Sunday, July 26, 2015

Life's Lessons

Well, here it is the last day of my learning vacation and I am sitting in the basement of Gifford in Gamut drinking tea.

One week ago today I arrived in Middlebury, Vermont. After a long day of traveling, a missed flight, and my fill of tiny airplane sets, I arrived at the Burlington airport where Middlebury Transport picked me up. As we drove the memories come flooding back into my mind like a typhoon had gone through the waters of my past and picked up little snapshots of my life, spinning then round and round in my mind.

As I started to walk around and see some of the people I love and miss, the experience was bitter sweet. Of course, I was exhilarated to be back in this magical place, and beside myself seeing all these wonderful people I had come to adore, but it just wasn't the same. It was fantastic on the one hand, but on the other, it was not the same without the other students and faculty who had been my family for four summers. It just wasn't the same.

I suddenly came to the realization that you can never go back. What I mean is that there will be places and times and people in your life that mean the world to you, that help shape who you are, that become the memories you play in your mind when you are nostalgic or when you need a warm fuzzy. But you can't back. If you return, it will never be the same place or time again.

That then lead me to think about my trip in March. I understood that when I went back, I was hoping to pick up exactly where we left off, but it's impossible. 17 years have gone by, how in the world could things be the same? Yes, the city has changed, but more than that, we changed. At that moment, I understood that it may be time to let go. Fairytales don't always come true, and sometimes, the version of the future we think will happen is nowhere near the version of reality that would be, well real.

This realization hurt my tender heart, but it is only with fire that gold is refined, only with cutting that diamonds find their brilliance. Life is not often easy, not always happy, and we are often disappointed, but it is these things that shape us and propel us forward.

I have trouble letting go of things, that's why I stay in relationships where I am the one doing all the work, that's why I keep every little piece of paper from trips, why I take a billion photographs...I am trying my hardest to hang on to the good things in life. I see now that I need to learn to appreciate the good things and remember them fondly, but also learn to let go and be able to move forward with my life.

So, after my deeply philosophical first few hours here, I have had a sublime week, met new and interesting people, and had a taste of past good times. It has been a good, and very needed, getaway, and I feel that my spirit has been renewed.

Middlebury, here's looking at you, kid!

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