Friday, July 17, 2009


I have been looking forward to teen week all summer, proclaiming to most anyone that I would much rather deal with teenagers than little ones. The verdict is still out. I am not about to change my major from secondary to elementary education or anything, but I have been trying to remember exactly what I was anticipating about this age group.

Before I start ranting about the disrespect and silliness of teens, I will say, the older the campers get the easier. I’m pretty sure I’d rather mediate an argument about who-likes-who than a comfort a 7 year-old who is crying because someone pinched them. There is some amount of reason and logic found in a teenager. They can have a conversation with me. They actually help clean up after meals. I have to give orders much less. They say, “Heather, we saved you some food in case you haven’t eaten yet.” Cub campers just don’t do that. Cub campers can’t talk intelligently about most anything. Cub campers can’t walk anywhere on there own. Cub campers present much more risk if they aren’t watched constantly.

Teenagers present different risks. Where cub campers didn’t know any better, teenagers do and they did it anyway. It’s much more of a mind game. Before I was disciplining an action, but now I realize they knew better. These kids really could care less that I am here, at least that’s how they act .They don’t pay much attention to the staff and it seems like they don’t care much for us. I’m speaking overall, because they aren’t all that way.

My cabin, for example, is actually pretty good. Some counselors have had 7 days of horror, but I’ve pretty much lucked out. They work together well, they laugh, we talk, they like to have fun. But indeed as it seems to be at this age, they are incredibly conscious of what everyone else thinks about them. They live with this imaginary audience of people who might judge them or talk about them. All in all, you could not pay me to go back to high school. Nope.

This week has been busy and since my day off was moved from Tuesday to Friday, I feel like I’ve been at the end of my rope for about 48 hours. But today finds me sitting in a quiet library in Smithville, not far from camp. Days off are relaxing and restful. Jeremy and I usually do a whole lot of nothing which is exactly what we both need.

The blogs have been rare in comparison to how often I usually write. It’s not that blog-worthy events aren’t happening, but that I rarely have time to write them down or find internet long enough to post them.

So as much as I dislike it, here’s another random update from my small, small corner of Tennessee:

The bulimia seems to get better and better the more people I talk to about it. As of last week, I’ve now talked to 2,000+ people about it and that still blows my mind. I have been back in touch with Chris my dietician. She centers me. She helps me get my head back on straight. She helps me keep going. She is accountability and insight I need.

Jeremy is…Jeremy is….amazing. I am headed back to Union and him to Southern. Somehow we’ll make this work. He’s definitely worth keeping around and I can’t imagine where I’d be if we weren’t together.

I realized this morning talking to my mom that, I’ve never been so unsure of the future than at any other time in my life and, I’m doing okay. I want to sort this out and have a plan, but I can’t. I don’t know when I’m driving back to Union, I don’t know where I’ll live when I get there. I don’t know what classes I’m taking. I don’t know how I’m going to finish the newspaper articles I said I’d write. I don’t know how I’m going to finish on time for my book deadline. I don’t know where I’ll be going to school 2nd semester or where I’ll be working next summer. I don’t know a lot of things. It isn’t comfortable, but it’s going to be all right.

I’ve been thinking about Cambodia a lot. I don’t know if it’s as simple as the heat and humidity bringing back those feeling and emotions, but it seems that this summer I’ve had change of pace that has allowed me some time to think. Most of the time I am not necessarily considering a particular person as much as a memory or a place. I spent so much time alone while I was there. Alone with my thoughts. Alone in my room. Alone praying. Alone riding my bike through town. Alone walking the streets. Alone traveling. Alone journaling. I have been dreaming about Cambodia again. I have been reminded of places I went or people I saw. Maybe my camp experience is so different from the last time I worked with kids in Cambodia I’m reminded in that way.

Kids in the States and kids from Cambodia are so different: their priorities, their interests, their way of communicating, all of it. So I can’t directly relate them in anyway. They are a whole new breed of kids. I am not cool to them. I am old to them. I am odd to them.

I feel a bit flustered, overwhelmed, lost. Camp is so consuming it is difficult to focus on or deal with much else. The future seems to big and bit intimidating.


Carley Brown said...

I'm glad you still find time to blog, because I feel like I might be one of your most consistent readers and I hope you don't mind that. Your writing a book huh? thats cool. You should tell me when you publish it, I'll buy a copy :) Don't you just love your 20's? everything is unknown, nothings stable, always moving, and never knowing. I hope everything falls into place for you. Good luck with your soon to be long distance relationship, it seems to be worth it, thats really great!