There are a variety of reasons why I step away from my blog from time to time. Sometimes, I have nothing to share and remain silent until I do. Other times, life gets in the way, as other personal and professional obligations get top billing for awhile. One of my favorite reasons of all is when I get to spend time in the company of some of my favorite people in the world, and this weekend, I get to do just that when I attend my college reunion.
As I prepare to take that familiar drive back “home” to the University of Dayton (UD), I find myself smiling big time through the happiest of tears. There is none of that angst that I sometimes hear others describe when they are getting ready for a reunion, as I only have a joyful anticipation of being surrounded by true friends in a place that provided all of us with a stellar education, the best of friends, and a safety net to fail and succeed. Even though I am fortunate enough to be able to visit with some of my college friends on a fairly regular basis and keep up with others thanks to social media, there is something special about being able to return to the scene of the crime, so to speak, to recall the memories that our years together produced and create more memories to take away as souvenirs.
When I reflect on my undergraduate years, I do so without the aid of rose-colored glasses, as they are not needed. I can see those formative years for what they were and were not. There were challenging times that interrupted those carefree days, as struggles on and off of campus were present. There was something about being together, though, that made learning some of life’s hardest lesson a bit less harsh and celebrating some of life’s best moments even more special. We were just a bunch of college kids living in an insulated academic world who came together to learn to find our similarities and understand and accept our differences, and in the end, we were released back into the “real” world and all of its uncertainty.
My academic journey continued as I pursued my master’s degree, and while I maintained my friendships with my fellow Flyers, new people came in and out of my life, as well. No matter how many years have passed and what has transpired during those years gone by, those friends I made when I was just an eighteen year old girl, who moved away from home for the first time, have been there, some more present than others. Since our lives became entwined back then, we have laughed and cried together, drifted apart and circled back around to one another, celebrated and mourned together, shared our greatest joys and our worst fears with one another, and lived our lives as best as we can.
There is a reason I shed tears of happiness whenever I arrive for a visit with my college friends and why I shed tears of sadness whenever we part ways. It has nothing to do with our outward appearances, how much money is in the bank, the kind of car we drive, which rung of the career ladder we are on, or any other of the things that some people value in life. It has everything to do with that we are far from perfect, but I like to think that we are all beautifully flawed and wear our scars rather well.
I am a Kentucky girl through and through, but part of my heart remains at UD and with my friends who are scattered far and wide. This weekend, though, those pieces of my heart will come together once again, and for that, I am grateful and absolutely overjoyed. We are UD!
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story