It’s strange how powerful three words can be. Reflection seemed to be the theme of 2009 for me, and it will definitely carry through during 2010. The truth of the matter is that I don’t stop and think enough. I have yet to become present in every moment, allowing me to savor the beauty of now.
2009 brought me great things, but it also took many away from me. Across the world, but especially at home, 2009 was a year of much death, pain and suffering. While hunger plagued many nations and riots spurred military reactions that left many innocent civilians dead in Iran, my dear friend Ryan David Robertson left this world on July 16th, 2009. I was writing intensely about Ryan during the summer when he was hospitalized, and have continued to keep him in my thoughts and in my heart ever since then, just where he was all the years he was away. Ryan had a fire inside that was infectious, and all of us around him were moved by his soul. I spent new years eve thinking how fortunate I was to take those friends I still had with me into a new year, but remember I am myself today because of some people that will not see this year with us.
Being back at school now, I count myself so lucky to see so many smiles on this first day of class. Walking around campus today gave me such joy and inspiration for the community that we have here, working hard to shape the future. Today is a day that many people did not have work or school because of the hard work that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did, building upon those who came before him. I tried to keep him present in my mind today, reflecting on how I could honor him in each class I was in today, tomorrow, and each day forward. The same thoughts went through my head right after Ryan passed away, as I reflected on the way I could live a pure life, uninhibited by drugs or alcohol.
The answer to that question is not difficult, because drugs and alcohol are not needed in our life, but our society has conditioned us to accept these things, weaving them into our lives whenever possible. The key to survival is balance, it has always been balance.
When I was home over winter break, I had a lot of studying to do for the rhetoric comprehensive exams that were ahead, but I also had many friends who were dear to me that I wanted to spend time with. The key to doing both was balance. My days were blends of rest and review, with nights that were full of family and friends. Playing pool with Rob and Andy, watching movies and running around with the girls, and hours upon hours of cards with my family all helped me to recenter over the holidays, realizing that life is made up of these moments, where we share in our happiness.
As the year progresses, I hope to become better at existing in each moment. It will not be easy, but it will help me to see life as it is, amazing.