Juxtaposed to the time spent on the cruise, these past days have been a bit lackluster. Replying to emails, setting up appointments, planning for summer, scanning my college checklist. In short, settling back into routine. And despite finding comfort in the constants of my gap year life (the library, the radio, the practicing), I’ve grown fond of small whirlwinds of spontaneous activity.
There was a night during the trip where I went to the ship’s bar/saloon at 1AM with the other musicians after our show—I remembering being reluctant, since the only form of late light entertainment I knew was curling up with a good book, cooped up under blankets. To be quite honest, though, I had a good time. It was rowdy, poorly lit, with a faint whiff of cigar smoke in the air, but it was fun. There was this dim energy buzzing around, people singing and clapping. At one point someone went up to the saloon pianist, requested “Pianoman,” and began to sing a beautiful rendition. Everyone in that room went into a haze and started spewing out hearty lyrics and words. I’d never felt happy in that way before—exhausted, smiling, bunched against laughing bodies on a crumpled couch, drunk on celebratory cheer.
The point is, I want to try some new things. So I’ve been going out more often and switching up my habits. Walking to different cafes, reading weird science fiction, tackling harder recipes, trying to keep up good and frequent conversations. There’s only so much I can do in this ho-hum city, but for now, these small steps are just enough to burst my routine bubble. For now, a little spice here and there is just what I need.