-to-day of family with a husband and three sons - the last of whom is now 16, the other two well into adulthood and thriving on their own. Now is a good time to take a breath and look back,shading my eyes and scanning the horizon like an archaeologist looking for clues to answer the question: how did this place, put firmly in the past years ago, become so formative to who I am now?
I am travelling back to the place I've only been once since I left, to see the last football game in the old stadium at ENMU before it is torn down to make way for a new one. I am meeting some old friends back there, and rushing time - that robber, that albatross - will briefly stand still.
After I left school I never looked back and never went back - one of the hallmarks of restlessness. Actually I did go back once, when I was in Arizona with my husband and "popped over" alone to New Mexico for two nights. During that trip, I walked my campus as a grown woman, I let two freshmen excitedly give me the tour I went on 30 years prior as a teen, and I had lunch with the town sheriff (by accident; he was reading the paper and offered me a section; one thing led to another.)
I can't wait to see faces I haven't seen in years (and may have to struggle for the name that goes with them.) I'm not a particularly rabid football fan, so I'll talk through most of the game. (And I have a crazy fear of mascots - anything in a costume with a fully enclosed head - but that's for another post.)
I can't wait to feel the New Mexico air, have a real burrito or chimmichanga, and see faces that are now a bit more lined, topped with gray, perhaps, and the dearer for it. I am ready to time-travel.
Houston, commence the countdown.
And there's this...one of my LifeZette articles on FOX News.com.
Have a great week-end. Get a little restless.
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