My high school English teacher made us memorize quotes. I hated it at the time. In fact, I hated most of the work she gave us at the time. I've now come to appreciate the values she instilled in my life. There is one quote in particular that stuck with me. It is a small quote from Tennyson's Ulysses and in many ways it has shaped the way I look at life.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move
Sometimes I feel like I'm living multiple lives simultaneously. It all started after high school. I was used to one church, one school, basically one way of life. Going to Judson was a great eye opening experience. I was exposed to different people with different backgrounds, views, and ideas. I was forced to learn to accept other people regardless of agreeing with them. And now, an even larger change has occurred. I'm on the other side of the world. I'm in a different culture with a different accent and a different way of life. Again, my small boxed up world must expand. However, while my mind is expanding and my horizon is changing, I find it difficult to accept that the rest of my world is going on without me. As I go exploring in the Great Barrier Reef, chase Kangaroos in the Outback, and ride my bike along the Pacific Ocean to get to school every morning, my friends are in the states enduring horrible heart break and wonderful new beginnings, my sister is going to prom for the first time, and my entire family is starting a new phase in life. Don't get me wrong, I'm thoroughly enjoying being in Australia. However, it is hard to let go of the life I once knew... the person I once was... and the life that continues without me. Though I will return home, there are memories being made that I cannot be a part of. I think this is the problem with change. I think this is the reason so many people do not venture far from their known comfort zone. Every time you leave one place, you leave behind a part of you.
So, again I will say: I feel like I'm living more than one life. It is hard to stay connected to all the people and places I want to hold dear. It becomes overwhelming at times, but I'm grateful for every person and place that has shaped me. As I continue on the journey of life, I hope to be able to hold onto the challenges and joys that have made me who I am. Regardless of where life takes me (which for me could mean ANYTHING), I hope to remember that everything I do, every person I encounter, and every place I roam is part of me. It will never be lost because it is imprinted in my character.