When it's not thinking of the never-ending to-do list at work, my head has been in a cloud of nostalgia lately.
Ten years ago I was a month into my sophomore year at Howard Payne. Looking back on it, fall 1997 was probably my favorite semester in college...and for me, that's really saying something. I was blessed with four phenomenal years of school that I would hardly change a detail of, if such a thing were even possible. No longer freshmen, my friends and I were the wise soul sophomores (and wise asses, too, come to think of it). It felt like we owned the campus, probably because we were the oldest kids not yet old enough to live off-campus. Our entire community was either down the hall or across the street in the girls' dorm. The other side of town was a five minute drive. And Brownwood was light years from anything "fun" to do, so we had barn dances and broke into old, dilapitated buildings and played lots and lots of Playstation. Most of my friends met or started dating the girls they would go on to marry that semester. I managed to fall for a really great girl, too, and we would spend the next two years together. There is a time for every season, and that was a time for a nearly-perfect season.
Five years ago I was a week into my two month sabbatical in Europe. Twelve countries in 58 days. England, France, Spain, Italy, Siciliy, Austria, Germany, Poland, The Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belgium, and The Netherlands. I saw so much...I was
like a kid discovering a whole new world. It felt like I conquered far away lands all on my own, when really it was me who was forever changed.
I don't know that I would necessarily want to be back in school to relive it again. It was a great time, but I'm glad that's not a real option. I like being the current me, and I'm definitely better at that now than I was back then. And yeah, it would be fun to be back in Rome or Paris or Florence or London for a week or two...but my nostalgic daydreams have really been more about appreciating the opportunities, friendships, and experiences I've been blessed with. And maybe even more than that, to appreciate how time is slowly, rapidly playing out the story of my days.
Memories help me appreciate the here and now in Mishawaka, Indiana. Someday I'll be writing about this place, too.