In the spirit of re-reading everything I wrote at a later date, I came across my old blog and one of the entries I posted. When I first looked at this entry, the first thing I thought about was how much “fluff” there was in my writing. Despite my qualms with my old writing style, however, I still like this post because I can remember writing it so vividly as well as how I was feeling at the time.
Spring Break (April 1st) – Written on the Amtrak. Tuesday April 3rd, 2007
I can never help but compare events that the ordinary person doesn’t compare. Many times, I’ll compare how good one day of the week was relative to the other. Sometimes I’ll compare how well my friends and I spend our time together (although on this, I am never critical; I just see differences).
Breaks are another thing I compare. It’s weird, I know, but I cannot help but do it. I feel I must reflect on each break and take away some sort of profound lesson or experience that is supposed to positively contribute to my life. Last break, I reflected on how I should take advantage of my free time. It is easy to see how I came to that conclusion: I had been either in school or working every day effectively taking up all my free time, along with completing the dreaded infoHELL class. It’s obvious that I would relish any sort of free time.
This break, however, I don’t think I came across any sort of profound life lesson or positive experience, nor do I think I learned more about myself or grew personally. It was this morning (Sunday, at about 6:30) that I began to realize this. It somewhat bothered me at first, so I started reminiscing my time in Klamath. The only thoughts that somewhat stuck were my cooking dinner twice for my family (once only for my immediate then once for my extended), seeing my younger cousins whom I never get to see, and watching basketball and a movie with my dad.
It’s the last memory in that list that sticks out for some reason. Perhaps it is because it happened more recently than the other two, but when I think about spring break, that’s what I think about.
I hardly left the house that day. The final four tournament was on, and aside from seeing Ohio State advance, I had little interest in the tournament. But my dad did, and that was reason enough for me to watch with him. We watched for four or five hours, my dad not moving much because he was suffering from side effects of a medication he was taking. I remember as it ended, we began to watch a movie. I was at the point of going crazy for sitting still for so long, and was ready to go outside and take a walk in order to reflect on my break, when my dad stopped me and asked me to stay, saying that I only had one more day with him for the next ten weeks and that he wanted to spend it with me.
Of course, I stayed and didn’t think about what he said much until today. While sitting on the train, I think I realized the true profound impact of his statement. Perhaps he didn’t mean it as much as follows, but he made a point that most people will say is salient, even though I failed to recognize it initially. I only have so long with my Dad. I am a sophomore in college; in about two and a half years, I will graduate college, presumably (and hopefully) move out of Klamath for good, and start my own life. My frequent visits home may not be so frequent after I do this.
But to take that further, I can never be sure when the next chance I have to see him is, or if I ever get the chance to see him again. None of us are promised another day on this earth, so it would make sense to appreciate the gravity of every encounter with a loved one without dwelling on it too much during the moment. It’s a simple lesson that, as I’ve said, I’m sure most people see as salient, but is easy to overlook.
I think this is something I need to get good at. Being in college, I will be forced to give final farewells to good friends as we graduate and go our separate ways. This year I’m going to be experiencing that a lot as I will be saying goodbye to three very good friends who are going back home to Japan to finish their schooling, as well as some more than decent people who will be graduating this year. I can think of more than one occasion where I’ve taken their company for granted, and while I don’t want to dwell to much on treasuring their company, I do want to become more aware that their company is a finite commodity.
I think it is somewhat of a romantic thought to want to take away something almost complexly and obscurely profound from every situation, but sometimes, it is the simplest of lessons that are ironically the most profound, and thus the ones that I can learn the most from.
Maybe I’ll do this more often :).