In May 2006 I returned to Akron after a successful year in law school in East Lansing, Michigan. In the weeks prior to moving I had been admitted to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and I decided to transfer to local school with in-state tuition. I was at the beautifully flawed age of twenty- four and unaware of the impending ascent into the world of financial and emotional chaos I now call mid life crisis. I had proven to myself I was capable of responsibility but I was not ready to accept maturity. I was determined to explore myself before answering to any alternative purpose and I was willing to lead or follow anyone with the same objective. I was fortunate enough to have friends that were in the similar current situations in their lives.
It was the first time since moving away to Columbus for college that all of my best friends and I were living in the same vicinity. Most of them had been living in the same apartment complex for the previous year. Although I had been absent from the area the majority of that time period, I remained close with this group of friends. When I returned permanently, I was welcomed as if I had been with them from the beginning. There were not many girlfriends, serious accountability or mounting debt. It was pre-recession and the idea of our careers being tolled was unconscionable. We still had fast metabolisms, experienced tolerable hangovers and lacked complete moral logic. Our bodies resembled roller coaster more than temples and our minds were more neurotic than constant. There was no statue of limitations on the length this period of our lives would last and nobody was lobbying for legislation. It was our time to live in the moment.
There was nothing external that brought us together. It was was purely circumstantial. I didn't need to share a common creed with anyone to enjoy their company. However, not coincidentally it seemed that everyone shared the same core beliefs. It was unique because none of us were steered in a particular direction growing up. Current trends were shaping my character yet I retained my own individuality and began developing a persona. I was becoming increasingly more liberal and noticed the same in the group. I don't recalled it being in the forefront our of conversations but our actions reflected our evolution. My passion for free religious expression and lack of expression was commonly shared but was merely incidental to the moment. I had become an independent thinker but it went unnoticed because a superior purpose had not yet become the predominate purpose of my identity.
The previous summers we learned the definition of the word multi-slacking. An act of performing several unproductive activities simultaneously. By 2006, It had became a perfected trade. Youtubing videos and eating the proverbial day old pizza were Saturday morning staples. Saturday afternoons were spent at the pool with accelerator on the skin and cigarette in hand. Cheetos were the snack of choice and the five second rule was disregarded during their consumption. One day was never enough. I sometimes stayed away from my own home for an entire three day weekend. I would feign reading case books pool side and unnecessarily stress over law school. This behavior was still acceptable to us and admired by our bare elders. I was making up for lost college time and performing sophomoric acts with the friends I never experienced them with.
My introspective moments led to my first taste of tranquility. I could respect other people's desire to have a their own moments and pursue their own desires. I became less stubborn, angry and envious. I observed groups of people and commended their ability to live. I was less self-conscious and more aware of external events than I had been throughout high school and college. I was still years away from becoming a respectful adult but I was beginning to embrace adverse view points and lifestyles. I respected the people that understood and tolerated my behavior even though it still often lacked distinguishable qualities. There was a lack of current sophistication but underlining growth was apparent. These were undeniably party years that laid the foundation for our personal and professional advancements.