Thursday, July 16, 2015

time and again

"We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the paths of life."  Carl Jung

This summer started out with a bang. - A hectic ending to my first school year as principal. Right into a week of campmeeting where I worked in Kindergarten, leading a tribe of 15 little kids.  Straight to the beach for blissful sun and rest.  And then back to school to pick up the unfinished pieces.  Getting Jake packed for his summer recruiting gig, appointments and meetings and on and on.

By the 4th of July I was in a full tizzy.  We were invited to a friend's farm to watch a huge firework show.  But Jake was gone.  Josh's birthday was on Sunday.  And on that birthday Sunday, I had to leave for a college in TN for two weeks to take a required class for my job.  I hate leaving my family.  My bursts of panic mimicked the exploding fireworks.

On Sunday evening I loaded my car with school books, a suitcase, blankets and towels, dvd's and an ice chest and hit the road.

Three hours later I pulled up at the university.  I had only been there twice in the twenty-five years since I was there to finish my junior and senior years of college.  I moved into a room on the bottom floor of the dorm Steve had lived in those two years, facing my old dorm.

And it was deja vu all over again.  1989-91.  Wondering if I would get a job after I graduated.  Where would I live? Would Steve and I stay together this time?  Would we get married? Would I pass my classes?  Would I make new friends?  I had to stretch my legs after the drive, so I tried to outrun my past worries by looping the campus and track, passed the religion building where I'd had most of my classes, past the church where I went to vespers as Steve's date, passed the girls dorm where I'd had roommate dramas.  And finally back to my little room - home for the next two weeks.

And then I started to relax.  In that tiny, sunny room I made up my bed, hung up my clothes, set up my desk.  I realized that I was excited to be a student in a class, studying brain function and learning styles.  My only responsibility was to learn.  

For the next two weeks I would get up quietly and leave my little room tidy.  I would walk to class.  I would take notes and brainstorm with interesting classmates.  After class I would walk to the village market to the delicious salad bar, and choose yogurt and fruit for my breakfast the next morning.  I would sit indian style at my desk for hours into the evening reading books and writing reports.  I would watch a movie at night as I fell asleep.

One day I met old friends at a Mexican restaurant in town.  Another evening I drove to another old friend's home and ate popcorn, watermelon and fruit shakes while I got to know his family.  One day for lunch my friend and classmate,  Susan,  and I explored a Peruvian restaurant just for a new experience.  Those were the only three times I used a car in those two weeks.  And then back to my quiet room to study.

It was an incredibly restful, enriching time. Every time deja vu anxiety popped up I got to remind myself that it would all turn out ok.  Way better than ok.  Steve and I would stay together.  We'd move to California.  We'd have a beautiful wedding.  We'd get great jobs.  We'd move to Asheville and have two precious blond boys.  We would have a wonderful, traumatic, interesting, adventurous life.

But today I am a 46 year-old sleeping for one more night on a quiet, dorm bunk bed.   I wish I could pop in on 21 year old Erin and tell her to relax, enjoy the journey, be grateful.  In lieu of time travel,  I will just remind 46 year-old Erin that.

1 comment:

  1. You really made me feel this trip down memory lane in this piece.
    Relax, enjoy the journey, be grateful! words to live by!!