I went to church this morning. It was my first day back since leaving Boulder for the summer. Our pastor, Marty, began her sermon talking about how much has happened over the course of a year in our congregation. It was a year ago today that First Cong moved into its new sanctuary, and so there was much to reflect upon.
And so, as I sat there in the choir, I reflected on my past 365 days and thought of all the things that had changed in that time. And I marveled at how such an arbitrary unit of measure can mean so much to a life.
A year ago I was in my first September of graduate school. I had Communication Research and Theory, Qualitative Research Methods, and Reading and Rhetoric to grapple with for the semester--all three on Thursdays. I was teaching for the very first time, and took some pretty lame (but well meaning) advice which got me off to a bad start. I hated Boudler, but found a friend in a young man named Ethan who came from familiar parts. I struggled to show people what a positive and upbeat person I naturally was while falling into my habitual sarcasm--my comfort and technique for getting through things I don't so much enjoy. I was engaged a year ago. My god, so much happens in such a short time. My mom was married a year ago. I had hopes and dreams of attending Iowa's PhD Comm program and making a life for myself as a tenured professor someday. I feared moving from my temporary apartment into a more permanent one becacuse I hadn't yet become comfortable enough with the people around me to ask for help moving. I initially hated some people in my department, and was underwhelmed with the caliber of, well, everything CU's Comm program had to offer.
I grew up fast. And over the course of this past year I have nothing short of changed who I am entirely as far as what I beleive and how I see the world, the people in it, and what each of them makes of it. But, through all of the growing, changing, and mistakes I have made I would not change one thing, because, life is not about a destination. And I hestitate to call life a journey either, because that suggests the ultimate goal to be a destination. I think that life is simply an ongoing and constant adventure. There is no forseeable end, and why would you want there to be one?
And what that means is that, you should not wish to trade life's difficulties, because they make you appreciate more the glory that it holds as well. And, you should not desire to simply be born wise in order to avoid the pain that comes with lesson learning. If I was simpy born with a heart for the poor, but had never survived on welfare myself I would really not know what the experience was like. I could sympathise, but not empathise.
Understanding, experiencing, living is what it's all about.
Don't take the Cliff's Notes version. Feel it for yourself and you will be better for it.
What have you lived in a year?