A Piece of Me

I spent the weekend in Northwest Arkansas.  I visited family, went to a concert and took a tour of the U of A campus. It was a really beautiful, windy day. I haven't taken time to just walk around and take in the campus in quite a while. I'm not sure I ever fully understood how much that place would shape my life while I was there. While searching for my name on senior walk, I reminisced about my time there. I went in the buildings and sent myself on a trip down memory lane. I thought about my first day of class, when I was so terrified I missed it because I hadn't looked to see where the room was located. I remembered laughing so hard while studying into the wee hours of the morning because my friend was so stressed from finals that she went to buy us food and came back with tylenol and five packs of orange tic tacs. That was supper for the night. I teared up a little when I thought about graduating, how proud my family was, and how difficult it was saying goodbye to amazing friends.

I had life changing experiences there. The death of my cousin, Ryan was the most challenging. I was 21 and realized later that I had become an adult.  I had been through tough things before, but this time I was older. I was able to realize the impact not having him in my life would have. And it's been a tragic one. It's funny how you can look back and see how an event changed you. I was literally a different person.  No longer were things as silly or inconsequential. Family was more important, and having a bad day was not as big of a deal as it had been in the past. I thought a lot about him while I was there.

I also began to understand the value and importance of my education.  I didn't go to the greatest college in the nation.  I didn't have the best grades or the highest test scores.  I wasn't involved in every club, and I didn't go to every social event. But, what being a razorback did teach me was responsibility. It taught me about time management, social acceptance, the importance of lasting friendships, and how to handle things when life doesn't turn out quite the way you expect. Turning to God, family, friends, and some time for introspection is what worked for me. 

I'm glad I took the time to rediscover my old stomping grounds. It renewed something in me. Maybe I was getting too bogged down in day to day life.  Work. Bills. Home repairs. Activities. In college, I was free. Free to discover who I really was without these worries. Maybe I didn't figure it all out back then. I did figure out that I would keep changing, hopefully for the better; and that bad times would eventually pass, as would the good ones. So, I found a piece of me that maybe I had lost for a while in the midst of just trying to make it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you took the time to enjoy the campus and reflect. That's so important. I know how wonderful I always feel when I'm on my own college campus. There's nothing quite like being there, surrounded by the memories and all you've learned -- and all you've been through since.