Reflective Perspective: Living After London
It’s amazing how much bigger the world feels after coming home.
One thing I noticed was that I didn’t forget how to drive, not did I forget the way to my favorite places. I walked around my home campus today, and knew all its secrets like old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. The new Wooster building that had been a process for most of my college career, which I will meet properly in a few weeks. The old round nook by the Student Union, where if you stand in the center you can hear your voice coming in from all sides. The wide canal of stones between Humanities and the Library. It was all there, much like I had left it, but it all felt just the slightest bit bigger.
I remembered all the codes for my favorite fruits and vegetables at the register at work. I remembered people who had left, and met people who had arrived. I remembered how the potato salad used to taste, and how it was just the slightest bit different now. I felt very at peace with the changes, and with the things that remained constant. Nothing overwhelmed me – I had perspective.
Perspective isn’t something you can take for granted – in fact, it comes from moments where you can’t take things for granted. I swam in different water for a while, and it gave me a renewed sense of moving through different spaces. I’ve developed an even deeper fondness for the space I know best.
Soon classes will begin again at SUNY New Paltz. I’ll find myself mentioning stories about England, either to peoples’ chagrin or delight. I’ll be grateful for the familiar class structure and the chance to work with old friends. And because I’ll be graduating, I will probably cry. A lot. Because I will be so happy and grateful, and so proud of myself.
Even so, I recognize, that even this year, which feels so thrilling and lucky and revolutionary, is probably not as big as the biggest things I will experience in my life. Reflecting on how much my mind has changed, and on how my vision of the world is even just this much different, gives me the perspective that the world I live in can be as big as I could possibly dream – and is potentially even bigger.