18 January 2006

You Can't Go Back

I woke up this morning to find that my mother had graciously pressed the slacks and dress shirts that I was planning on taking with me on my trek to Europe. With those final articles, I shoved and zipped and squeezed and tagged my way to being so close to being done with packing that I could leave in 30 minutes and be set.

After spending the majority of the morning packing and watching Martha Stewart, I took a shower and prepared for the rest of my day which included picking up some money for the beginning of the trip, eating lunch with my Katie, and a short walk around the school that educated me for 14 years.

What strikes me now as ironic was the fact that while doing my morning routine, I kept singing "Sunrise, Sunset" from the smash Broadway hit Fiddler on the Roof. In the show, Tevye (the main character, and father of the show) and his wife, Golde, sing the song at the wedding of one of their daughters.

Sunrise, Sunset.
Sunrise, Sunset.
Swiftly fly the years.
One season following

Laden with happiness and tears.
Anyway, after singing the same lines over and over (because I didn't know the rest of it), I headed out to my mid-day activities. After running the necessary errands, and an absolutely delightful lunch with my best friend here (which I walked away from with the coolest Irish t-shirt reading "I can resist everything except temptation"--Oscar Wilde, what could be better?), I returned to my alma mater. Initially I had decided to only visit the ladies in the Campus Store. The two women, and the others that have worked there through the years, were some of my best friends at Woodward. The four summers I worked there and the two years I stayed on through the academic semesters afforded me some of the best memories I have of school. After a great time remembering and chatting, I decided to go visit some other teachers from my past. I stuck to the fine arts building because that is where I spent the rest of my time. Since the 8th grade, I was highly involved in choral activities and technical theater. In fact, I thought I was going to attend college to do technical theater. Funny how things change, as I am now a religious studies major. But that is a story for another time.

In any case, as I ran into my former teachers and walked the halls that I used to practically live in, I was overwhelmed with the realization that you can't go back. I was flooded with memories of my days there, the fights, the homework, the jokes, lunches, shows; and for a split second, I wished I could go back. It was easier then in some ways. I didn't have the independence I do now, nor the freedom to express my opinions in the same way, but it was still a good life.

But then I got over it. I'm going to Copenhagen. And Woodward definitely isn't in Denmark.

Traveling is about opening yourself to changes. But in order to change, one must first realize where it is they are coming from. It is good to remember your roots, the good along with the bad. In looking back, we can see forward much more clearly. Life is a journey between sunrises and sunsets, a series of seasons which mold and form and create each one of us. As I enter the final moments of my time in the states and with my family until July, I hope that I can remember where I come from. I want to be sure in this foundation before I fly.

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