Summer is here: now what?

Summer is here, the moment we have all been waiting for. We have successfully recovered from — and by recovered I mean drank away — our exam-induced psychotic breaks. Summer is here, but I can’t ignore that lingering question that hangs in the air and rests in uneasy bellies: “Now what?”

I was sitting with my roommates, staring blankly into summer oblivion, when one of them suggested it: a bucket list. A real, challenging summer bucket list.

Now, we weren’t interested in a cheesy, romantic-comedy type of bucket list, listing items that are easily satisfied (i.e. sleep under the stars and connect with the universe), but rather a down and dirty, Indiana Jones-like collection of summer missions.

We are going to push ourselves, test boundaries, and deal with possible (probable) public humiliation. What’s first on the list, you may ask? Find out what it is like to be a street performer.

Now this first item proves tricky, seeing as we are all relatively talentless in regard to performance-based activities (think William Hung with laryngitis and even less coordination). So, we decided turning ourselves into mimes was the safest way to go. On May 2, at approximately 10:30 p.m., we donned our gloves and black mime garb, painted our faces white and our lips ruby red. We set out to do our first, and hopefully last, street performance in downtown Grand Rapids.

After setting up shop under a bright street lamp, we jumped right in to the silent miming world — more specifically, the glass box. We rowed boats, played mime baseball and tugged heavy ropes (sometimes with a willing crowd member “attached”). It didn’t appear to matter that we were mime virgins, people only seemed to care that we were committed to the performance and weren’t afraid to have fun.

Do I see a career as a mime in my future? No way. I’m rather long-winded, and asking me not to talk is like asking Lindsay Lohan not to get arrested. Will I ever forget my brief stint as a street performer? No way.

When we have a whole summer, or even a little bit of extra time in our busy schedules, we should use that time to try and challenge ourselves. Just because I will never mime again doesn’t mean I didn’t get anything out of the experience. Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone can feel so wrong, but in the end it’s usually exactly what we need.

If you aren’t up to a bucket list that’s fine, but a summer goal never hurt.

For now, this former mime must go. Extreme garage sale-ing is next and we haven’t picked up our fanny packs yet.