December 20th, 2009
The next day I occupied myself at the Sarawak Cultural Village. Amidst the various longhouses, head hunters, dance performances and curious families interested in this crazy white girl wandering around alone, I still had a decision to make- to continue exploring Sarawak or taking a pause to celebrate Thanksgiving, watching my favorite game of the year?
I spoke with my parents, and they encouraged me to check into a nice hotel, order whatever television package I needed to watch the game, and treat myself to American conveniences in celebration of Gratitude and Beating the Hell outta tu. But this isn’t what I wanted; what I had in mind was this romantic idea of finding the only other Aggie in Sarawak, sharing this unique gameday experience or even embracing locals into my love for this game and this team. To teach a team of Malaysians to Whoop, hump it, and maybe even to Saw Varsity’s Horns Off would be the pinnacle of my experience! What good is this ‘international experience’ if I am just sitting in a room alone?
So, for the first year ever, I had no feast or turkey, sausage, sweet potatoes and beer. I had no idea what the score of the game was. Instead, I was watching wild Orang Utans and kayaking through the Sarawak wilderness, feasting on longsats, dragonfruit, rambhutans and pork mee, collecting fresh mineral water dripping from rock overhangs and being thankful for the blessing of variety, of adventure, and for my life outside of Texas A&M and it’s fightin’ Aggie football team.
Getting back to the hostel dorm, Lynsey, my British Pastry Chef friend, sat by my side while I listened to each of Jon’s game changing voicemails; my nerves were on edge, not only for the game, but also to hear about how Jon’s and my parents were getting along… (They were meeting for the first time…)
What a disappointment to hear that we had underscored, especially after such a close game! But this was reassurance that I had made the right decision.
I have always said I would write a book about my life after Aggie Football- a mentor once told me ‘you need to get yourself out of the football office…’ Giving my father the chance at an education, me a tight ‘family’ network, instilling in me a love for Texas A&M and everything it is supposed to stand for, being an example of teamwork, sportsmanship, manners, and a general outlook on life, from great lifetime and college memories, the perfect college job and most unexpectedly, bringing not only my parents together, but also introducing me to the love of my life, the footprint that the institution of Aggie football has left on my life cannot go unnoticed. It will always be there for me, but I do not always have to be there. And that is good bull.