August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
My epic summer of travel is finally winding down. I’ve kayaked in Vietnamese bays, fist pumped in Mexican clubs, and rode horses in the rusted canyons of Colorado. And this weekend will be one of my last stepping stones before another one of those “first days of school.”
Tonight, I started setting things aside for my upcoming weekend in New Hampshire, a trip I’d planned with some of my closest friends months ago. After ignoring my suitcase for nearly a week, I unpacked from Colorado and transferred items from one bag to another, from one adventure to the next. It seems like I’ve been doing so much of that over the past few months.
I started to wonder if packing had become second nature to me, or if it seemed so only because I’d never fully unpacked from any of my other travel affairs. Indeed, the last two months have been filled with sunny days, lighthearted smiles, a carry-on, and a camera bag — a vagabond summer that happened all too fast.
At the end of this whirlwind season of transition, I’m exhausted from all the packing and unpacking, from all the different sights and sounds I’ve encountered, from coping with all the time zones and the altitude shifts — these experiences, surprisingly, have made home seem new again. This summer has made solid ground seem exciting, and I can’t wait to get back to it — to return to New York and New Jersey not knowing the next time I’ll leave. To return to a place I never left and constantly leave, now knowing what I missed, what I could live without, and what I’d like to explore.
It all seems the same, but unbelievably new — another beginning, in a new apartment, in a new part of town, with a new career ahead of me. Tomorrow’s become today, and I’ve got the pages of my journal to fill with new dreams to make real.
August 1, 2010 § Leave a comment
My mother is bold.
She is this unbelievably independent woman, unyielding and stubborn, a willful and powerful force whose beliefs are founded in steel and in stone. I’ve lived my life in awe of her being, and I’ve always felt that the most distinctive facet of her character is the way her actions have always been marked by some great sense of purpose.
As she grows older and continues to improve the already perfect soul within her, I am amazed by her benevolence, her fortitude, her spirit, and her enduring commitment to fulfilling her potential — and to augmenting mine.
I’ve spent the greater part of my thinking years aspiring to resemble her. I’ve come to realize, for better or worse, I’ve always been the product of her hard work and her nature, and I can’t escape falling into the mold of her semblance. Not that I’d want to anyway; I’m lucky to be hers.
Sometimes, I think about what life would be like — what I would be like — in another world with another mother. Essentially, I wouldn’t exist at all. I wouldn’t know what I know. I wouldn’t feel what I feel. I wouldn’t have become the woman I’m learning to be today.
I realize that it all begins with her. She is the starting point, the impetus, the catalyst in my life. She has been mother, father, friend, confidant, healer, even foe. Whether or not I wanted it, she has provided me with everything I’ve needed to become better.
My life is good because she wanted that above all else. My heart opens almost effortlessly, my convictions are as firm as stone, and my strengths grow like they do — all because of the experience that is my mother.
She is a sight to behold, to remember, to cherish. My mother, the great.