Riding my bicycle across Vietnam
It was a truly beautiful day today, one of the few 40 degree bluebirds that Clevelanders have been graced with lately. There is a yearning for spring to begin, but the coldness of winter has not yet let go, even as the sun feels warm. It was a good day for a drive. Getting out of school early, I started with some of the usual haunts (Chagrin River, County Line, and Sherman) but quickly found some new favorites. Even though it was far too cold, I had the sunroof open and windows down, my hand tapping on the door even as the wind chafed my skin. Numbing, my hand retreated into the warm cabin, firmly grasping the wheel to tuck into a corner. The sun flickered on the windshield, dancing in between the trees. I smiled, enjoying the brightness, the woods, and the car. Thinking about nothing, yet everything at all. Driving has a knack for this kind of mental state, needing just enough brain input to keep the car on the road and within the speed limit, the active brain can wander, unwind. And unwind I did, I am starting to cherish the slow moments more and more. That first cup of coffee in the morning, the quiet late at night, and the occasional solo drives. As I seem to be busier and busier these days, the opportunities to reflect become less, but all the more valuable in their rarity. On the other hand, there is a lot to look forward to.
Mom and I are embarking on an 8 day “West Coast College Extravaganza” this Sunday, covering the distance between Vancouver and Los Angeles. This is my first serious foray into the world of college shopping, but I’m ready. I think that I remarked at some point earlier here about the college process, specifically in committing when I’m ready to commit but not before. Well, the time to commit has come. I’m really excited to start looking seriously at where I might end up in a couple years, it’s a big step. During the second week of Spring break, I am going going to visit my friend at University of Vermont, touring that school as well as Middlebury. The trip consists of a solo road trip, and an overnight stop in both directions with our close family friends in Buffalo. With fond memories of my first road trip to West Virginia last summer, I’m really looking forward to seeing UVM and having freedom on the open road once again!
I am also looking forward to the final challenge in my entrepreneurship class. With a team, we will be building a company concept from the ground-up with the opportunity to pitch to a local panel for real money to get it started. I’m really not sure what I would like to do, but I can promise that I won’t settle for anything that’s not interesting. That class is absolutely fascinating, we are wrapping up our third “business challenge” in which teams work with local businesses to solve problems and present solutions. It is also a macro course, meaning that 4.5 out of 7 of my courses are entrepreneurship. Several days of the week, it is the only class that I have, allowing us all to really dive into the work. We can drive around Cleveland conducting interviews, market research, and of course, getting lunch. It is a powerful opportunity, and one that is not lost on me.
Even as the opportunities seem to accumulate and my time as a high schooler starts to dwindle, I am keeping in mind the advice to slow down every once in a while. The sentiment is not lost on me that it’s nearly my last year in high school, and perhaps approaching my last full year in Cleveland. Even this summer is coming up, there may be more exciting opportunities that I’ll share with you soon. In the meantime, I am trying to extract enjoyment from even the mundane. And with that, it’s back to the homework.