Thank you to La Sierra University (LSU), pre-medicine club, who included me in their pre-professional day today.
Any of us know that going back to our home-town is invocative. I am, predictable.
Today, I came to LSU with my five-year-old son and my father. My dad never misses an opportunity to socialize if he can, and my son never misses an opportunity to play Animal Jam, so the boys were happy. Dad walks a little still. He uses a cane. To postpone any more structural injuries, we sat in the back and avoided the stairs.
I have grown “up” in an insular culture to some extent. Perhaps because of this, many of my classmates have not gone far. And by classmates, I mean, people I went to lower elementary with, middle school, in-between years, college, summer, medical school, residency and swim team. There are people everywhere. The traffic is terrible and urban sprawl, ach! Awful. You’d think it would do it’s thing on us and we’d dilute. But we don’t. We remain. Cohesive, in each others space and decorating with stories.
This is why today I found myself standing in the back of Constantine Hall heckling with several of the same I had studied with twenty-one years ago. We were glad to be together. I remembered about them and I wondered what they remembered about me. The room was seating other college students, (who looked twelve years old by the way), but it felt like it was still ours. And that’s part of what being alumni is about, I guess. We’ll always consider the ties between us.
Coming to the front of the room, the students were amazingly courteous. I looked to their eyes to read who was itching to get this over with, who was weighing the time spent with us against the waiting homework and who was just so with-it, that they could relax in the luxury of pre-med club. I had never been a “just so with-it” girl so I was sus. I found myself increasing vocal energy as my way of thanking them.
And what do you think they wanted to hear about? You guessed it! How to be a friend to yourself!!! Can you believe it?! That’s what I heard anyway.
Walk with God.
Know yourself as early on as you can. Know what brings you pleasure, what you’d do for money or for not, what feels like play even though you work like a bee in spring over it. Get that clear as possible in your head and then rethink your goals. Then rethink where you are spending your time and where you get your money. Adjust. Plan on doing this continually through life and even into the ending stages of life.
Remember your freedom. With deliberation, actively, purposefully – keep your freedom. When you give it away and finally realize it, humbly ask for it back. It’s still yours. You may have to fight.
We touched on a few other pearls, community, variety, can’t have it all,… but that was mostly what we had time for today. You know I really wanted to sell them on Me, but alas.
I wondered if my son would return with me in 40 years and sit me in back, look out and fumble with all that he has been given. Thank you thank you thank you thank youuuuu thankkkkkkkkkk
What a refreshing and insightful post. Going back to one’s hometown can be a strange event – especially considering some never left (and never will). I moved 3000 miles away from my family (4 siblings and their families still live within 20 minutes of my parents) over 15 years ago, and I love that I am not part of the ongoing drama. While I cannot imagine the smallness my world would have should I have stayed too, I do respect the wishes of family to remain within close proximity.
I also know that my sanity was in part based on moving away so that I can now enjoy loving myself and overcoming my own inner critic (which became the best defense against ongoing perfectionist criticism from “doting” family). Sometimes returning to the root of where it all started (and where the self-love disappeared) is good medicine of sorts.
Thank you for sharing your story.
carol, u r welcome and i hope u know how much i l-o-v-e your thoughts. i know u r right, here. i’m glad u said it. sometimes i struggle to not paint things so “nice” because they weren’t. it’s my temperament. u can catch me on it easily, but oh well. hugs
Carol said it perfectly – and so did you, Sana. I tried to go home for my 50th high school reunion. It brought good memories, fun memories and incredibly painful memories but the good thing was seeing the friends I had been so close to back then and finding that they were going through the same variety of memories. Whoever said (and I suppose I should know) “You can never go home.” was so right and, yet, there’s always that little pull you feel somewhere deep inside. Maybe it’s just memories of being much younger than we are now – for me, much, much, much younger.
I love that they wanted to hear about taking care of yourself. You go, girl!! Spread the word wherever and whenever you can. It’s SO important!! Glad your dad and your son were with you. What a blessing!
You r that generous nance, that when given this scenario, you believe. The u for being integral to our efforts, right where u r too. Keep on
One of the greatest things I did for myself at my 10 year college reunion this past fall was to reconnect to memories I had of a positive time in my life. I enjoyed doing some of the things which I had done as an undergraduate, which was sitting on the patio of the admissions building and singing whatever came into my spirit. That was probably the one thing I had done to be friend to myself last year.
I luv the visual. Thnk u for telling us. I also appreciate your well described, deliberate and active personal inquiry and awareness of your friendliness to yourself. Speaks to me. Keep on!
There is something about returning to the places of our youth that gives clarity to where we are on our journey. Those pilgrimages are awfully important in life, I think. Good for you!
thank u sarah friend. pilgrimages – adjective well used :).