A thousand miles from home, I ready the close of another chapter. A chapter of a book that is my story, and a small part of a greater anthology of my friends and family.
But how does one end such a chapter? With eloquent words of closing, that signify the swan song of the last four years? Or do I sing this like my first song, with the fervor and passion of one setting upon my next journey? It's hard to imagine the closing absent of both. Indeed, both songs create the melody that will carry my story throughout this tale. I am my history and my present, because they dictate my dreams.
The journey of the past four years could have been a book within itself! The character that is me found purpose, gained knowledge, felt anger and frustration, became resilient, made lifelong friendships, felt heartache, found joy, and just lived. Even the pen[s] that have carried me through this tale have undergone their own wear and tear (and singeing)! The nostalgia that emanates is not without due reason or cause. It is a testament to this chapter that I am truly sad to see go.
But nonetheless, a new chapter awaits! One that leaves the character anxious and excited, worried and emboldened, hopeful and fearful. What does this new journey have in store?! As much of a new journey that it will be, it will also be the return to a place my story diverted from four years ago. Like myself, much has changed since then. People have come and gone. Some have entered into this world, while others have sadly left. The very landscape will have worn and grown all at the same time. The place that I left four years ago will of course still be there, but the hints of change will peak through. Maybe not change, but life. Yes, I think the latter.
But as I return home in the next few days, and write this new chapter in the resettled shoes of old; I do hope some things will not have changed. For I have dreamt many nights of those desert towns, and the constellations that danced and shown above them. It was those dreams that sustained me in my time away, and became the seeds of my hope for their reality in this new chapter. These among other things are what I think are providing me with my conflicting attitudes of excitement and worry. The fear of change, and the excitement to see what has changed feels like the appropriate paradox.
Yet, as I realize this. I know that all of my plans for this chapter, the outlines and stories in which I would have liked to have inked will be most dreadfully and pleasantly dashed upon the rocks. The joys and frustrations can be sensed on the horizon, looming in the most welcome and anxious sense. However, as a beloved President told a group of us, "Lives are things to be lived, they are not agendas to be followed".
And what better advice could I begin this next chapter with?